Does a dual study program in Germany make sense?

Does a dual study program in Germany make sense? This question must be discussed in each individual case. But we have 10 arguments you might want to consider when making your decision.

What is a dual study program in Germany?

In Germany, a dual study program, commonly known as “duales Studium”, is a highly regarded educational pathway that combines theoretical learning at a university or college with practical work experience at a partner company. It is a popular choice among students who aim to acquire both academic knowledge and professional skills while pursuing their degrees.

The structure of a dual study program in Germany typically involves students spending alternating periods of time between the educational institution and the cooperating company. During the academic phase, students attend lectures, seminars, and practical exercises at the university or college, where they acquire theoretical knowledge in their chosen field of study. In the practical phase, students work at the partner company, actively applying what they have learned in a real work environment.

One key aspect of dual study programs in Germany is the integration of theory and practice. The practical work experience gained during the program allows students to directly apply their academic knowledge to real-world projects and challenges. This hands-on experience not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also fosters the development of important professional skills and competencies.

Dual study programs in Germany are offered in various fields, including business administration, engineering, information technology, healthcare, and many more. They are typically structured as cooperative partnerships between educational institutions and companies. The companies provide students with a salary or grant during the practical phases, making it an attractive option for those seeking financial independence while studying.

This salary currently ranges somewhere around 1.500 Euro per month gross. Some companies pay a Bit more, some a bit less. In any case this salary is higher than most grants or the renumeration within an apprenticeship in Germany.

Dual study program in Germany
Note that the admission requirements for a dual study program can vary from university to university, so it makes sense to find out the exact admission requirements from the respective university in advance. beautiful-young-woman-fashion-designer-in-glasses-working-at-the-table-in-office-SBI-302823435

Upon completion of a dual study program in Germany, graduates are well-prepared for the job market. They possess a solid academic foundation, practical work experience, and industry-specific skills, making them highly sought-after by employers. This dual approach to learning not only provides students with a comprehensive education but also increases their chances of securing employment and building successful careers in their respective fields.

Does a dual study program in Germany make sense? 10 arguments for you

We have the following 10 arguments for you why a dual study program could be right for you:

Practical relevance

A major advantage of the dual study program is its high level of practical relevance. Students not only learn in lectures and seminars at the university, but also apply what they have learned directly in practice. The combination of theory and practice makes it easier to understand the course content and what is learned sticks better.

Career prospects

Many companies that offer dual study programs are looking for junior staff and therefore often offer graduates of the dual study program direct employment. As a result, students have good career prospects and can start in their profession directly after graduation.

Financial support during a dual study program in Germany

Another advantage of the dual study program is the financial support that many companies offer their students. They often cover the tuition fees and even pay a salary. This can be a great financial relief for students and allow them to concentrate fully on their studies.

Individual support

In the dual study program, students are integrated into the company from the very beginning and have the opportunity to develop and advance themselves individually there. They have direct contact with experienced colleagues and can thus develop personally and professionally.

Clear career prospects

In the dual study program, students know right from the start which company they will be working for after completing their studies. This gives them security and clarity for their professional future and they can prepare specifically for their career.

Additional qualifications

In addition to their university studies, students in the dual study program also have the opportunity to acquire additional qualifications. Through further education, project work and other measures, you can systematically expand your skills and abilities.

Time and cost saving

The dual study program is a time- and cost-saving alternative to traditional studies. Students do not have to go to work during their studies and therefore have more time for learning and practical training. The cost of studying is also usually lower, as many companies cover the tuition fees and students receive a salary.

Career opportunities with a dual study program in Germany

The dual study program not only offers students good career prospects after graduation, but also the opportunity to develop and advance within the company. Many companies support the career development of their employees and offer them additional training and promotion opportunities.

International experience

Some dual degree programs also offer students the opportunity to study abroad or complete internships abroad. This allows students to gain international experience and improve their language skills.

Flexible design

Dual study programs also offer students the opportunity to tailor their studies to their individual needs and goals. For example, they can opt for a dual study program that focuses on a specific subject area or combine the program with an additional qualification.

Differences between ‘normal’ university studies and dual studies in Germany

There are several key differences between a traditional university study program and a dual study program.

