In the German university system there are about 2.6 million students enrolled at about 420 universities in 175 cities all over Germany.
There are three kinds of institutions of tertiary education in Germany:
At universities you can do a bachelor's or master's degree programme as well as a Staatsexamen in a scientifically oriented study. In a few cases you might still be able to do a Diplom programme. The university usually offers the widest range of studies, however there are universities which specialise in certain disciplines, like technology, medicine or education. These universities also offer PhD programmes.
You can get the same degrees as at a normal university. Usually subjects are limited to more practically relevant areas (e.g. Business vs. Philosophy). The main difference is, that you have one 'practical year' during your education. You spend this year working at a company and completing a project for university at the same time. At the moment you cannot do your PhD at a university for applied sciences.
You can study artistic or design related subjects for either a bachelor's or master's degree - in a few cases you can do a Diplom programme. Colleges of art, film and music have usually special admission requirements and candidates should posses artistic talent. At some of these colleges is also possible to do your PhD.
Most universities in Germany are public institutions that receive funding from state and federal government. There are also about 40 church affiliated universities and over 100 private universities, which offer also officially recognised degrees. Most of the private universities are universities of applied sciences.
In total there are about 9000 undergraduate programmes and about 7000 graduate programmes in Germany.
The universities in Germany award mainly five different degrees: