PhD In Germany For Indian Students

Germany is a preferred destination for Indian students to do their PhD. About 10% of Germany's international student population comprises PhD students as the country has some of the best research and technical institutions in the world. Usually, state-funded universities in Germany do not have any tuition fees for PhD programmes, while at private universities, you need to pay tuition fees for the same. It usually takes 2-6 years to complete PhD programmes in Germany, and to attract international PhD scholars; the country offers several scholarships.

Benefits of Studying PhD In Germany

  • Germany provides world-class education facilities and is the 3rd best place in the world for education. Hence, after completing a PhD, it'll be easy for you to find employment in Germany and other countries.
  • Several non-university research organisations in Germany perform research-based services and provide research infrastructures to universities. It further enhances the experience of the PhD scholars.
  • Usually, the state-funded universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for PhD scholars. It significantly reduces the expenses as you have to spend only for your living during your PhD in Germany. However, private universities charge tuition fees up to €3,000/year.
  • Indian students are eligible to obtain scholarships in Germany. It can reduce your educational expenses further. 

TOP Specialisations to Study PhD In Germany

Popular specialisations in PhD among the international students in Germany are:

  • Management
  • Law
  • Computer Science
  • Finance
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Financial Maths
  • Life Science & Health

TOP Universities to Study PhD In Germany

Name of the University/College

City

Specialisation

QS World Ranking

Technical University of Munich

Munich

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Social Sciences
  • Life Science & Health Sciences

50

LMU Munich

Munich

  • Quantum Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Humanities & Cultural Studies
  • Natural Science & Medicines
  • Social & Economics Studies

64

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen

  • Mathematica, Computer Science, and Natural Science
  • Architecture
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Management
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Medicine

165

Humboldt University of Berlin

Berlin

  • Natural Sciences
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Social Sciences
  • Medical & Health Sciences
  • Humanities

128

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Karlsruhe

  • Material Science
  • Particle Physics
  • Climate and Environmental Science
  • Biology

136

University of Göttingen

Göttingen

  • Neuroscience
  • Economics
  • Computer Science
    Law
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

204

Heidelberg University

Heidelberg

  • Molecular Life Sciences
  • Patterns and Structure in Mathematics, Data, and the Material World
  • Behavioural and Cultural Studies

63

 University of Freiburg 

Freiburg im Breisgau

  • Neuroscience and Neuro Technology
  • Biological Signaling Research
  • Functional and Bio-inspired Materials
  • Medicine
  • Civil Security Research
  • Data Analysis and AI
  • Environmental and Sustainability

172

Free University of Berlin

Berlin

  • Natural Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Humanities & Social Sciences

127

University of Tübingen

 Tübingen

  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Neuroscience
  • Microbiology & Infection Research
  • Geo & Environmental Research
  • Language & Cognition
  • Historical Research
  • Education & Media

177

Cost of Studying PhD In Germany

State-funded universities do not charge any tuition fees to both domestic and international students. It makes your PhD in Germany a pocket-friendly one. Still, you must pay the administrative costs of your studies every semester, ranging between €200-300 per semester.

Though most universities offer tuition-free programmes, international students need to show proof of financial resources, in addition to the entry requirements set by universities. It ensures that you can finance yourself during your stay in Germany. For this, you need to open a particular bank account called a blocked account with a German bank.

From the 2022 winter semester, the requirement for a blocked account is €11,208/year. Even though the funds will be held in your name, you can't access the whole amount at once; instead, you will receive a monthly allowance into your regular bank account opened at a German bank of your choice. 

Cost of Living in Germany

Though the living cost varies from one person to another depending upon their lifestyle and the location, the average amount ranges between €800-1,000/month.

Expenses

Amount/Month (In Euro)

Rent & Utilities

332

Food & Drink

154

Clothing

48

Learning Materials

24

Commutation

116

Health Insurance & Medical Costs

96

Recreation

128

PhD In Germany: Eligibility Criteria

In Germany, different universities have different criteria for admission, as every university is autonomous. Hence, thorough checking of the eligibilities of the programme you are interested in is a must. Check the official website of the university for this.

A master's degree from a recognised Indian university will be treated at par with a German Master's degree. In certain universities, international students may be required to appear for an assessment to prove their eligibility. Several may ask you for TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate your English language proficiency. Further, in a few of them, you may be required to show your German language skill as well—the certificates of TestDaF or DSH will be enough for this. As a PhD scholar, knowing the German language will be a great advantage as it'll aid you in interacting with the locals and exploring the nation's countryside.

