Germany is a great place for people looking to study engineering in the English language and for low costs. The country offers high-quality education and numerous MS programs in all areas of study. Moreover, Germany is one of the best countries for engineering majors with a future career for professionals in the STEM field.
Officially Germany doesn’t have tuition fees for all bachelor’s and master’s programs at public universities. Students only pay a fee between 150 EUR and 400 EUR per semester to cover administration and other costs. The average amount of this contribution is around 250 EUR.
Mechanical engineering is one of the most popular subjects to study among locals and foreigners. And no surprise, mechanical engineers are sought after in the industry – so the job prospects after graduation look good.
In this article, you will learn the main expenses you will face while studying postgraduate in mechanical engineering in Germany. We also explain other helpful information you want to know before applying for the program.
Costs of studying Mechanical Engineering in Germany
Studying in German universities is free for local and international students. Generally, universities are financed by the government.
Only at universities in the region of Baden-Württemberg, non-EU/EEA students must pay tuition fees of 1,500 EUR per semester, or 3,000 EUR per year, which is still a reasonably low amount.
Although there are no tuition fees in Germany, expect to pay a so-called semester fee. This is only applicable to state universities; private universities operate differently.
Semester fees vary between regions and universities, but usually, they range between 150-400 EUR per semester. All students pay fees. This money covers administrative costs as well as the financing of canteens, sports facilities, and dormitories.
Moreover, at many universities, your semester ticket for public transportation is included in the amount. Although sometimes you need to pay for the ticket in addition to the contribution, you can decide to buy it or not. With that pass, you can use all local transport, including buses, trains, etc.
Therefore, these are the only expenses you will face while studying at a German university.
What are the main costs of studying MS in Germany?
There are no official tuition fees in public universities in Germany. However, don’t forget about the general costs of living and studying abroad.
This includes rent, food, clothing, travel expenses, learning aids, health & other insurances, phone, internet, radio, and television fees, plus any leisure activities you plan to do.
For instance, you need to keep in mind that only health insurance will cost you around 80 EUR per month.
Some of these expenses are fixed costs, and some will significantly depend on your preferences, e.g., do you prefer to live in your own apartment, or you don’t mind having just a room? In total, the monthly expenses of a postgraduate student in Germany come to around 900 EUR – 1,000 EUR.
Blocked banking account
A blocked banking account is the biggest concern of international applicants who want to study in Germany, whether it’s a master’s or bachelor’s degree. You shouldn’t be broke while coming to study in Germany.
It’s not directly an expense, but you need to bear in mind that for a German visa application, one must provide 10,332 EUR in the banking account. This is security for the German government. You prove that you can support yourself during your studies.
This will be your proof of financial resources for one year. When applying for a visa extension, this amount must be demonstrated again.
A blocked banking account is a special feature for international students that few German banks provide. Why it’s blocked? A student can only withdraw 861 EUR per month, and the remaining amount should be kept in the account — this money is allocated for your living expenses in Germany.
This way, the German government ensures you have enough money for the entire year. A blocked account must be opened before you travel to Germany. You can open a blocked account with Fintiba. They will do it remotely for you.
Upon arrival in Germany, you will receive a debit card to withdraw the money.
A blocked account is the most common way to prove your financials. However, there are other options:
- Declaration of guarantee from a local resident “Verpflichtungserklärung“. A person living in Germany, who can show that they will cover your accommodation and other living costs while you’re here.
- Proof of parent’s income. Your parent’s declaration of guarantee, bank statements of the last 6 months, and financial assets.
- Scholarship awarding certificate. It must show you as a receiver of the scholarship and the granted amount.
- The deposit of an annually renewed bank guarantee with a bank in Germany.
Health insurance is a mandatory cost for all international students in Germany. EU students aren’t required to have additional health insurance in Germany if they’re entitled to the European health insurance system.
The most common insurance international students sign up for is the DR.WALTER. They provide two main coverages for students: German Student insurance and EDUCARE24.
