Age of first degree university graduates in Germany from 2003 to 2018

The average age of German first degree university graduates has gone down in recent years, which means that students are both starting their studies and finishing them earlier, without prolonging. Currently the average age stands at 24 years old. After their first degree many graduates might also decide to pursue a second one, for example a Masters.

Over half a million first-years

In the most recent winter semester, the number of first-year students amounted to nearly 509 thousand. At German universities, the academic year is divided into the winter and summer semesters. Start and end dates may vary depending on the type of university and course of study. On average, first-degree students studied for eight semesters. State universities still attracted the largest student numbers, followed by universities of applied sciences.

What do they study?

German universities offer a wide variety of courses and degrees. In terms of subject groups, the highest number of students was enrolled in law, economics and sciences, followed by engineering. These numbers might be related to thoughts about the future, when looking at average starting salaries for university graduates by field.

Average age of first degree university graduates in Germany from 2003 to 2018 (in years)*

Average age in years
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Release date

October 2018



Survey time period

2003 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Average age of first degree university graduates (all degrees) in each year.
Figures for years preceding 2017 were retrieved from the publication "Bildung und Kultur - Prüfungen an Hochschulen".

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