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PhD in Germany

The third most popular destination for studying abroad, Germany is well liked among international students, with 12% of the student body being from abroad. There are quite a few advantages to studying in Germany and why German university degrees are highly respected worldwide.
• Top quality education.
• Outstanding academic programmes geared towards practice.
• Potential unlocked in the best possible way.
• A safe country.
• Culturally diverse.
Global Prestige: Germany boasts 400 higher educational institutions and 1000 public and publicly funded institutions of research, development and science. Of these, 140 award doctoral degrees with an annual enrolment of 240,000 students. There over 500 networks for research and the country encourages a strong focus on international education, as 38,000 international faculty members teach at higher educational institutes in Germany.
Wide variety of research disciplines: Germany has a wide variety of research disciplines on offer:
• Automotive and Traffic Technology
• Aviation Technologies
• Biotechnology
• Energy Technologies
• Environmental Technology
• Health Research
• Humanities
• Information and Communication Technologies
• Maritime Technologies
• Materials Technology
• Medical Technologies
• Natural Sciences
• Nanotechnology
• Optical Technologies
• Photonics
• Plants
• Production Technologies
• Security Research
• Services
• Social Sciences
• Space Technology
Teaching and research are linked in German universities, which concentrate on basic and applied research, policy, consulting, and knowledge-transfer.
German universities do not charge tuition fees, as higher education generally comes free of charge. Students only pay semester fees, which never exceed €250 per semester, including administrative costs and other social and cultural costs.
Opportunities for comprehensive funding:
Although there are no tuition fees, students must pay an insurance amount of € 8000 to access a visa. Additionally, there are monthly expenditures of € 812 for living, travelling, food and other costs. To manage these costs, students have quite a few funding opportunities, including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).
There is no standardized duration for a PhD in Germany. A student generally takes 2 to 6 years to complete his/her doctoral degree, depending on the domain they are working in. The duration of a PhD in exact science is somewhere between 4 to 5 years, with arts and humanities degrees taking between 4 to 6 years.
Networking: Students must ensure they have properly networked with a German professor (supervisor, mentor) who has accepted to supervise the student’s research and thesis work. The first step is to send out networking letters to professors whose areas of expertise match your interests, and then wait for their reply.
Resume: A one or two page resume outlining the student’s educational background and work history is required. It should not be very detailed and should highlight institution names, dates, titles awarded, past educational experiences and work experiences supported by certificates of proof and other related documents.
Doctoral Thesis Proposal: The University requires a thesis outline that explains the student’s overall research work to date. Some important points that must be covered include:
• Purpose of research and study
• Scope of research questions
• Proposed methodologies
• Reason for choosing the topic
• Clarification of the study’s impact
• Timeline of completion for the entire dissertation paper
Language Proficiency:
Knowledge of the German language is preferred but not mandatory for pursuing doctoral studies in Germany. The curriculum is structured in such a way that candidates can finish their dissertation in English; however, certain universities require German language proficiency as well.
German Language Proficiency: If the university asks for proficiency in the German language, the student is required to successfully pass one of the following tests with proper certification:
• German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II (DSD)
• German Language University Entrance Examination for International Applicants (DSH)
• Goethe Institute German Language Diploma (GDS)
• Test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF)
English Language Proficiency: If the dissertation can be pursued in English, then the student must prove their English language proficiency. The students have to pass and hold certificates for one of the following tests:
• The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Some doctoral applicants may have to pass tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with specific scores based on university requirements.

This document is a personal statement, which states the student’s main accomplishments and future goals, his/her career plans, motives, reasons for choosing the specific programme of study, and how further studies can be related to their past education. The letter’s word limit is somewhere between 500-700 words.
The student needs to submit two to three letters of recommendation based on university requirements, with letters coming from subject teachers, principals from educational institutions, or workplace supervisors (if the student has work experience).
If the doctoral applicant is planning to work in Germany post-graduation, he/she should begin looking for a job during their final semester. Graduates are generally given 18 months to search for employment. Students are allowed to work up to 120 days, part time, during the course. Students can legally work for 120 whole days or 240 half days while on the student visa. However, should a student accept a job as a student or research assistant, this 120 day limit can be exceeded. The average earning power of a student ranges from € 5 to € 15 an hour or € 450 a month. Wages are higher in bigger cities but the cost of living is also higher.

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