Germany is a world leader in medical device manufacturing and drug development. Be it the invention of the first X-ray tube by Wilhelm Roentgen or the discovery of the Tuberculosis (TB) vaccine by Robert Koch, Germany has made remarkable contributions to the field of medicine and biomedical engineering. The success of the German biotech sector is further amplified by the presence of successful biotech companies like Bayer, Siemens, Freudenberg Medical, Sartorius AG, and Merck.
The German education system and strong research infrastructure have played a pivotal role in shaping the German biotech industry. Every year a few thousand international students flock to Germany for higher education.
Here is the list of the top 7 German universities to pursue MS in Biomedical Engineering.
1. RWTH Aachen
The university is placed at 75-100 in the Times Higher Education Ranking and 130-150 in the QS World rankings. However, the university well recognized for its Mechanical Engineering courses and it is among the top 30 universities of the world in Mechanical Engineering.
The RWTH Aachen University has over 44,000 students and the campus spread across the city. The proximity to cities like Cologne, Maastricht, Eindhoven and Dusseldorf makes this city an attractive choice for students to find post-study work opportunities.
The Faculty of Medicine offers a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. The course is offered in the English language. RWTH Aachen has nearly 25 English taught courses, some of which have tuition fees. However, the Biomedical Engineering Master’s doesn’t have a tuition fee. Here are the eligibility criteria for international students keen to study here.
- GRE Score with quant score above 160
- TOEFL Score above 90
- Decent GPA (usually above 8/10 for Indian students)
- Credit requirements for biology, mathematics, chemistry and engineering. Ideally you should have at least 2 courses from each of these streams.
The biomedical engineering program at RWTH Aachen is focussed on tissue engineering and medical imaging. Here are several research institutes at RWTH Aachen which are doing cutting edge research in Biomedical Engineering.
- Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering
- DWI-Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials
- Experimental Molecular Imagine (ExMI) Research Center
- Department of Dental Prosthetics and Biomaterials Research, Uniklinik
- Institute of Medical Statistics
- Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology
2. Hochschule Furtwangen University (HFU)
The Villingen-Schwenningen campus of the Hochschule Furtwangen University Was established in 1988. The university is located on the site of the former Kienzle watch factory. It has Mechanical and medical engineering and HFU business school present as the faculties with 62 country and 1365 world ranking with its effective teaching.
The TOEFL test is among the popular option for students to meet the English language requirements for this university. All you need to get admission to the university then you have to qualify for two language tests namely TOEFL and IELTS. For admission to biomedical engineering, you need to have a basic knowledge of cell and molecular biology and other related topics to the program. You must have the learning about the fundamentals of the theoretical subject and practical knowledge of the laboratory work required for the program with an annual feed if 1500 euros per year.
3. Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg
Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg is a public research university in the cities of Erlangen established in the year 1742 with an administrative staff of about 2290 an academic staff number of about 4040 and a student intake is about 39868 with an urban campus. Friedrich is the second largest state university in the state of Bavaria. the university has 5 faculties, 23 departments and schools, 30 clinical departments for practical studies, 19 autonomous departments, and 13,000 employees.
The university holds the ARWU world rank of 151-200 and the QS world rank of 287. This university is definitely a great choice for MS in Biomedical Engineering in Germany. The university has a lot of research going on some of them are namely:
- The New Materials and Processes
- The Optics and Optical Technologies
- The Molecular Life Science and Medicine
- The Health Technology
- The Electronics, Information and Communication and
- The Cohesion transformation Innovation in Law and Economics.
4. Universitat Heidelberg
Heidelberg is the oldest university not only in Germany but also one of the world’s oldest surviving universities. It was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire with 7392 administrative staff and a student intake of 30873 with 11871 postgraduates at the present. The university ranks 1 in ARWU in Germany and 5 in the continental region. The US NEWS and world report rank it at the 9th position among continental Europe.
The Universitat Heidelberg has excellent cancer (oncology) research facility. Moreover, they have excellent support for bioinformatics. If you are into cancer research, this university is definitely one of the top universities for MS in Biomedical Engineering in Germany.
5. Hamburg University of Applied Science
Hamburg University is the third-largest University of Applied Sciences in Germany, with a student intake of 17,100. The research under the biomedical stream of the university includes:
- Biomedical Systems/Networks in Diagnostics
- Evaluation Research in Social, Health & Education Sectors
- Food Science
- Public Health
6. Lübeck University of Applied Sciences
Luebeck University is a world-class university that has a number of programs offered that involve Biomedical engineering with a number of international collaborations for better exposure and research to the students. THL collaborates and has exchange programs for the university. Currently, the university offers seventy and more exchange programs for students in many universities. Comparing all the exchange programs THL is considered extraordinary.
Definitely, Lübeck University is one of the top German universities for MS in Biomedical Engineering.
7. FH Aachen
FH Aachen has a rough intake of 11,300 students, 220 professors, 300 contract lecturers, and 340 assistants in the college located at the Julich. The Department of International Affairs provides International connection services for international students, researchers, and academic staff, the service is available for students of FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences who would like to spend a period abroad.
One of my readers, Pablo, had some interesting queries regarding the post and I hope this would be useful to my other readers regarding ‘MS in Biomedical Engineering in Germany’.
Here is my reply.
1. is there any reason why you did not include the Technical University of Munich among your selected institutions?
The ‘Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics’ Master’s program at TU Munich was earlier entirely in German. I believe that from 2020 onwards, the medium of instruction is English. Therefore, I didn’t include it at the time of writing. Thanks for pointing it out. I would include it as I find the time. TU Munich is definitely a good choice and the teaching and course organization is better than RWTH Aachen. However, for research purposes, both universities are comparable.
2. Would you recommend the FH Aachen to study Biomedical Engineering as a Bachelor or do you know of any other school you would suggest for the Bachelor?
I wouldn’t recommend FH Aachen for Bachelors. Go to better universities if you can. But FH Aachen is not that bad and relatively easier to get in.
3. Would you recommend to study Biomedical Engineering as a Bachelor or only as a Master? If so, what would you advise me to study as a Bachelor in order to pursue the Master in Biomedical Engineering afterward?
I would suggest you take a core subject like mechanical engineering or chemical engineering or biochemistry or biophysics in your Bachelor with some electives pertaining to biology like anatomy and physiology.
Biomedical Engineering is highly interdisciplinary but you have to focus on an area of your interest where you would like to pursue your career. If you are focussing on Medical Imaging, say, wouldn’t it be imperative to choose Computer Science or Medical Physics?
If you are focusing on ‘Tissue Engineering’, a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering with focus on biomaterials, biofabrication and cell biology would be helpful. If you want to pursue pure regenerative medicine (slight difference exists between regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering focuses on engineering the matrix like scaffold and hydrogels and not just cell signalling etc.), biology or biochemistry would be useful. You would find the following links useful.
4. Have you heard about Biomedical Engineering studies in Austria? If so, what do you think about it?
I am aware of the Vienna Biocenter. It is doing some amazing research in stem cell and regenerative medicine. It is very biology centric and does very fundamental research. I wanted to apply for Ph.D. there but I realized I wouldn’t be a good fit. The professors aren’t from an engineering background but are from biochemistry and biology backgrounds.
TU Graz is also good. I once looked at the department profile. It focuses on the engineering aspects of Biomedical Engineering like biomechanical engineering delving into prosthetics research. I am not aware of other facilities in Austria.
I hope I have answered your queries.