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Hello all,

Since I could not take GRE exam, I've applied gradschools in Canada. But I have been thinking about some high ranking universities in Germany such as Humboldt and University of Mannheim . I'm interested in work and labor, economic sociology... Besides, I think that I would have limited opportunities to improve my sociological skills in those schools in Germany. You know European PhD programs have different patterns than those schools in USA and Canada. What do you think? Are there anyone could tell about experiences in those schools?

Ekinsu

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The main thing I know about European PhD programs is that you need to start the program with a clear and developed research plan (as there is minimal coursework, especially in comparison to PhD programs in the US). Also, according to what I've heard, you don't get a lot of teaching experience in European programs, since PhD students don't TA over there, which may be positive or negative depending on how you look at it (though if you want a job in the US, I think some grad school teaching experience is necessary, since most US academic jobs have fairly heavy teaching loads). The European PhD also takes less time to complete (3-4 years, as opposed to 6+ years in the US), since there is minimal coursework and no teaching requirements. Basically, to me it seems more research oriented and requires you to have a clear research plan, as well as previous experience in research (most European programs don't take people without a Masters degree or the equivalent). I think you also have to apply to work directly with a specific professor at the institution, as opposed to working with the entire department, but I may be wrong about that. 

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5 minutes ago, qualsoc2018 said:

The main thing I know about European PhD programs is that you need to start the program with a clear and developed research plan (as there is minimal coursework, especially in comparison to PhD programs in the US). Also, according to what I've heard, you don't get a lot of teaching experience in European programs, since PhD students don't TA over there, which may be positive or negative depending on how you look at it (though if you want a job in the US, I think some grad school teaching experience is necessary, since most US academic jobs have fairly heavy teaching loads). The European PhD also takes less time to complete (3-4 years, as opposed to 6+ years in the US), since there is minimal coursework and no teaching requirements. Basically, to me it seems more research oriented and requires you to have a clear research plan, as well as previous experience in research (most European programs don't take people without a Masters degree or the equivalent). I think you also have to apply to work directly with a specific professor at the institution, as opposed to working with the entire department, but I may be wrong about that. 

I know many PhD students in multiple EU countries and they definitely TA. Most of the TAs I had during my undergraduate were PhD students.

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  • 1 month later...

There is more than you need to look at besides ranking when choosing a program. As far as I can tell, the German sociological scene is not as dominated by empirical approaches to sociology as is the case in the U.S. There are however, a few universities in Germany which try to follow the U.S. model, and their graduates receive substantial training in methods and statistics. Until recently, these were basically limited to the University of Cologne and the University of Mannheim (I don't keep up with Germany much, though, so things may have changed).

Most other German universities have different views of what they consider good sociology. Until recently at least, German sociology was very much dominated by the follower camps of Ulrich Beck and Niklas Luhmann, so if you were not willing to become a follower of either you were pretty much out of luck.

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  • 9 months later...

Apart from the fact that Germany universities are very strong academically, they are also very cheap. Most of them range anywhere from $150-$350 per year! This little price includes their fees, printing costs, and even a transport card (subway, bus...). Granted you have to figure out you're apartment on your own, but I think about $300 for "university expenses" is certainly affordable.

Just something to consider.

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