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Language and Cultural Studies

Study Philosophy in Germany

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Are you interested in philosophical questions, such as what makes something “good” or “evil”? Would you like to participate in discussions about pressing social problems? Philosophy deals with the fundamental conditions of human cognition, perception, and action and examines the concepts that we rarely, if ever, question in everyday life. You will learn philosophical methods and study central problems and perspectives of philosophy.


73 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Magister, State Examination

German, English

2-10 Semesters

What content can I expect?

The field of study philosophy deals with various fundamental questions and prepares you to critically analyse and evaluate arguments. You will learn to look at and interpret texts and sources in a structured manner and to synthesise and classify your findings. During your studies, you will deal with both current debates and disputes as well as the history of philosophy, since the discussion of classical philosophical questions and texts has been taking place for a very long time.

The following subject areas are part of this field of study:

  • Ethics: What constitutes ethical behaviour?
  • Logic: This area of study focuses on the question of correct reasoning.
  • Philosophy can be divided into theoretical and practical philosophy: Theoretical philosophy deals with the conditions and possibilities of knowledge, while practical philosophy deals with the conditions and norms of human behaviour and human society.
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Are you interested in an in Language and Cultural Studies? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What requirements do I have to meet?

The general higher education entrance qualification or an (international) equivalent is usually needed for admission to a degree programme in philosophy. Some higher education institutions have additional restrictions in the form of a numerus clausus (NC), i.e. a minimum grade. This holds true for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. Only sometimes, certain foreign language skills may also be required. A preliminary internship, on the other hand, is usually not expected, but a compulsory internship is often to be completed during the course of study.

For admission to a Master’s programme in philosophy, you usually need a Bachelor’s degree in a related subject, in which you can show that you completed a minimum number of ECTS credits in philosophy modules. Oral or written aptitude tests, sometimes in the form of an essay, are also possible.

A philosophy degree strongly relies on your skills in theoretical thinking. Thus, you should definitely be prepared to deal with complicated texts in detail. The desire to think logically is also an important basic requirement. Broad general knowledge and a good knowledge of current social debates will also help you in your studies. Since you will often encounter interdisciplinary issues, such as euthanasia or genetic engineering, you must also be willing to familiarise yourself with other subject areas such as medical ethics, jurisprudence or cultural philosophy.

By the way: Do you still feel a little uncertain about your choice of subject and would like to visit preparatory courses? There is help: Some universities offer preparatory courses, e.g. for Latin. To see if it is offered, just check the website of the degree programme of your choice!

How do you study philosophy?

Philosophy is a traditional university subject and often takes a standard period of study of six semesters for the Bachelor’s degree and four semesters for the Master’s degree. You can often decide for yourself how much you want to „philosophise“ during your studies: In the Bachelor’s programme, you often have the option of studying the subject as a core subject, minor subject or second subject. It is also often possible to obtain a teaching degree! In the latter case, however, the standard duration of your studies is extended accordingly and you complete your studies with a state examination.

Occasionally, there are also interdisciplinary degree programmes that focus, for example, on overlapping content of ethics and organisation, ethics and pedagogy or similar. You can find them at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels and at both private higher education institutions and state institutions.

What does it cost to study philosophy in Germany?

Normally, there are no tuition fees at public higher education institutions in Germany. This is especially true for Bachelor’s degree, but also for most Master’s degree programmes. Depending on the higher education institution, tuition fees may be charged for long-term students or students who already hold a first degree. Private higher education institutions actually always have tuition fees, which often amount to several hundred euros per month.

What you will always have to pay, however, is the semester contribution. At both public and private higher education institutions, you pay this every semester, e.g. for the student union or administration. The amount varies but is usually between 100 and 400 euros. 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.

In addition to the cost of your studies, you will also need to keep in mind your rent payment and costs for living expenses: In general, large and popular cities are more expensive, especially for rent. Student halls of residence or shared flats are always good alternatives to reduce rental costs! As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. , you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities. How much you need to live besides rent depends a lot on your lifestyle.

To cover these costs, you can take on student jobs as well as part-time jobs. However, make sure that your studies do not suffer from the additional burden.

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  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What kind of job can I find with a philosophy degree?

Since you will gain experience in using logical thinking, finding conclusions and dealing with questions valid for many areas of life, you often have good baseline qualifications for leadership positions after graduation: Ideally, you have learned to look at problems from different perspectives and to apply abstractions to concrete challenges.

However, after graduation, it is not likely that your first position will be a position with management responsibilities. So, let’s envisage your actual first career-entry job. You can find opportunities in publishing, the media, television, journalism or advertising. Cultural institutions or development cooperation also offer good opportunities. The private sector, such as human resources development or management consulting, also offers options that are often better paid. Of course, jobs in scientific research, teaching or adult education are also open to you.

By the way, to improve your career prospects, internships, specialisations and gaining in-depth subject knowledge is extremely important during your studies! You might also consider applying to an interdisciplinary philosophy programme that combines different subject areas and thus prepares you for more specialised tasks.

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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.