Exams Required to Study PhD In Germany

Test

Minimum Score Required

TOEFL iBT

79

IELTS

6.5

DSH

Level II

TestDaF

B2 or C1

Scholarship for PhD in Germany for Indian Students

Scholarship Name

Description

Eligibility

Amount (In Euro)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Applicants with good academic track record and an excellent English language proficiency will be considered.

Relevant work experience of 2 years, a minimum aggregate of 85% in the prior degree, scorecard of IELTS (band 6) or TOEFL (minimum score 550 paper-based and 80 for internet based). If German is compulsory in your university, then you need to produce a DSH 2 or TestDaF 4 certificate. 

1,200

German Research Foundation

To aid scientists and academics to carry out their research projects for a limited time period.

Qualified researchers from all disciplines working at German research institutions are eligible for this scholarship.

1,350

Green Talents

The award is intended to honour young researchers from countries conducting sustainable development research.

This grant is available only to international students. Your master’s should not be completed before two years, and the focus area of your research should be sustainable development. Above this, you need an excellent academic track record and good English proficiency.

Varies

Georg Forster Research Fellowship

Available for scientists and scholars from developing and transition countries for 6-24 months.

Regardless of your field, your research should address the further development of your region of origin.

3,170

Humboldt Research Fellowship 

Available to researchers of all countries other than Germany.

For your application to be successful, you have arrived in Germany, and you may not have lived in Germany for longer than a total of six months within the 18-month period prior to submitting your application. Further, you must have a good knowledge of German or English. 

3,170

How to Apply for a PhD In Germany?

Before applying to any German university, you should know a few things about Germany's different types of institutions. Most higher education institutes in Germany fall under either Technical Universities (TUs)/Universities or the University of Applied Sciences. Only TUs and Universities are allowed to award PhD degrees. If you do your PhD at a research organisation or University of Applied Sciences, then it will always be through a partner University/TU that you will get your degree. Hence, before finalising your university, don't forget to check which type of institution it is.

You can either do a structured doctoral program or an individual doctorate course in Germany. For a personal doctorate course, you should contact and convince a supervisor. During the communication with the potential supervisor, share all information about your academic background, performance, and career goal. After that, wait for approval from their side.

On the other hand, for a structured doctoral programme, first of all, decide on which domain you want to carry out your research on and shortlist the universities. Check the selection process of the shortlisted universities as different universities have different selection procedures. 

You may need to submit the following details along with your application:

  • A detailed CV
  • A thesis proposal to the admissions committee
  • SOP
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript of previous mark sheets
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Relevant job experience

If the university accepts your application, they will conduct your interview with the admission committee members. If selected in the consultation, you will get a confirmation letter of admission from the university, and now you can apply for a student visa to Germany. Apply for a visa immediately after you get the confirmation of entry, as the process may take at least 25 days. The German Embassy and the Consulates require proof of funding for the first year of studies along with other documents. 

Career After PhD In Germany

An academic career in German universities is a popular option after a PhD. However, these temporary positions can only help if your long-term aim is a professorship. Hence, you should look beyond the university setting if you have a different career aim.

Germany invests a lot in research and development; therefore, several well-equipped research institutes offer excellent options for PhD and postdoc scholars from all fields and backgrounds. You can join as a junior researcher or research group leader in these German research foundations, and starting salaries will be €3,500/month. These positions are also temporary; usually, the contract will be for 2-3 years with a possibility of extension. And the extension period depends upon the funding available from external funding organisations for research.

Apart from this, Germany is a leader in Engineering, Manufacturing and Chemical & Pharma Sectors. Several large companies operating in these sectors offer many research opportunities. Unlike academic research positions, these are permanent contracts. They offer a wide range of activities, such as utilising your expertise to apply innovative solutions and leading a team of researchers.

Other areas that attract PhD graduates are:

  • Government/public sector (such as policy advisors/intelligence analysts)
  • Legal professions (Only for law experts)
  • Finance and banking
  • Charities and NGOs

Job

Average Annual Salary (In Euro) 

Economist

49,400

Engineers

53,800

Natural Scientist

51,500

Computer Scientist

56,900

Humanities Scientist

40,300

Postdoctoral Researcher

61,200

Junior Research Executive

42,000

Research Associate

61,000

 

Still unclear about anything? Well, not to worry. Contact AECC Global and get your queries answered today!

 FAQ

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