About University of Potsdam

Young, modern, and focused on the future: Founded in 1991, the University of Potsdam already occupies a prominent position among the universities and research institutions of Berlin and Brandenburg. With more than 20,000 students, it is the biggest university in the federal state of Brandenburg.

The University of Potsdam offers a broad range of degree programs in the fields of the arts, economics and social sciences, law, human sciences, natural sciences, and digital engineering.  Important research areas are cognitive science, earth sciences, functional ecology and evolution, and plant genomics and systems biology.

Situated in a region with more than 40 research institutions, the University closely cooperates with numerous organizations of international acclaim, such as the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics, and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Students greatly benefit from these co-operations, which open up job opportunities for graduates.

Teaching at the University of Potsdam is always strongly informed by up-to-date research and driven by the latest scientific findings within and outside academia.  Study programs are also continuously monitored for quality.

The University of Potsdam is an international community of great diversity. With its numerous English-language Master’s programs, it welcomes international students from everywhere. To help them feel at home in Potsdam, the University offers German courses and a Buddy Program, which matches new students with experienced ones. For advice on how to plan their studies, international BA and MA students can turn to the International Office. PhD students will receive information from the Welcome Center. International students considering a short-term stay are invited to attend one of the University’s summer courses in German or English.

Individual PhD students and members of structured PhD programs at the University receive wide-ranging support from the Potsdam Graduate School (PoGS). As an umbrella institution of the different departments, it offers workshops for careers in various fields. 

The University of Potsdam believes that equal opportunities are fundamental to education and research. The Equal Opportunities Coordination Office promotes gender equality through various projects, such as programs for young female researchers. Students with children receive assistance from the Family Service, which will help them organize their studies in a family-friendly way.

During and after studies, the Career Service helps students prepare for their job applications. It also offers workshops on key skills and establishes contacts to companies. Graduates with business ideas can seek advice from the University's start-up service Potsdam Transfer.

Semester contribution

No tuition is charged for studying at the University of Potsdam (with the exception of a few continuing education courses). There is only an administrative fee of currently about €300. This semester contribution includes a semester ticket entitling you to free use of public transport all over Brandenburg and Berlin.

Costs of living

Living in Germany is rather cheap compared to other countries in Northern and Western Europe. Monthly living expenditures for students at the University of Potsdam vary between €500 and €1,000, largely depending on the type of housing the student has chosen. A more detailed list of the average monthly expenditures of our students can be found here.

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Job opportunities for students alongside their studies are numerous. Depending on personal and professional skills, students can find jobs in the service sector (e.g. in restaurants, cinemas, museums, theaters) or work as student assistants at the University or in the numerous non-university research institutions located in Potsdam. Furthermore, lots of tourist attractions in town, such as castles and museums, offer jobs for international students. The German capital, Berlin, is located just around the corner and students can also find jobs there.

Accommodation

There are several student dormitories in Potsdam. Places there are administered exclusively by Potsdam’s Association for Student Affairs (Studentenwerk Potsdam). You can apply for one of these dormitories if you are under the age of 30 and the Master's degree at the University of Potsdam is your first Master’s program. In addition, there are also a few private dormitories in Potsdam, to which these conditions do not apply. However, many students prefer to find an apartment in Potsdam or Berlin, which they often share with fellow students.

For information on how to register for a dorm room or find accommodation elsewhere, please consult this brochure.

Location

The University of Potsdam is one of the most beautifully situated universities in Germany. Each of its three campuses benefits from its special location. The central campus is located just opposite the Baroque palace “Neues Palais”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Golm, Potsdam’s largest campus, is surrounded by idyllic pastures and meadows. The Griebnitzsee campus is situated right at the border of Berlin and Potsdam.

Once a city of kings and royal residences, Potsdam is famous for its large number of palaces and parks. But it is also a thoroughly modern city with a strong orientation towards the future. In fact, 10,000 of Potsdam’s 160,000 citizens work in academic institutions. No other German city has a higher ratio of academics per capita.

Lovers of nature and culture will immediately feel at home in Potsdam. Because of its unique location, you will find green oases where you can unwind within walking distance, and at the same time you can reach the German capital, Berlin, in just 30 minutes by public transport. In the historic city center of Potsdam, the Hans Otto Theater, the Nikolaisaal Concert Hall, the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History, and the Film Museum provide opportunities to enjoy classical as well as modern culture.

As a young city, Potsdam offers good conditions for families, providing lots of childcare and family support facilities. In fact, Potsdam has been ranked as the most family-friendly city in Germany. Moreover, it is a very safe living environment. 

In a nutshell, Potsdam has all the benefits of a modern infrastructure while retaining its idyllic charm.

Explore rankings data for University of Potsdam

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 19,294
    Number of Students
    (1)
  • 56.8
    No. of students per staff
    (1)
  • 10%
    Percentage of International Students
    (1)
  • 59 : 41
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
    (1)
Based on data collected for the (1) 2019 World University Rankings

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