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Economic Sciences, Law

Study Law in Germany

Explore 497 programmes.

Law, or legal studies, is among the most popular courses of study in Germany. Your studies focus on the rules that society has created so that people can live together, namely, laws. Studying law has both theoretical and practical aspects. As you learn to understand these laws, you will learn to apply them to concrete situations. Law is divided into three areas: civil law, public law, and criminal law.


131 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Licence Examination, Magister, State Examination

German, English, French

2-11 Semesters

What content can I expect?

Studying law has both theoretical and practical aspects. Learning the basics of law requires a lot of theoretical knowledge, especially in the first semesters. Later, when you start dealing with specific cases and applying laws to them, things get more practice oriented. During your studies, you can specialise in several areas of law, such as European law, international law, public law, private law, civil law, tax law, or commercial law.

A special feature of studying law in Germany is the degree. As a rule, you do not study for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in law, but instead take the “juristische Staatsprüfung” or state examination. After the First State Law Examination, you may use the title „Diplom-Juristin“ or „Diplom-Jurist“. Then, after a two-year legal clerkship during which you get to know different areas of law in practice, you can take the Second State Law Examination. Passing this exam is a prerequisite for working as a judge, public prosecutor, or lawyer in court. The programme typically lasts nine to ten semesters.

Would you like to study law but not complete your degree programme with the state examination? Today, there are law degree programmes that lead to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Here you can usually combine certain areas of law with other subjects, such as economics, medicine or media. However, not all higher education institutions offer the option of studying for a Bachelor’s/Master’s of Law. You should also be aware that, in Germany, you cannot work as a lawyer or in the judiciary with this degree.

What’s also important to know: Most higher education institutions have individual focus areas and specialisation options! Are you eager to do a deep dive into one specific subject area? Make sure beforehand that the higher education institution of your choice offers relevant programmes for you.

But regardless of the degree and the field, studying law requires a lot of self-discipline, as independent study units are very common.

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Are you interested in an in Economic Sciences, Law? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What admission restrictions may apply?

To be eligible for legal studies, you will usually need a general university entrance qualification or an equivalently recognised qualification for all higher education institutions. There are usually more applicants than available spaces in law degree programmes. Therefore, local admission restrictions (NC) often apply. Especially at popular universities, it is very likely that you will need exceptionally good grades to be admitted. The NC, i.e., a minimum grade in your school-leaving certificate, can sometimes be around 1.

Programmes leading to a state examination are mostly offered at state universities. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes can also be found at other higher education institutions, such as universities of applied sciences, technical universities or private higher education institutions. Here, you can also be admitted with a subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, a university of applied sciences entrance qualification or even without any higher education entrance qualification if you can provide proof of relevant work experience.

How expensive is it to study law?

If you decide to complete your legal studies with a state examination, you will probably attend a programme at a state university. Here, you usually do not have to pay tuition fees, only a semester contribution. This varies from university to university and amounts to between 100 and 400 euros per semester, which is really reasonable compared to internationally. Sometimes your semester contribution covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

But please note: such a programme can sometimes take much longer than anticipated. And some universities charge fees for long-term students. However, these fees are often only charged after a few years of exceeding the standard period of study. If there are good reasons, e.g., illness, they can also be waived.

Private higher education institutions, which often offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes, usually charge several hundred euros in tuition fees per month.

One thing you should be aware of, especially when studying law, is the cost of learning materials, books and legal texts. Buying new materials can quickly add up to several hundred euros per semester. To save money, you can buy used books or take advantage of libraries.

In addition, you will of course have regularly occurred costs for rent and living expenses. These can vary significantly between cities. In general, you can expect higher costs in larger and more popular cities. However, with the right precautions, such as eating in the refectory and staying in student halls of residence or shared flats, you can also save money here. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my career prospects with a law degree?

Once you have managed to master the long and demanding path of studying law in Germany, then you have very good chances on the job market: A law degree often guarantees a good job and usually offers even better salary prospects. The amount of your salary depends on your degree and your specific job. In general, however, large and international law firms pay significantly better than smaller firms or organisations.

If you graduate with a state examination, you can work in the legal or public prosecutor’s office, as a judge, as a notary or in higher administrative services and public administrations. However, you also have good opportunities in business or politics, for example. Especially with a Bachelor’s or Master’s of Law, you can use your knowledge in your field of business or politics.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.