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University of Cologne

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Description of University of Cologne

  • Year of foundation: 1388
  • Location: Cologne, Germany
  • Age: from 19 years old
  • Type: State University
  • Number of students: 48962 (almost 10% foreigners)
  • Language of instruction: German (part in English).

University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) is a public institution of higher education in Germany’s largest European city, Cologne. The University of Cologne teaches a variety of humanitarian, exact and natural sciences, including medicine, and has partnerships with major research centers (Max Planck Institute, Juelich Research Center).

Universität zu Köln was created in 1388 one of the first in Germany and currently ranks third in terms of the number of students, giving way to Munich and Hagen, and is one of the hundred best European universities. Originally created as the fourth higher school of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1798, the university interrupted its activities due to the refusal of the rector Ferdinand Franz Walraf and the faculty to swear allegiance to the First French Republic. However, a year later, the rector changed his mind and thus secured the opportunity to hide from the French a collection of works of art, which is now kept in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. For a long time, the “Central School” operated on the basis of the former university, until May 29, 1919, the burgomaster of Cologne Konrad Adenauer did not sign the decree on opening a new university. Thanks to this decree, the main building was built on Albert the Great Square.

Programs and prices, tuition fees in University of Cologne

Program name
All year round
Check with our specialists
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
Check with our specialists
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
Check with our specialists
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year

Accommodation, meals, prices

All buildings and faculties of the university are collected in the northwestern part of Cologne, near the railway station. The university is located in a picturesque place: among the gardens, museums and cafes, within walking distance is the Park of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Museum of Asian Art. The university owns two student dormitories, however, not everyone has enough places in them, therefore it is recommended to apply for residence in a residence for at least ten months. In the absence of free rooms, the university is ready to assist in finding suitable housing.


  • A wide range of specialties
  • Support and priority research projects
  • The real prospect of a scientific career
  • The Faculty of Medicine collaborates with research institutes and allows students to personally get acquainted with modern research and take part in applied research projects.
  • The Faculty of Arts and Humanities implements a curriculum in archeology, which has long been established in the top 50 best in the world
  • Graduates of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences Universität zu Köln are highly valued in Europe
  • The centers of molecular medicine, general oncology and genomics work on the basis of the university, research in the field of geriatrics is conducted
  • The Faculty of Social Sciences is renowned for research on globalization, energy financing and the global economy.
  • The university’s library, the largest in North Westphalia, holds about 4,000,000 books and periodical scientific publications.

Admission dates and extra charges

Education at Universität zu Köln, as in other German state universities, is free for all, including foreigners - you only have to pay a social contribution Semesterbeitrag: it is calculated every semester. The contribution includes Kölner Studierendenwerk, the General Student Committee, the possibility of free use of public transport and sports activities at the university.

The hostel will cost about 110 € per month, for personal expenses it is necessary to provide an amount of approximately 400 € per month.

Scholarships at the university are not allowed, but the state is ready to meet gifted students, so it makes sense to apply for participation in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), private or state funds of Germany. There are also social scholarship funds and scholarships for students with disabilities.

There is a possibility of additional work, but foreign students must take into account legal restrictions when working: it is allowed to work up to 120 full days (4-8 hours per day) or up to 240 half-days (1-4 hours per day) per year. This rule also applies to paid and unpaid internships. Thus, financing the cost of living through work is impossible - at best, foreign students can earn pocket money. Working as a student assistant at a university is allowed, so a student assistant is allowed to work more. Scholarship holders who are awarded a grant are usually not allowed to work.

Entry requirements, how to apply, what is required to enrol

The difference in the German and Russian education systems imposes restrictions on Russian applicants: for example, after graduating from high school, you cannot enter the University of Germany. Schoolchildren in Germany have been studying for 13 years, which corresponds to the level of the second year of the Russian university. An alternative to two university courses can be training in German Studienkolleg, created specifically for the preparation of applicants.

  • From applicants are required DSH language test results that exceed the second level (67% and above). An alternative can be TestDaf certificates (above level 4) and the C-2 certificate of the Goethe-Institut, as well as DSD II. There are no undergraduate programs in English at the university; however, some graduate programs also provide tests for knowledge of the English language;
  • Be sure to have a letter of recommendation;
  • The Faculty of Medicine, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, as well as Management, Economics and Social Sciences will require TestAS results from the candidate to determine the level of the German language and the applicant’s intellectual abilities - you can pass it in the Goethe-Institute branches located in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk;
  • Documents for the winter semester are accepted until July 15, for the summer semester - until January 15.

Institution on the map

Residence permits, citizenship and other services

  • Guardianship services during the studies
  • Student supervision

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Recommendations on when to apply

Language courses, schools and children's language camps Primary and secondary education - private schools Preparation programmes for entering universities - higher education Higher education (after completing accredited programs A-level, IB, High School) - Bachelor, Master, MBA
- we recommend to apply 6-9 months before the start of the course (some camps and schools offer discounts for early booking or for lengthy study programs)
- there are some very popular and high demand children's camps, where the applications need to be submitted 1 year in advance (in particular Switzerland , Great Britain , USA , Canada , Austria)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the training program,
- some schools have a specific time frame (September-November - please specify an individual school)
- some schools require tests in several stages (UKISET, internal tests of the school: English, mathematics, logics, subjects, interview, some require a personal visit)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the program,
- for Foundation and Pathway programs, IELTS and TOEFL certificates are usually required, respectively

- recommended submission one year before the start of the program,
- the deadline normally closes in January, for TOP HEIs and, as a rule, in March in other universities
- for a bachelor, a Foundation or Pathway preparatory program a completed A-level, IB, High School + IELTS / TOEFL are required
- for Masters you need a graduated higher education, in some cases you need a pre-Masters program
- MBA requires completed higher education, work experience preferably at least 2-3 years, etc.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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