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Mathematics, Natural Sciences

Study Environmental Sciences in Germany

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Would you like to deal with global issues such as climate change, global warming, or water pollution on a scientific level? If the answer is yes, studying environmental sciences could be a good fit for you. In your interdisciplinary degree programme, you will study processes in the environment that can be traced back to human actions. You will learn to analyse these processes and, based on this, to develop solutions for ecological problems.


80 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master

German, English

2-8 Semesters

What content can I expect?

When you study environmental sciences, you come into contact with a wide variety of scientific disciplines. On the one hand, you learn the basics of the natural sciences, especially biology, chemistry, and physics. Geography will also be touched on, for example in connection with the global ecosystem. On the other hand, you will become familiar with course content from law, such as environmental law. In addition, sociological aspects, especially from politics, as well as basic principles in economics will be part of your studies. These very different aspects are prioritised differently by the higher education institutions: Whereas some courses of study focus on the natural sciences perspective, others put an emphasis on the social sciences. Therefore, it is advisable to take a close look at the individual programmes when deciding on where to study. In addition to these considerations, the following subject areas also exist:

  • Sustainability sciences (ecological)
  • Nature conservation, environmental protection

The practical units also vary, of course, depending on the higher education institution and degree programme. In general, however, you can look forward to several excursions, field exercises and lab units!

In addition, you often have the option of choosing a minor subject to accompany the environmental sciences in the Bachelor’s degree programme. You could, for example, choose to place an individual focus in your studies on subjects such as political science, business administration or psychology.

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

Which requirements are there and how long do I study?

At some higher education institutions, you will be eligible for admission to an environmental sciences programme with a higher education entrance qualification or equivalent. Other degree programmes have additional local admission restrictions. Admission is then regulated by a numerus clausus (NC), a minimum grade average which is sometimes set quite high.

By the way: Knowing some English can be quite important for the field of study of environmental sciences, as specialist literature is sometimes only available in English. In addition, some degree programmes are offered entirely in English. In such cases, proof of your language skills may be required.

The duration of your studies mostly depends on your life situation and the way you work. However, there are so-called standard periods of study that you can use as a guide. Bachelor’s degree programmes usually have a standard period of study of six semesters. There are also numerous seven-semester Bachelor’s programmes; these often include a whole semester for the practical phases. You can usually plan on three to four semesters for the Master’s degree.

How expensive is a degree course in environmental sciences?

If you choose to study at a public higher education institution, you usually do not have to pay tuition fees. There are a few exceptions; for example, these may apply to long-term students or special courses of study. Otherwise, you will only have to pay the semester contributions. These can vary greatly depending on the higher education institution and are set 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.

Of course, you also have the option of studying at a private higher education institution or signing up for a distance learning programme. However, these options are usually associated with significant additional costs due to the tuition fees.

Then there is the issue of rent; rents vary depending on the city you want to study in. In large cities, housing is often scarce and expensive, while in smaller cities it is comparatively affordable. In any case, student halls of residence are usually your cheapest option. 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. Alternative housing options, such as accommodation with host families or models like „Wohnen für Hilfe“ (living for help), are becoming increasingly common. However, you should be mindful to research a reputable provider and consider your own needs.

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 career options do I have with a degree in environmental sciences?

A degree in the environmental sciences will allow you to find jobs in various different sectors and areas, regardless of your chosen focus. Your future employer may be a non-governmental organisation active in environmental protection, or an architects’ office, a construction firm, or a city planning office – they all need environmental scientists. You can also consider making a career for yourself in research or teaching. In addition, the public sector (e.g. associations and authorities), the chemical industry, the energy industry, environmental management or science journalism offer good opportunities for employment. As an independent assessor, you can also become self-employed.

Your future salary depends, among other things, on your chosen specialisation. As a rule, you will earn the most in the private sector, but you will have more regulated and transparent salary prospects in state organisations. NGOs or associations usually pay the lowest in comparison. Nevertheless, with a degree in environmental sciences, you can look forward to good job prospects and stable employment!

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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.