The cost of a medical degree in Germany is generally very low. While American universities charge significant tuition costs, often ranging into six-figure amounts, for those who wish to be doctors, German medical schools do not have such high costs for students. In fact, it is very possible for those accepted to a German medical school to get a degree for a few thousand dollars. Even that amount of money is a higher cost than what it used to be to obtain a medical degree within Germany.
Cost of a Medical Degree in Germany
According to an article by the National Institutes of Health on undergraduate medical education in Germany, the cost of a medical degree in Germany used to be a real bargain: it was free. In fact, for a long time, German universities charged either nothing or only very small fees for graduate programs, professional programs, and undergraduate degrees. The educational programs were largely administered on a state level and students paid nothing to attend, but in many cases, they were required to take tests to demonstrate that they were actually qualified to be attending those schools.
Changes to Tuition Costs
While the cost of a medical degree in Germany is still significantly lower than it used to be, it is no longer free in many cases. While there was a proposed federal action to require that state universities keep schools free, the German Constitutional Court ruled that such a federal rule was not permissible. The constitution set forth the premise that the state's have rights and responsibilities to establish and govern their educational systems under their sovereign powers. That meant that if the states wanted to begin charging tuition for a medical degree or any other secondary or advanced degree, they would be able to do so.
Tuition Costs Today
Many states did opt to take advantage of their right to charge tuition for academic programs. By 2010, tuition fees existed in five state-funded German universities. When some schools began instituting fees, students began to protest the fees and the costs. Protests were especially widespread in areas where schools were considering fees as high as €1500, bmost schools kept their fees and costs at around €500.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health study on undergraduate medical education in Germany indicated that as of 2009, €500 was the average cost of obtaining a medical degree in Germany at state-funded medical schools. All but one of Germany's medical schools are state-funded, so that cost is about what you can expect to pay per year in tuition to attend school there.
Attending Medical School
Students who are admitted to a German medical school should expect to study for approximately six years. Upon graduating from the six-year program, students are required to take an examination before they are able to begin practicing medicine. With a six-year estimated program time and an average €500 yearly cost to attend, students can expect to pay a total cost of around €3000 or more to obtain a medical degree within Germany.
Of course, German medical schools don't just accept anyone who applies. Students must submit applications, which are reviewed by a federal organization called Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung and by schools. The admissions criteria is based on a number of different factors designed to determine if a student is a good candidate for obtaining a medical education at that particular school. As with U.S. medical schools, one of the most important criteria for admission to a German medical school is the student's GPA. A secondary school diploma is also required for admission.
So, while attending medical school in Germany is not expensive, it is not an option available to everyone due to strict admissions standards.