  1. Structure and Format: In a traditional university study program, students primarily attend lectures, seminars, and workshops at the university or college. The focus is on acquiring theoretical knowledge and understanding concepts in their field of study. In contrast, a dual study program combines academic coursework with practical work experience. Students alternate between attending classes at the educational institution and working at a partner company related to their field of study. This allows them to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting and gain practical skills.
  2. Duration: Traditional university study programs usually follow a fixed duration, such as three or four years for a Bachelor’s degree. Dual study programs, on the other hand, often have a longer duration due to the integration of practical phases. Depending on the specific program, it may take four to five years to complete a Bachelor’s degree in a dual study program.
  3. Work Experience: One of the significant advantages of a dual study program is the opportunity to gain valuable work experience during the course of study. Students in dual study programs work alongside professionals in their field, allowing them to develop practical skills, build industry connections, and enhance their employability. In a traditional university study program, work experience is typically gained through internships or part-time jobs outside of the curriculum.
  4. Financial Considerations: In a dual study program, students often receive financial support from the partner company in the form of a salary or stipend during the practical phases. This can help alleviate the financial burden of studying, as students may earn an income while gaining valuable experience. In a traditional university study program, students are generally responsible for financing their education through scholarships, loans, or personal funds.
  5. Career Prospects: Dual study programs are specifically designed to bridge the gap between academia and the professional world. As a result, graduates of dual study programs often have a competitive advantage in the job market. They possess both academic knowledge and practical experience, making them desirable candidates for employers. Traditional university study programs, while providing a strong academic foundation, may require graduates to gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions before entering the job market.

Ultimately, the choice between a traditional university study program and a dual study program depends on individual preferences, career goals, and desired learning experiences.

Questions and answers

  1. Do I need to have deep knowledge in the field of studies when I want to start a dual studies program?

    No. You do not need to have deep knowledge in your intended field of studies when you apply. Companies and universities only require that you are motivated and committed.

  2. Is Dual Studies the same as studies in Germany?

    Both regular studies as dual studies in Germany usually result in a Bachelor of Arts. So the outcome is identical. The difference between them is that in dual studies you have practical elements included in your hosting company which also pays you a montly salary.

  3. Which language requirements exist for dual studies in Germany?

    Language requirements for dual degree programs in Germany vary depending on the program, university and company. As a rule, however, a sufficient level of German is expected, since most dual degree programs in Germany are taught in German. This means that international students usually have to provide proof of their German language skills, which is at least level B1.

  4. When do dual degree programs start in Germany?

    The start dates for dual degree programs in Germany depend on the particular program and the university or company. In many cases, however, dual degree programs begin in the fall, usually in October, at the start of the winter semester. Some programs may also start in the summer semester, which usually begins in March or April.

Differences between dual apprenticeships and dual studies in Germany

A dual study program and a dual vocational training, also known as a dual apprenticeship, are both educational pathways in Germany that involve a combination of theoretical learning and practical work experience. However, there are key differences between the two.

While both dual study programs and dual vocational training involve a combination of theory and practice, the main distinction lies in the educational focus. Dual study programs prioritize academic education leading to a degree, while dual vocational training focuses on practical training and vocational qualifications.

A dual study program is primarily focused on academic education at a university or college, where students earn a recognized degree such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s. The program combines classroom-based learning with practical work experience at a partner company. The practical component is often integrated into the curriculum, allowing students to apply their theoretical knowledge directly in a professional setting. Dual study programs are typically longer in duration compared to dual vocational training, ranging from three to four years for a Bachelor’s degree.

On the other hand, a dual vocational training or apprenticeship is a vocational education pathway that emphasizes practical training in a specific trade or occupation. It is typically offered by vocational schools and involves working at a company while attending vocational school on a part-time basis. Apprentices learn the practical skills required for a specific occupation, such as carpentry, plumbing, or office administration. At the end of the training, apprentices receive a recognized vocational qualification, such as a journeyman’s certificate. Dual vocational training programs generally take two to three years to complete.

10 examples of popular dual study program in Germany

Here are 10 popular dual study programs in Germany, with a brief outline of their content, reasons for popularity, and some companies that offer them:

