Universities of Applied Science (Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften or Fachhochschulen = FH) are a specific type of university in Germany. Compared to traditional universities, FHs offer courses and research that are more practically oriented.
Most of the FHs focus on one or a few professional fields. They are also smaller than traditional universities. An important part of the program is the practical training or internships. Many FHs offer programs called dual studies. But some fields of study, such as humanities, are rarely offered at FHs.
The studies at a FH are often more structured and predetermined than at general universities, that means e.g. that students at FH cannot create their schedule and pick courses as independently as at traditional universities. You can get Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at FHs just like you would at a traditional university. But it is not possible to do a PhD at a FH.
In order to apply for a program at a FH you need:
- a high school diploma equivalent to the German Abitur / the university entrance qualification (HZB)
- or a Fachhochschulreife (university of applied science qualification) that you can get after finishing upper secondary schooling and one year of practical work/internship
- And a German Level of B2 or C1 for most of the programs taught in German.
Find FHs and their study programs on the Fachhochschule page here.