PhD study in Germany

Germany is famous all over the world for innovation and technological research, in addition to its strong economy and quality of life, German universities occupy 43 places among the top 800 universities in the world, Germany welcomes international students by offering good funding opportunities and affordable tuition fees, there are many ways in German universities to obtain a doctorate, there are two basic types of doctoral studies in Germany: Doctoral studies for individual researchers, structural program for doctoral research.

PhD study in Germany
PhD study in Germany

Advantages of doctoral study in Germany

Studying in Germany is almost free, although German universities have a strong international reputation and high-quality education in particular, doctoral study in Germany is characterized by several points, including:

  • Doctoral degrees awarded by German universities are internationally recognized, due to Germany's outstanding industrial and economic reputation.
  • Germany is one of the most attractive countries for students in the world.
  • The possibility of research and doctoral studies by working in several prestigious research centers around the world.
  • With many institutions interested in scientific research offering many opportunities to apply for doctoral scholarships, it is not possible to get a job as a researcher in German universities.
  • Researchers and doctoral students enjoy an outstanding standard of living.
  • Use of English in education.
  • There are two types of PhD, individual PhD and Structural PhD.
  • German universities are among the globally recognized.

Conditions for doctoral study in Germany

Admission requirements vary between universities and doctoral programs, but the most important university admission requirements for doctoral studies at German universities are:

  • Obtain a diploma equivalent to a German master's degree.
  • Well-qualified international applicants with a bachelor's degree can be admitted as PhD students under the fast-track program, pass the entrance test and possibly attend an interview.
  • Proof of English proficiency through language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS, if the student wishes to study a PhD in German, he must prove his proficiency in German through DSH or TestDaf.
  • Summary of the master's thesis in English or German.

Duration of doctoral study in Germany

The number of years of study ranges from 3 to 5 years, and a doctoral student can work in Germany during his studies.

 Costs of doctoral studies in Germany

The student has to pay an original fee of between 150 and 200 euros for registration and some other fees.

Hotel study in Germany

How to study a doctorate in Germany

There is no university admission process or doctoral selection offices in Germany, all a student needs, to apply to the recommended universities in Germany, is to follow these steps:

  • Find the right teacher who wants to be your supervisor, you can find your supervisor by contacting the university you wish to enroll in or by searching for research institutions relevant to your area of interest, the following platforms can help you with this task:
  • DAAD
  • PhD Germany
  • Hochschulkompass
  • Academics
  • Confirm your eligibility as a PhD student by completing the application which includes a letter from your thesis supervisor and certified copies of your degrees and university degree that allow you to study for a Ph.D., as well as the result of a master's degree in English or German.
  • Get admission to the university in your application.
  • Be sure to have your university degree recognized.
  • Obtaining a residence permit and a student visa.
  • Make sure that funding is adequate.

Germany is the most popular destination for studying abroad, with more PhD students in Germany than in any other European country.  

Due to the diversity of doctoral programs, the presence of many world-renowned universities and the possibility of a student having the opportunity to fund their studies or research, about 4,000 international students receive a doctorate degree each year at German universities.

Study philosophy in Germany

Types of PhDs in Germany

PhD study is important for any student looking for a job in the academic and research fields, so we find many students in constant search for a doctoral seat in any country of the world, especially in Germany, which is characterized by the presence of a large percentage of Arab students who study in its universities all scientific degrees, not only doctorates.

Individual PhD

Individual doctorates are a traditional option preferred by many doctoral students, and in this type of doctorate a thesis or thesis is prepared under the guidance of the professor, but often the student works independently and the duration of the doctorate varies, ranging from 3 to 5 years, and this option is very flexible for students but requires personal initiative and responsibility.

For a PhD student in Germany, not only will you do research at a university, but the project can be carried out in a non-university research institute, in a company or otherwise.

Structured PhD Programs

The student can choose a structured doctoral program, applicable to a group of doctoral students led by a group of supervisors, there are about 600 organized doctoral programs in Germany, and organized doctoral programs differ from individual doctoral programs.

As they are taking into account that student proposals are compatible with current doctoral programs, but individual doctorates provide more freedom to adapt to an individual research project, the student must attend conferences and seminars, and there is often a teacher to guide the student to study properly.

How many years of doctoral study in Germany

The duration of doctoral study in Germany ranges from 3 to 5 years, and the doctoral student can work in Germany during his studies.

Do I need to speak German to study for a PhD in Germany?

No, it is not necessary to speak German to study a doctorate in Germany, as we have already discussed, Germany offers doctoral programs that are taught only in English.

But as a PhD student in Germany, your life will not be limited to campus only, but you will hang out with your friends, interact with the community around you, go sightseeing in Germany, in all previous situations he will need German to communicate with others.

Therefore, a beginner or intermediate level of German will be important in your life outside of university, and German universities offer many German courses for beginners and advanced.

You can also learn German before coming to Germany online or by attending German courses in your home country.

How can I fund my PhD studies in Germany

If you are a PhD student in Germany under a structured doctoral programme, or if you are studying a PhD at a university, research centre or research institute, the question of funding is either by working as a research assistant or receiving a scholarship that gives the student €1,000 per month.

If you are a PhD student under the traditional doctoral system, you can apply to the university to work as a research assistant, and if there are vacancies, you will get work while preparing the dissertation.

Institutions outside the university such as the Fraunhofer Institutes and some companies offer employment opportunities for doctoral students to fund their studies in Germany.

DAAD offers the largest number of scholarship programs in Germany, but there are also many other organizations that help foreign students admitted to universities for doctoral studies.