Study in Germany

study-in-germanyStudy In Germany

How to obtain a PhD

In Germany, there are two ways to do your PhD:

  • The “traditional and individual doctoral route”
  • The “structured doctoral programmes”.

Currently, around 90 per cent of doctoral candidates are following the traditional route to gain their doctoral degree.

  1. Individual Doctorate

The “traditional” or “individual” path to a PhD/doctorate remains the most common in Germany. An individual doctorate involves the thesis or dissertation being produced under the supervision of a professor.

How long a traditional individual doctorate takes depends on your own time schedule – or on the duration of your work contract. Three to five years are normal. Doctoral candidates can choose where they would like to conduct their research:

  • a university
  • a non-university research organization or
  • in a German company

2. Structured PhD Programmes

Structured doctoral programmes differ from traditional doctoral studies. In Germany, structured doctoral programmes are very similar to the PhD programmes in English-speaking countries, in which a team of supervisors look after a group of doctoral students.

The duration of your studies is generally limited to 3 years, and there is usually a fixed curriculum within which you work toward your doctorate and write your dissertation.

Financing and Funding your PhD

Doctoral students in Germany usually work on a research project (paid PhD position) or receive a scholarship. Germany welcomes international graduates and many funding organizations support international PhD students. In 2012 alone, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supported over 4,700 international doctoral students in Germany with scholarships.

Today more than 32,000 are being supported with scholarships.


Applicants have to hold an M.Sc / Diploma in Biology / Biomedicine / Biochemistry/ Bioinformatics or related subject (to be obtained latest 6 months after the application deadline).

Germany welcomes applications from excellent and highly motivated students of all nationalities with a passion for science. They expect:

  • outstanding academic record(GPA >80%, first or upper second class degree, top 10% of students in a given year)
  • practical lab experience of at least 4-6 months
  • excellent English language skills


Application Procedure:

Collect your Documents

Fill application form online

Upload you documents

Submit your application

WORK RIGHTS 120 full or 240 half days in a year.
STAY BACK OPTION Students are allowed to stay for 18 months after completion of the study program.
INTAKES March / September