  1. Business Administration (BWL): Combines business theory with practical experience in areas such as finance, marketing, and management. Popularity: Provides a broad skillset applicable to various industries. Examples of employing companies: Bosch, Daimler, and Siemens.
  2. Engineering: Focuses on various engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering. Popularity: High demand for engineers in Germany’s thriving industrial sector. Examples of employing companies: BMW, Volkswagen, and Thyssenkrupp.
  3. Computer Science (Informatik): Covers programming, software development, and system administration. Popularity: Growing need for IT specialists in the digital era. Examples of employing companies: SAP, Deutsche Telekom, and IBM.
  4. International Business: Focuses on global business strategies, international trade, and cross-cultural communication. Popularity: Prepares graduates for careers in multinational corporations. Examples of employing companies: Adidas, Bayer, and Lufthansa.
  5. Business Informatics (Wirtschaftsinformatik): Combines business administration and computer science, focusing on IT systems in business environments. Popularity: High demand for specialists who can bridge the gap between business and technology. Examples of employing companies: BASF, Allianz, and Deutsche Bank.
  6. Industrial Engineering (Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen): Combines engineering and business administration, focusing on the optimization of technical and economic processes. Popularity: Appeals to those seeking a career at the intersection of technology and business. Examples of employing companies: Audi, Siemens, and Continental.
  7. Health Management: Covers healthcare administration, health economics, and healthcare policy. Popularity: Addresses the growing need for skilled professionals in the healthcare sector. Examples of employing companies: Fresenius, AOK, and BARMER.
  8. Mechanical Engineering (Maschinenbau): Focuses on the design, development, and production of machines and mechanical systems. Popularity: Essential for Germany’s strong manufacturing industry. Examples of employing companies: Daimler, Bosch, and Liebherr.
  9. Logistics Management: Covers supply chain management, transportation, and inventory control. Popularity: Important for businesses seeking to optimize their logistics processes. Examples of employing companies: DHL, DB Schenker, and Kuehne + Nagel.
  10. Media and Communication Management: Focuses on media production, journalism, and public relations. Popularity: Prepares students for careers in the media and communication industries. Examples of employing companies: Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1, and Bertelsmann.

Can non-Germans also do a dual study program in Germany?

Yes, non-Germany can also do a dual study program in Germany. However, there are some requirements that must be met.

First, the applicant must have sufficient German language skills to successfully complete the program. As a rule, proof of language skills is required in the form of a language certificate, for example the “German Language Diploma of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs” (DSD) or the “TestDaF”.

a young man sitting and reading for preparation of a dual study program in Germany
Dual degree programs combine theoretical training at a college or university with practical work experience in a company. Students regularly alternate between university and company in order to put the knowledge they have acquired directly into practice. In this way, they acquire both an academic degree and valuable work experience. a-young-male-college-student-reads-a-book-at-the-library-SBI-301041950

In addition, the applicant must have a valid residence permit that allows him/her to study in Germany. As a rule, a residence permit in accordance with Section 16 (3) of the Residence Act (AufenthG) is required for dual studies. This residence permit is usually issued by the responsible foreigners authority and entitles the student to study in Germany.

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In order to be able to take up dual studies in Germany, the student applicant must also have a university entrance qualification. This can be, for example, the Abitur or an equivalent university entrance qualification.

If the student applicant meets all these requirements, he or she can apply to a university or university of applied sciences in Germany and take up a dual study program. However, it should be noted that the admission requirements for a dual study program can vary from university to university and it is therefore advisable to find out the exact admission requirements from the respective university in advance.

How to apply for a dual study program in Germany

To prepare for a dual study program in Germany, you should first follow a few important steps. First, it is crucial to find the right dual study program and the right employer or university. Thoroughly research which degree programs and companies best match your interests and skills. Also find out about the admission requirements for the dual study program, which are set by companies and universities. These usually include a certain school-leaving qualification (e.g. Abitur or Fachabitur), language skills (e.g. German and English) and, if applicable, relevant practical experience or internships.

The next step is to write an informative application. This should include a cover letter, a resume and relevant references. In the cover letter, it is important to outline the motivation for the dual study program as well as the personal qualifications and skills that are relevant to the study program and the company. The CV should be clearly structured and provide an overview of the previous school and professional career as well as relevant skills and qualifications. Testimonials, certificates and references should also be attached to the application to support your previous achievements and experience.

After the application has been submitted, the company or university may invite you to an interview or assessment center. In order to prepare yourself optimally for this, you should inform yourself well about the company and the course of study and go through possible questions that might be asked during the interview in advance. You should also practice presenting your motivation and suitability for the dual study program convincingly and confidently. Good preparation and a confident appearance will increase your chances of getting a place for the dual study program.


All in all, the dual study program offers many advantages and is a sensible alternative to traditional studies for many students. It enables students to combine theory and practice, to have good career prospects, to develop individually and to acquire additional qualifications. Dual study is also financially attractive, as many companies pay the tuition fees and students receive a salary.

Keep in mind: When you are interested in studies in Germany do not forget that there are two alternative educational programs available in Germany: The dual studies program (finishing with a Bachelor's degree and a Skilled Worker's degree) and the dual apprenticeship program ('Ausbildung', finishing with a Skilled Worker's degree).
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