Germany || Doctorate Degree Requirements

A dissertation is an extensive research thesis. The whole process of dissertation takes around 4.5 years on average in Germany.

Which degrees count?

Generally, the following applies. You need a very good academic degree in the subject area in which you would like to do your doctorate. There are no standardised regulations in Germany on which academic degrees are recognised for taking up a doctorate. The final decision on whether you are admitted to the doctoral studies always lies with the research institution to which you applied.

As a rule, you will be required to have spent at least eight semesters (four years) studying at a research university and must hold a degree that is equivalent in level to a Master's degree.

Only exception: Applicants who graduated from their Bachelor's programme with particularly good qualifications may be able to follow this up directly with a doctorate by entering one of the so-called "Fast Track Programmes" offered by some universities.

What language skills are required?
You can also be accepted for a doctorate in Germany with a good knowledge of English.

The research institution of your choice will decide on exactly which language proficiency certificates you have to present.

Many departments also accept dissertations written in English. Indeed, even the final oral examination, the Disputation (viva voce), can be held in English. In international doctoral programmes, English is generally the working language and the language of instruction.

You can also manage a good part of your everyday life in Germany without having to be proficient in the German language. However, a good knowledge of German will help you settle in and get to know the town and people quickly.

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