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Germany PhD


Cioaba
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Does anyone have insight on PhD programs in Germany? Are they typically 3 years like UK programs or longer like American ones? Are there any programs that are primarily in English? 

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So there are two primary classifications of PhD programs in Germany: individual and structured. An individual PhD permits the student quite a bit of freedom in placement (university, think tank, research organization) but is generally preferred for those doing science research and generally requires fluent German. A Structured PhD though is one that involves coursework, takes place at a university, and has a supervisory panel of (usually) three faculty, one of which is your primary. Structured PhDs are often willing to permit the dissertation to be written in English but generally have expectations regarding fluency in German. Naturally, your professors and students will be using it primarily so you need some conversational ability.

German PhDs, like UK ones, are 3-years in length (full time) and you're expected to have a dissertation project ready to go before ever being admitted. 4-year programs in the UK and Germany are slowly starting to increase in number but more so on lower tier programs.

You can find a database of structured and individual programs through www.daad.de - I don't know how exhaustive it is though. I don't know of any religious studies or theology programs in English at German schools but there are some American Studies, English Literature, and other programs.

 

Edited by xypathos
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By the way, I know you didn't mention this specifically, but I wanted to bring it up, in case it would influence your decision. If you're not a citizen of an EU member or a nation whose citizens may live in Germany without a visa, you'll also want to check the financial requirements for the student visa.

I considered studying in Germany for an MA (in philosophy) but found it wouldn't be possible for me due to the financial requirements. I believe one has to have around 8,800 euros in savings per-year of one's studies, along with purchasing German health insurance. I believe one has to prove this amount of savings each year to renew the visa, so one doesn't need it all at once. But, mind you, a student visa only allows a set number of hours of work each year. (Around 100 hours sticks out to me, but I could be wrong.) So, if one has an idea about getting a part-time job to make enough for the next year, it's most likely not going to help a great deal.

On the language piece, I think you'll have to pass the DSH exam to show proficiency in German in order to matriculate at the university. (It was required for undergraduates when I studied there, even for those of us who studied for only a semester, and I think it applies for MA and PhD students as well who aren't studying in English-language programs.)

Edited by franz
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10 hours ago, Cioaba said:

Does anyone have insight on PhD programs in Germany? Are they typically 3 years like UK programs or longer like American ones? Are there any programs that are primarily in English? 

Since I am German and currently doing my PhD in Germany (Islamic Studies at Tübingen University), I can shed some light on our programs. However, I have no clue what the requirements for foreigners are and how the Visa process or anything like that works. Also, I am transferring to the US this summer. Yayyy for me! 

Send me a PM, if you're interested in my insight!

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