PhD in Germany for Indian Students

Getting a PhD in Germany for Indian students can seem complicated, but it really isn’t.

According to the latest enrollment data, German universities are home to around 380,000 international students with PhD candidates sharing around 10% of that number. Indian students, as the second largest group of international students in Germany, account for a significant portion of that PhD student population.

What makes Germany such an attractive study destination for Indian PhD students?

Germany is the second most popular study destinations in the world and their universities enjoy a firm and undeniable global reputation. They’re valued for top class education standards, leading academic staff, state of the art facilities, modern educational approaches, a great emphasis on the practice, a wide variety of courses and excellent job prospects.

All these features make Germany a perfect choice for Indian students, especially for PhD students who need a well-suited environment to get a fulfilling experience both professionally and personally.

If you’re an Indian student who wants to get your PhD degree in Germany all we have to do is to greet your decision and help you go get through the application process.

In order to help you with that, given below is a complete set of information about PhD in Germany for Indian students.


PhD degrees in Germany are open to all international students. Thus, your eligibility depends entirely on your previous academic background. German universities are global leaders and they only admit the best students. To achieve that your qualifications must meet the optimum standards as required. If your academic qualifications are recognized in Germany then you’re eligible to apply for a PhD.

Find a PhD degree

Finding a PhD degree in Germany is a bit more difficult than finding an undergraduate or a master’s degree. That’s mainly because PhD degrees in Germany are not only offered by universities but also from licensed companies engaged in the industrial sector.

Lucky for you, navigating this information is easy with the right management. Here is a completed and updated database of PhD degrees for you.

Important Information

In order for you to choose the right choice, it is important you know there are two types of  PhD degrees in Germany

Individual PhD Degrees

On an individual PhD degree course, you will carry out a research project under the professional provision of a personal tutor (Doktorvater/Doktomutter). Although your mentor will be informed about your progress at any time, this study program allows you to work a lot by yourself on your dissertation thesis. Note that individual PhD degrees in Germany can be offered by accredited universities and licensed companies engaged in the industrial sector.

To find such degree, you have to do a little research to see if there are universities in Germany offering PhD degrees in your field of interest. In addition to that, Universities can be used as a primary source of information to find available PhD degrees offered by industrial companies.

Structured PhD Degrees

Structured PhD degrees contain a small group of PhD students who are involved in a joint PhD project with a specific top. The team is supervised by a group of experts in that particular subject whose job is to mentor, advise and assess the progress PhD students have made at each stage. These PhD programs in Germany are instructed in English and last three to five years of full-time studies.


PhD entry requirements for Indian students in Germany change variously due to several factors, including here your previous education, your nationality, the university and the course of your choice.

Indian students must submit the following documents to apply for a PhD degree in Germany:

  • Master Degree recognized in Germany
  • Proof of Language Proficiency
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Relevant Job Experience

Note that your qualifications attained in India must initially be accepted at the university or the institution you want to enroll. If it is assessed that your master degree does not qualify you for PhD studies in Germany, there is still a chance you will be admitted upon undertaking a fast-track preparatory course to teach you the skills and knowledge required in your regular PhD course.

Also, note that sometimes universities in Germany may admit international undergraduate students who are able to show top quality in a related field.

As per the Proof of Language, most PhD degree courses in Germany are taught in English. That said, you need to undertake an English proficiency test, commonly TOEFL or IELTS. Since the language used at this academic level is advanced you must aim to score high otherwise the PhD provider in Germany may reject your application.

How to apply

After you have found your PhD degree course and complete all documents as required is time to submit your application. Keep in mind that the details of the application procedure may be typical of the university you’re willing to apply, therefore for e detailed explanation of the application process you must contact your PhD provider.

Usually, after you have found an available professional tutor for your individual doctorate degree, there is a committee in charge of deciding if your academic profile matches exactly the vacant place in their PhD programs.

In this case, the committee will need the following documents to assess if you’re the right candidate

  • Certified copies of your qualifications
  • A statement from your personal mentor
  • Academic references
  • Proof of Language Proficiency

Note that the application for PhD studies in Germany can be carried online by scanning your documents into PDF or JPG format. Also, keep in mind that the committee may also be interested in doing an interview with you through Skype. Basically, the interview will contain questions around your master studies and its relation to the PhD course you want to attend.

Cost of Getting a PhD in Germany for Indian Students

The cost of getting a PhD in Germany for Indian students includes both tuition fees and living costs.

Although tuition fees are introduced in some German states as of 2017, this change does not affect Indian PhD students. That said, all international students seeking a PhD degree in Germany carry no tuition fees at least for the standard length of a PhD course which is typically three years of full-time studies. Note that if it takes more than three years to complete your PhD studies certain fees may be applied.

While you won’t have to pay for university tuition fees there are still living costs you need to cover. But don’t worry because with the right management Germany turn to an easy, affordable place to live and study. If you want to read more about living costs for international students in Germany

German Student Visa

Every Indian student in Germany is obliged to have a student visa in order to legally stay in Germany for the period of their studies.

As soon as your PhD provider in Germany approves your admission you must go to the local German embassy and initiate a process for student visa application.

Below is given a list of documents you need to submit for your German Student Visa:

  • Duly completed student visa application form,
  • Valid passport (recommended with validity up to the period of studies or more),
  • Recent Photos,
  • Proof of mentors acceptance to supervise your doctoral thesis work– as a proof for your right of entry doctoral studies in Germany,
  • Proof of health insurance,
  • Proof of sufficient financial coverage for the given period of doctoral studies – typically a blocked German bank account,
  • Certificates of education (all formal and informal education),
  • Proof of sufficient German and/or English language skills (depending on the language of the doctoral program).

To Increase Your Chances of Getting Your Student Visa for PhD You Should Use a Blocked Account as Proof of Financial Resources.

It is important you apply for your German student visa well in time to avoid any possible delay in your enrollment. Fortunately, master and PhD candidates in India who want to get a German student visa can appear at the local embassy without making an appointment beforehand, thus helping you to save a lot of time.

Join 262,114 other students interested in studying in Germany

Get regular emails sent to your inbox with helpful articles about studying in Germany, latest news and many scholarship and study abroad opportunities and offers...

Join Now