Humboldt University of Berlin

About the Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin, founded in 1810, is a prestigious institution known for its commitment to research, academic freedom, and international collaboration. Our diverse community of students and scholars thrives in the heart of Germany’s capital. We are dedicated to advancing knowledge and addressing global challenges.

A brief history

Humboldt University of Berlin was founded in 1810 in Berlin, Germany, and was named after its founder, Wilhelm von Humboldt. The university was established with the vision of being the “mother of all modern universities” and aimed to achieve a unity of teaching and research, providing students with an all-round humanist education. The university has undergone many changes throughout its history, including a recent reformation following the Peaceful Revolution in East Germany in 1989. Today, Humboldt University of Berlin is one of Germany’s most prestigious institutions of higher education, with a long list of notable alumni and a reputation for excellence in research and teaching.

General information

Situated in the central district of Mitte in Berlin, Germany, Humboldt University of Berlin stands as a prominent public research institution. With a strong commitment to modernity and research-driven education, the university offers a comprehensive range of degree programs. Recognized among the premier public universities in Berlin, it holds the 120th position in the QS World University Rankings 2024. The university comprises nine faculties, catering to a student body of 34,752 (excluding Charité), spanning across 171 diverse degree courses. Boasting an extensive array of subjects and programs, with the exception of Law and Protestant Theology, all courses are designed at the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level. Renowned for its formidable research prowess, Humboldt University ranks among Germany’s top ten research-focused institutions, ensuring that students benefit from a research-based education. The university’s commitment to scientific education is complemented by career-oriented training, imparting a holistic learning experience. Positioned within the historic city center, the university harnesses the advantages of its unique location. Further enhancing its appeal, Humboldt University of Berlin boasts a modern corporate design that embodies its contemporary outlook.

Quick facts about Kyoto

  • Humboldt University of Berlin is in the 120th position in the QS World University Rankings 2024
  • In 2020, Humboldt University of Berlin had a budget of €483.3 million.
  • The university employs 2,403 academic staff and 1,516 administrative staff.
  • The university has a total of 32,553 students, including 18,712 undergraduates.
  • With an impressive history, the university boasts 29 Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and faculty.
  • Humboldt University is renowned for its research in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
  • The university is recognized for excellence in research and teaching, holding the title of “University of Excellence” under the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
  • The university coordinates 1 Cluster of Excellence and participates in 3 others.
  • It also coordinates 4 Collaborative Research Centres and participates in 11 more. Additionally, it leads 7 (International) Research Training Groups and participates in 9.

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The academic calendar at Humboldt University of Berlin is divided into two semesters: the winter semester (October to March) and the summer semester (April to September).

Humboldt University of Berlin offers a range of support services for international students, including:

  • Language courses to enhance communication skills.
  • Academic advising to assist with course selection and progress.
  • Cultural events to foster cross-cultural understanding.
  • An International Office dedicated to providing guidance on visa and immigration matters.

Humboldt University of Berlin provides a variety of extracurricular activities for undergraduate students, such as:

  • Participation in sports clubs for physical fitness and recreation.
    Involvement in music ensembles for artistic expression.
  • Engagement in student organizations for social and academic interaction.
  • Access to a vibrant cultural scene in Berlin, including museums, theaters, and galleries throughout the city.

Humboldt University of Berlin provides various housing choices for undergraduate students, including:

  • Student dormitories.
  • Furnished rooms and apartments.
  • Allocation assistance to selected student dormitories.

The cost of living in Berlin for an undergraduate student varies, but an estimated range is €800-€1,000 per month. This estimate covers accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses.

Yes, the university offers housing financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.

Humboldt University of Berlin provides comprehensive support for international students, including:

  • Language courses to aid communication.
    Academic advising for guidance.
  • Cultural events to promote cross-cultural understanding.
  • An International Office for visa and immigration assistance.

Students can apply for student housing through the university’s website. The application process may vary depending on the chosen housing option.

The Studentendorf Adlershof is a student dormitory situated near Humboldt University of Berlin’s Adlershof campus. It offers furnished rooms and apartments for students, researchers, and PhD candidates.

The approximate cost of living in the Studentendorf Adlershof ranges from €300 to €500 per month, depending on the chosen accommodation type.

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Popular Courses

Scandinavian and Northern European Studies

This program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Nordic countries and their cultures, languages, and societies. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the region’s history, politics, literature, and art.


This program covers the fundamental principles of biology, including genetics, evolution, ecology, and physiology. Students will learn about the diversity of life on earth and the processes that govern living organisms.


This program combines the principles of physics and biology to study the physical properties of biological systems. Students will learn about the structure and function of biological molecules, cells, and tissues.

Business Administration

This program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of business principles and practices, including accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Students will learn how to analyze business problems and develop effective solutions.


This program covers the fundamental principles of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, chemical reactions, and thermodynamics. Students will learn about the properties of matter and the processes that govern chemical reactions.

Computer Science

This program covers the principles of computer science, including programming, algorithms, data structures, and computer systems. Students will learn how to design and develop software applications and computer systems.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • A secondary school leaving certificate or equivalent.
  • Proficiency in the German language, as most courses are taught in German.
  • For some courses, a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.8.
  • For undergraduate programs, a minimum International Baccalaureate (IB) score of 30 or A-level score of ABB is required.
  • For postgraduate programs, a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent is required

Fee Structure

Tuition Fees: Freie Universität Berlin generally doesn’t charge tuition fees, except for some specific graduate or postgraduate programs. Public universities in Germany offer free tuition. Instead, students pay a semester fee, which is approximately 645 USD per year.

Semester Fees: Each semester, students are required to pay certain fees and contributions. For summer, the fee is 237.89 EUR, and for winter, it’s 242.99 EUR. These fees cover items like enrollment, student support services, transportation tickets, and student government contributions.

Other Expenses: Apart from semester fees, students should budget for additional expenses such as accommodation, transportation, study materials, meals, and personal costs. The average cost of living in Berlin ranges from 600-700 EUR.

Admission Deadlines

The general application period for undergraduate programs:

  • May 31 to July 15 for the winter semester.
  • December 1 to January 15 for the summer semester.

Notable alumni

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