Leaf through this write-up to discover the different doctoral programs offered by German universities.

PhD Programs in Germany

A country that is popular and revered for one of the world’s best economies and education systems, pursuing even a mere certificate course from this destination comes naturally. Germany, a magnificent and incredible destination to visit, is home to some of the world’s oldest universities and a flourishing industry to explore career opportunities. The relatively low cost of education adds another feather in the cap for choosing this study place over other countries. But, what if you obtain a doctoral degree in a fairly short period of time compared to the same degree earned after rigorous and extensive level of study? While it takes typically minimum four years to submit your thesis and research projects to get a PhD degree in majority of the countries, Germany helps one become a doctor after just three years, with the upper limit being five years. Instead of stretching your program to a lengthy college term, universities in Germany allow you to get the degree of the same name at a higher level of success and knowledge. This internationally recognized degree offers more and better job opportunities in your areas of fields, thereby bringing success to you as you had always dreamt of. Admission to a doctoral program in a German university typically follows a set pattern of rules. Browse on further as we guide you to the different subjects offered at PhD in Germany and how to seek admission in a distinguished university.
PhD in Germany
Degree Recognition
The exceptional infrastructure for research work, intensive faculty support, and well-equipped facilities help in earning a PhD degree that is reputed all over the world. Successful students passing out from a German university enjoy outstanding career options and rewarding jobs in the field of research.
Degree Structure
On successfully receiving a master’s degree from an internationally acclaimed university, students can enroll themselves for a PhD degree program. The course enables students to undertake research in their area of interest and submit a thesis as coursework. While seeking supervision from a university professor, the students are guided towards gaining further knowledge and imparting the tactics of discovering new ways of accomplishing assigned tasks. Depending upon your individual timetable or the duration of your work contract, the program can last anywhere between three and five years. Germany offers three different ways of pursuing a doctoral degree - at a university, at a non-university research institute, and in the industry. At the university, the future doctoral student works part-time as a research associate while carrying out his doctoral research on-campus. By undertaking a doctoral program at a non-university research institute, the student is exposed to an excellent environment required for conducting the research. However, such institutes are not authorized to award doctorate degrees by themselves and hence, have to collaborate with universities, though can offer student scholarships and/or contracts of employment. Thirdly, Germany offers students to pursue their PhD while working in the industry. This is generally funded and supported by the employer who, at time, collaborates with the university and helps the student find the right person for supervision of his research.
Academic Calendar
Higher studies in Germany are divided by two semesters - summer and winter. The summer semester runs from April until September, while the winter semester begins in October and ends in March. Both the academic sessions declare some holidays which are utilized by the students for submitting research tests, research papers, and undertaking examinations.
Subjects for Doctoral Degree
Agriculture, Forestry, Domestic and Nutritional Sciences, Art, Music, Drama, Design, Engineering, Medicine, Health Sciences, Language, Media, Cultural Studies, Law, Economics, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Natural Sciences
Admissions Requirements
  • To pursue a doctoral program in Germany, it is compulsory to hold a master’s degree in a related field of study.
  • Have copies of your degrees and certificates, duly attested by the concerned authority in your university or college last attended.
  • You have to produce your TOEFL or IELTS scores as a proof of English language proficiency.
  • Since most universities require the doctoral students to write the thesis in German, it is necessary for all applicants to show good fluency in German language. For this, you should produce a German language certificate proving your proficiency.
  • After you have found your prospective supervisor, you may be asked to sketch an outline of your reach project in detail, in about 50 to 100 pages. This may or may not include an oral or written test, depending upon your supervisor.
  • Proof of medical/health insurance
  • A valid passport and student visa
  • Three passport-size photographs
Application Procedure
  • Search the internet to find universities offering doctoral programs in your field of study. Shortlist the potential universities and contact them for finding professors who are willing to assist you in your research.
  • Contact the concerned supervisor and inform him about your background, academic performance, and academic goals. Get a letter of acceptance from the supervisor.
  • Alternatively, you can directly contact the university to find details about the eligibility, program structure, fee, and application procedure for the program you wish to pursue.
  • Application forms and other relevant material can be downloaded form the university’s website or you can request the university to send you the application material.
  • Collect all your documents and certificates required by the university for providing admission.
  • Send the application packet to the university’s mailing address and get a confirmation of admission from the same.
  • Get a passport issued and apply for German visa as soon as possible, as the entire process can take up to two months.
  • Get your visa confirmed and book your ticket. Arrive in Germany at least a week before the commencement of the course and contact the international office of the university for assistance in seeking accommodation and residence permit.
  • It is essential to obtain a residence permit within the first three months of your stay in Germany. Hence, get it from the Foreigners’ Registration Office.
Tuition Fees in Euros
Pursuing a PhD degree in Germany costs about 50 to 250 Euros per semester for the services or benefits provided, depending upon the university. Every doctoral student usually earns a scholarship and hence, is exempted from tuition fees for the first six semesters.

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