Study Phd / MD in Germany


Nowadays there are great opportunities for doing PhD at German universities, which are considered the most prestigious in Europe. It is Germany where the highest number of PhD thesis were written in 2013 among European countries. The influx of international students to this country persists at an increasing rate.

There are more than one way for admission into doctorate in Germany and it depends on dissertation topic, research project, type of research institution or university and institutional responsibilities. As a matter of principle, the doctorates in Germany can be categorized under two groups as traditional/ individual and structured PhD programs. The latter is getting popular and similar to the system in English speaking countries. Currently, there exist more than 500 PhD programs in Germany.

Why doctorate in Germany?

The most prestigious universities in Europe: there are universities with all necessary facilities for writing your PhD thesis in almost all areas. Especially last few years German universities are placed at top 100 in university rankings alongside with American and British ones. Students writing their thesis enjoy significant advantages and opportunities by being a member of research projects which are estimated at around €100 million.

Perfect infrastructure for research: Germany, a country of longstanding culture and science offers outstanding work and research facilities to international students. Nearly 8400 public, 240 academic libraries serve doctoral students. Research projects which are carried out by doctoral students are in fact offered by different companies and institutions to research centers, on which the doctoral students are enrolled. Thus, the doctoral students act as a researcher within different projects rather than writing old, useless and unnecessary PhD dissertations. Those companies and institutions are mostly based in Germany.

Scholarship and allowance opportunities: During your doctoral studies you can get scholarships and allowances from the German government, your home country (many countries are offering various scholarships through governmental scholarship programs), numerous foundations and companies. For example, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) granted 2580 full and 2000 partial scholarships in 2008.

International PhD system is already available in Germany and therefore you can write your dissertation in English in almost all areas.

Welfare – Germany is well known as a “Land of Ideas”. It is not only effect of the famous ‘Made in Germany’ cliché which embodies German quality, but also due to the fact that Germany is a country of writers and philosophers as well. Every year Germany attracts 20 million tourists thanks to its great culture.

Types of PhD

Traditional/individual – It is a traditional doctorate path. Though transition into international structured doctorates is underway last few years, this type of doctorate remains the most common in Germany. The teaching takes place predominantly in German, and the thesis is produced individually under the supervision of a professor. There is also an opportunity to collaborate with other doctoral students upon request. Nevertheless, the doctoral tasks are largely performed individually. The length of the doctorate depends on you and may last from three to five years.

Structured PhD – Education is available in both English and German. Structured PhD is similar to the international system. Doctoral candidates work on the same project and are advised by their supervisor. Projects usually last 2-3 years.

Who can do PhD?

The main condition for admission into PhD is Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In some exceptional cases talented applicants can be enrolled with an undergraduate degree.

PhD exams

The key requirement of taking PhD exam is a solid thesis, which must be written in accordance with specified rules. Thesis writing takes at least a year. PhD students who attends classes in German may also write their thesis in English or in another languages (for instance, Russian). It must be agreed with the professor as he should be familiar with the language. Upon completion of dissertation candidates sit oral exam. There are several types of oral exams which varies depending on university and department. Finally, the doctoral degree is awarded to the students who pass oral exam, merely upon publication and acceptance of the thesis by academia. The thesis may be published both as a book and scholarly article in academic journals. There are some researchers who were exempted from further exams and awarded the title of Doctor after publishing an article on prestigious Nature journal.

PhD scholarships

The biggest advantage of Germany is the availability of great scholarship opportunities. In most cases around €1000-1500 stipend or allowance is allocated to doctoral candidates. Some PhDs are unpaid. In this case, application for DAAD scholarship is possible. Those who have obtained excellent grades in Bachelors and Masters can get stipend without any problem.

PIGAS – “Program on International German Application Service” provides the application service for the applicants, who wants to study in German educational institutions and work there. You can check out Why you should work with us and How system works for detailed informations about our Services.

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