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Mathematics, Natural Sciences

Study Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Engineering in Germany

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In a course of study in pharmacy, you will deal with medicines: What are they made of? How are they manufactured, tested, and safely delivered to doctors and patients? If you want to become a pharmacist in Germany, there is no way around completing a course of study in pharmacy at a higher education institution. Pharmaceutical engineering, on the other hand, focuses mostly on the technological side of pharmaceutical manufacturing.


43 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom, State Examination

German, English

2-9 Semesters

What content can I expect?

Courses of study in pharmacy are all about medicines. Pharmacy is an interdisciplinary science that mostly builds on the natural sciences biology and chemistry as well as the medical specialisations physiology and pharmacology. During your studies, you will learn how to improve medicines and develop new drugs as well as analyse existing medicines.

Pharmaceutical engineering is focused on manufacturing techniques, i.e., the development, manufacture, and testing of medicines. It thus combines the natural sciences with engineering. You can apply directly at higher education institutions; there is no nationwide process in place. Requirements, e.g., with regard to grades, can differ depending on the course of study. Most graduates of pharmaceutical engineering find work in the private sector.

During your studies, you can look forward to several (laboratory) internships where you can gain your first practical experiences. Later on, you can specialise in areas such as pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical biology or clinical pharmacy.

For both pharmacy and pharmaceutical engineering, you should have a very good understanding of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. You will encounter these and other mathematical and scientific basics from the beginning of your studies. In addition, some of the technical literature is only available in English; a good knowledge of English is therefore an advantage.

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

How long do I study and what are the requirements?

Degree programmes in pharmacy have particular characteristics. For one, you do not receive a Bachelor’s or Master’s as your final degree. Instead, you complete your first state examination (1. Staatsexamen) after four semesters and your second state examination after eight semesters. This means that practically every student has a minimum duration of study of eight semesters. Your studies are followed by a year of practical training and a pharmaceutical exam, which is the third state examination. Passing this exam is a prerequisite for receiving your license to practice as a pharmacist. Most graduates work as a pharmacist.

Your curriculum is regulated by the government. Study places are allocated in a national system via the Hochschulstart portal. The places are in great demand and you either need good grades in your general university entrance qualification (German Abitur or an international equivalent) or you will have to wait a few semesters.

By the way: Various higher education institutions offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in pharmacy or pharmaceutical engineering. With these degrees, certain professions are not available to you, but you can still go into pharmaceutical fields in business or research!

How much will it cost for me to study?

If you decide to study with the aim of passing the state examination, as most students do, then you will not have to pay tuition fees, as the degree programmes take place at public higher education institutions and are also regulated.

Pharmaceutical Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes at public higher education institutions are also mostly free of charge. However, there may be exceptions, especially for the Master’s degree. At private higher education institutions, tuition fees are generally charged for all Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. As a rule, studying at a private institution is always significantly more expensive. In return, you sometimes have other advantages, such as more intensive personal support.

Apart from tuition fees and regardless of your degree, you usually have to pay semester contributions of about 100-400 euros at state higher education institutions. The contributions are transferred to your institutions once per semester and cover costs such as those of the student services or administration. 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.

Another budget item that should not be underestimated is study materials such as laboratory equipment or specialist literature. Such utensils are often quite expensive and this can easily add up. So, it’s worth keeping your ears and eyes open for second-hand materials and using the library lending service for the books.

However, most of the money in your personal budget will go towards rent plus living expenses. It’s hard to say how much you should budget for this: On the one hand, it depends on your lifestyle, and on the other hand, there are also big differences within Germany. 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. 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 career path is open to me with a degree in pharmacy/pharmaceutical engineering?

With a degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical engineering, you generally have very good career opportunities. After graduation, you can work in hospitals, in the pharmaceutical industry, in pharmacies or in cosmetics development.

You can also find a job in health offices and inspection agencies or in science and research, e.g., at pharmaceutical companies or in drug production and medical product development. Quality management and quality assurance are also among your career options.

You can also work in consulting and planning companies and even find work in institutions such as the German armed forces!

Large companies usually pay better, but you also have good prospects for above-average starting salaries in the public sector.

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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.