1.1 The difference between UAS and Uni

TH Lübeck is technically a university of applied sciences (UAS) (variations in German: Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Fachhochschule or sometimes Technische Hochschule). Other institutions for higher education are called university (in German: Universität).


But what exactly distinguishes German universities and universities of applied sciences from each other?

For a first overview, have a look at this illustration:

Unterschied Uni TH.jpg

Both forms of higher education allow for the acquisition of an academic title (tertiary education). UAS study courses are generally more practically oriented, whereas university study courses are rather more theoretically oriented.

  • Universities of applied sciences focus primarily on the application of knowledge (hence "applied").
  • Universities focus mainly on research and the transfer of knowledge.
  • UAS lecturers are more practice-oriented and must have at least 5 years of professional experience.
  • At university, academic careers are generally not interrupted by practical phases in the industry.
  • Universities have the right to award doctorates UAS do not. However: it is possible to obtain a doctorate with a UAS degree at a university (depending on the university's doctoral regulations) or take part in one of many cooperations, e.g. the doctoral candidate works at a UAS, while his supervisor belongs to a university.

This comparison is for informational purposes only. If you are not sure whether you would like to study at a university or a university of applied sciences, have a look at your favorite study course both at a university of applied sciences and at a university: Look into the module manuals and evaluate what you are interested in and what suits you better. Do not let yourself be influenced by the opinions of others; no university form is better or worse, just different. Find out which one suits you best.