Master and PhD studies in Germany: Types and Requirements

In order to indulge in a Master or PhD studies in Germany, you have to prepare pathway courses that will increase your chances of getting accepted in a university and will help you do better at your dream study.

It is not difficult to know why Germany is so popular as a study destination. It has a wide reputation as a global leader for innovation and technology research and has a strong economy as well as famous traditions in areas such as engineering and manufacturing. All this makes the student aspiring for a master’s and Ph.D. study in Germany.

As a matter of fact, the master and PhD studies in Germany is a rather high academic title. It is pursued by so many international students nowadays.

Choosing the ideal university for master’s studies

As a matter of fact, it may seem difficult to choose the ideal university for a master’s degree especially when there are many opportunities, as in Germany.

The decision will be according to the subject you are really passionate about. Moreover, the most important thing is to distinguish whether your focus is academic. In this case, you have to recommend a research or technical university.

On the other hand,  if you are interested in acquiring new professional experience, or new vocational skills, you will most likely have to choose an applied science university.

As for art college students, cinema and music, they will benefit greatly from German artistic heritage when applying for a postgraduate course in Germany.

Types of master’s programs and course structure

Higher education in Germany follows a common European formula developed as part of the Bologna Process.

This means that German master’s degrees are “second cycle” qualifications. Usually, they follow a bachelor’s degree (first cycle) and can prepare a student for a PhD degree (third course).

Moreover, most master’s degreesare taught in Germany in the form of courses. Firstly, it completes a series ofacademic units or other course components, then is followed by an independentthesis or project.

Duration of the master’s degree in Germany

Depending on the classroom that the student attends disciplinarily, coursework for the master’s degree may vary from: one year, one and a half year reaching to two years.

While one academic year consists of two semesters. Furthermore, the master’s degree will also include your final project, known as the “thesis” that you must work on with a mentor.

Postgraduate research which is completelyindependent in Germany carried out only at PhD level.

Types of PhDs in Germany

Individual PhD

It is the traditional and most popular choice. Basically, in this type of PhD you prepare a thesis or dissertation under the supervision of a professor.

However, you will mostly work independently. Likewise, the length of this PhD varies. Generally, it may last from three to five years.

This option provides a great deal of flexibility, but it also requires a great deal of personal initiative and responsibility.

In order to obtain your PhD, you will not only do research at a university, you can also complete a project at a non-university research institution or in a company.

Structured PhD programs

You can also choose what is known as an organized PhD program. Basically, this program involves a group of PhD students who are directed by a group of supervisors.

About 600 programs of this kind are available in Germany. Indeed, these programs differ from individual PhD programs as students ’proposals must correspond to existing PhD programs.

On the other hand, individual PhDs can have greater freedom to suit an individual research project.

You will also need to attend lectures and seminars, usually, you will have a mentor.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements differ between universities and doctoral programs, but in general, you will need to have a good academic degree equivalent to a German master’s degree.

Alternatively, well-qualified international applicants with a bachelor’s degree can be accepted as PhD students through the Fast Track Program. This program will include taking the acceptance exam and possibly attending an interview.

You will need to demonstrate your English proficiency with a language test such as IELTS or TOEFL.

As an illustration, if you wish to apply for a PhD in German, you may need to prove your proficiency in the language through a test such as DSH or TestDaF.

PhD application in Germany

There is no central admission process or selection office for PhD students in Germany.

Moreover, the application process varies depending on whether you have chosen a traditional (individual) or structural PhD degree, where you will simply need to apply directly to the university of your choice.

As a matter of fact, if you applied for a PhD, you will first need to find a suitable professor who wants to be your supervisor. You can find a supervisor through the contacts from your previous university, or by searching for institutes and research centers, or teams related to your field of interest.

At last, in order to finance your master and PhD studies, you have to be eligible or you have to apply for a program-related scholarship.

If the German languge is an issue for you, it’s possible to have Master studies in English in Germany as well.

Learn also the best Universities in Germany

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