In fact, DR.WALTER has the most inexpensive insurance policies for international students compared to other providers. Another good option is public insurance from Feather.
These are only the few insurance providers in Germany that will send you all the required documents via email. Other companies will need you to come to the office personally.
Housing will be the biggest expense in Germany; rent prices range within the country. It mainly depends on the region and city you are living in.
If there is a significant housing shortage (like in Munich), most students come together to form apartment communities (WG) and, thus, share the costs.
Many universities offer student dormitories where you can find cheaper accommodations. Sometimes you will share the kitchen with other students and have a small room for yourself. Sometimes, you will get a studio apartment.
Dorm rooms cost between 200 EUR and 400 EUR, shared apartments between 300 EUR and 500 EUR for a room, and you can also find your own apartment starting from 500 EUR per month.
Besides the rent for the coming month, students must pay a deposit to the landlord or organization that owns a building. Usually, the amount comes to one or two rent amounts.
Cities like Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Berlin tend to have higher housing prices. Rents in Berlin have been on a rapid rise in recent years.
In addition to the rental costs, you need food and other necessities, e.g., clothing, books for the university, and leisure activities.
The cost of food depends on how often you want to cook and where you buy groceries, but calculate at least 200 EUR per month plus 100 EUR for eating out.
There are also many leisure activities in Germany; some are free, and some aren’t. Most gyms cost around 30 EUR per month for students, and a ticket to the cinema is 12-14 EUR.
Depending on your lifestyle, it’s better to add at least 100 EUR for your free time per month, excluding eating out.
Clothes and other personal items can come up to 200 EUR per month, but if you are a minimalistic person, you can shop in H&M once in and while and, therefore, save quite a lot of money.
You might need to buy books for your studies if they aren’t available in the library, but 50 EUR per semester should be enough.
Also, phone bills can cost quite a bit in Germany. To pick up the cheapest and the best mobile provider, check out this article: Best SIM cards for students in Germany. On average, you shouldn’t pay more than 20 EUR per month.
Since you are in the middle of Europe, you might want to explore a bit, so consider transportation costs (train, bus, or plane) and lodging when you stay overnight.
If you come from another country, you would also like to go home and visit your family at Christmas or during the semester holidays. Travel costs for these trips have to be planned since flying to another side of the world can be pretty expensive.
On average, students in Germany spend around 850 EUR per month on living costs (statistics). Although prices differ significantly between the cities and regions in Germany, e.g., the cheapest cities will be Dresden, Leipzig, and the most expensive in Munich.
MS in Mechanical Engineering at a private university in Germany
Private universities are never free; that’s why they are private. Yet, both public and private German universities offer high-quality teaching.
However, if you are determined to study at a private university, keep in mind the high tuition fees. Prices range between universities, with an average of 720 EUR per month or 4,320 EUR per semester, but costs can go up to 10,000 EUR per semester.
Only 6% of students in Germany are studying at a private university, but the trend tends to rise.
The benefit of studying in a private organization is that they don’t select students depending on the Numerus Clausus, which is quite common for majors in medicine or other trendy subjects.
However, in the case of mechanical engineering, you shouldn’t be afraid of NC because it isn’t included in the admission process. Entry requirements might differ with each university. Make sure to check it way before the application.
Best universities for MS in Mechanical Engineering
In Germany, universities where you can study mechanical engineering are divided not just into private and public but also into two main types: research universities and universities of applied science. They also differ in the admission process.
The best for studying mechanical engineering will be:
- Technical Universities
These organizations have the same principle as classical research universities but provide only technical professions and sometimes other majors too. The choice of majors is smaller than in a regular university. Usually, they focus on science, technology, and engineering disciplines.
The quality of education and research tends to be better/higher than in Universities of Applied Sciences; however, they provide less practical application. Therefore, your master’s in a technical university will be more theoretical and research-oriented.
Research universities involve many core lectures, seminars, and independent studying.
Especially T9 – an association of the 9 best technical universities in Germany, is renowned for the best mechanical entering studies. However, you can expect higher entry requirements and a larger number of applicants.
- Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule/Hochschule)
The most significant distinction is that Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) are more practical orientated. Classes are usually smaller, hence, have fewer participants and are more tightly organized.
It’s ideal for all those who already have work experience or are looking for direct entry into the industry after their studies. They mainly focus on engineering, business, and social sciences.
In many cases, they are partnered with professional or commercial organizations. Also, internship and semester abroad is often mandatory part of the program. However, the Universities of Applied Sciences don’t provide Ph.D. (doctorate) programs.
So if you plan to complete a doctorate after the master you better choose a technical university, so you don’t have to switch colleges in the process. However, a master’s degree from the Universities of Applied Sciences allows you to enter a Ph.D. at the university.
You will receive a Master of Science degree in both of these university types. Here you can check all available programs in German and English.
Read this post, if you are interested to know more about the differences between Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities in Germany. Choosing between two is a crucial decision that will be crucial for the next two years of your life.
Working as a Student in Germany
In order to increase your monthly cash flow, you find a part-time Job in Germany. Luckily, master’s and bachelor’s students can work in Germany for up to 20 hours per week and full-time on semester holidays.
That way, you can earn up to 900 EUR per month; however, it’s recommended not to make more than 450 EUR; otherwise, you will have to pay social contributions from this amount.
How much will a postgraduate cost in Germany?
If you decide to pursue your academic career in mechanical engineering, luckily, it won’t cost you much. In the same way, you won’t pay any tuition fees at public universities in Germany, only a semester contribution of around 500 EUR annually.
At a postgraduate level, you have better chances of employment and, therefore, can work during your studies in a better position and for a better salary.
What will you learn during MS in Mechanical Engineering?
The course of study is consecutive and based on the Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. The master’s program offers broad professional education in the scientific and engineering fundamentals with additional information in the specialization of your choice.
It can be automotive, aerospace, vehicle engineering, medical, energy, and others.
Courses you can expect during MS in mechanical engineering:
- Mechanical engineering and business Informatics
- Fluid dynamics
- Solid-state continuum mechanics
- Parametric-associative design in automotive development
- Multi-body systems
- Hydraulic machines and equipment
- Heat transfer
- Materials technology
- Applied Simulation in vehicle safety
- Laser-Assisted Manufacturing
- Manufacturing automation
- Vehicle-track interactions in rail vehicles
Top universities for MS in Mechanical Engineering in Germany
Germany is a home to many renowned universities, and some of them provide excellent master’s programs in ME:
- Technical University of Munich
- RWTH Aachen University
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Technical University of Berlin
- TU Clausthal
- TU Chemnitz
- BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg/Cottbus
- Magdeburg University
- University of Stuttgart
- TU Darmstadt
Career opportunities after MS in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is one of the most perspective fields and the most essential element in the German economy. Graduates can enjoy a wide range of possibilities; many get a job already during their studies.
The average salary of a mechanical engineer with an MS in Germany is around 59,050 EUR annually.
Possible job titles for graduates of the Master’s program in mechanical engineering in Germany:
- Mechanical Engineer
- Junior Mechanical Engineer
- Senior Mechanical Engineer
- Mechanical/Design Engineer
- Senior Automation Mechanical Engineer
- Lead Mechanical Engineer
- Mechanical Development Engineer
Industries you can work in with MS in mechanical engineering:
- Automotive industry
- Chemical industry
- Aerospace engineering
- Renewable energy technology
- Medical technology
- Engineering companies
- Construction industry
- Electrical engineering
- Technical monitoring and testing
Mechanical engineers’ primary areas of responsibility include the production, planning, design, operation, maintenance, and servicing of machines and technical systems.
In addition, mechanical engineers also work in production planning, customer service, logistics, quality management, management, education and training, purchasing, sales, warehousing, and materials management, or in research and teaching at Universities.
As you can see, the list goes on and on; MS in mechanical engineering will truly open doors to new possibilities in Germany and any other country, thanks to the world recognition of German degrees.
On average, master’s graduates receive starting annual salary of 47,000 EUR.