A short overview of tuition and student fees

In Baden-Württemberg, some international students from countries outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) have to pay moderate tuition fees at public universities. Find out if fees apply to you.

International students from countries outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) who study at public/state universities in Baden-Württemberg may have to pay tuition of € 1500 per semester – but read on, because several exceptions apply.

The state of Baden-Württemberg established the fee in 2017/18 to be able to continue to offer the high quality of education that Baden-Württemberg’s universities are known for.


The state of Baden-Württemberg had previously mandated that the state’s deficit had to be reduced by either lowering expenditures or by increasing public income. The department of science, research and the arts decided that cutting the universities’ budget was not an option. It would negatively impact the quality of scientific work and education.

The fees for international students are moderate compared to the tuition for international students in other European countries. Universities use a designated portion of the fee to create support systems specifically for international students to increase their chances of success.

With more than 2,600 degree programs, multiple nationally distinguished universities of excellence, and internationally ranked universities, Baden-Württemberg is highly attractive to students from all around the world. The number of international students has risen by 300% over the last 20 years.

Fees for international students

The fee of € 1500 per semester has to be paid in addition to administrative and fees for student services, which vary from university to university but are generally around €200 – 500 per semester. Student services, in turn, provide a host of benefits such as discounted public transport tickets, student ID associated with discounts at museums and public institutions, as well as student rates for newspaper subscriptions. The administrative and student services fees are similar to what other universities in many countries charge. They apply to international students as well as to students from the respective country. Contact your chosen university to find out more about these fees.

Fees at private universities

Fees at private universities are usually much higher than the tuition at state universities in Baden-Württemberg. The amounts vary depending on the degree and the area of specialization. Please check directly with your chosen university what fees you have to pay and what extra costs you may incur during your studies.

Who is exempt from the tuition?

As mentioned above, students from EU countries and EEA-countries don’t have to pay the € 1500 fee. If you graduated from a German high school with an “Abitur”, you are also exempt. There are several exceptions, including refugees, students who have permanent residency in Germany, and students in Erasmus or in dual degree programs.

Some scholarships are available that help cover the cost based on merit. If you come from an economically severely disadvantaged background or experience hardship, you may qualify for financial help. In general, if you fit one of the criteria above, be sure to check with the international office at the university of your choice to find out if you are exempt or if financial support is available.