Some 25,000 academics receive doctoral degrees in Germany every year – far more
than in any other European country. And each year, more and more young international
researchers are choosing to write their dissertations or join a doctoral research
team in Germany. In fact, the number of foreign doctoral candidates in Germany has
more than doubled since 1997.
There’s more than one way to get your doctoral title in Germany. Depending on the
subject, research proposal, and type of university, there are several possible paths
to a Ph.D., the most common of which are individual doctoral studies and structured
Ph.D. programs. The majority of doctoral candidates in Germany pursue Ph.Ds through
individual doctoral study, yet structured Ph.D. programs are becoming increasingly
Source: Research in Germany
Why Pursue a Doctorate in Germany?
Germany is one of the leading research nations in the world. Its science and research sector is renowned for its outstanding infrastructure, a widely diverse spectrum of research areas and well-equipped facilities and institutes. In addition, many organizations offer numerous grants and scholarships to foreign doctoral candidates.
The majority of doctoral candidates in Germany choose to pursue their doctorates through individual doctoral study. In this model, candidates must find a university professor who will supervise their work on their dissertation. Depending on the subject, the dissertation can be written independently or in collaboration with other researchers. Doctoral candidates are free to choose where they would like to conduct research – either at a university, non-university research organization, or in industry. The duration of an individual doctorate depends on one’s personal schedule – or the length of one’s research contract. The duration of individual doctoral study usually ranges from three to five years.
Structured Ph.D. Programs
In addition to individual doctoral study, candidates can also attain their doctorates in structured Ph.D. programs which strongly resemble those in Anglo-Saxon countries. In such a program, a team of supervisors is responsible for advising the doctoral candidates. The programs offer a curriculum of accompanying courses which are usually interdisciplinary in focus and promote the acquisition of “soft skills” and additional qualifications. The systematic and intensive supervision offered in these programs allow candidates to complete their doctoral studies within three to four years.
Ph.D. Germany – DAAD Platform for Doctoral Positions
Would you like to do a Ph.D. in Germany? German higher education and research institutions are constantly on the lookout for qualified international doctoral candidates. In the DAAD database, you will find Ph.D. positions specifically for foreign applicants.
International Doctoral Programs In 2015
Are you interested in international doctoral programs in Germany? This database by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) presents a selection of international doctoral programs that are especially interested in attracting international doctoral students.
Requirements & Preparation
Before you can begin your doctoral studies in Germany, there are some preliminary steps you must take, for instance, getting your post-graduate degree recognized and applying for a residence permit. The following is an overview of the most important requirements and some practical advice to prepare for your doctoral visit.
There are numerous funding opportunities for foreign doctoral candidates in Germany. The DAAD is Germany’s largest scholarship provider – especially to doctoral candidates from abroad. More information on funding opportunities for doctoral candidates:
Financing Your Ph.D.
In addition to scholarships and funding programs, there are many other ways to finance a Ph.D. in Germany. Click here to find out more about employment opportunities at universities, in industry, and at non-university research organizations.