How To Finance Your PhD

How much does it cost to get a doctorate in Germany?

Tuition is free for doctoral studies for at least the first 6 semesters at all public universities in Germany. The German Studentenwerk (German Student’s Union) says an average student in Germany needs around 800 euros per month to cover living expenses such as rent, food, clothing, transport, work supplies, recreation etc. Students enrolled at university also have to pay a “semester contribution” every semester. This fee covers the cost of the important student ID card. The student ID card serves as a semester ticket for cheap or free use of public transport, and allows you reduced rates at the student cafeteria and many other places such as swimming pools, museums, cinemas, etc..

Scholarships and funding programmes

Research is a serious business in Germany with funding programmes available from several sources. The DAAD alone, Germany’s largest provider of scholarships, provided funding for more than 51,600 foreign scholars around the world. In addition, many other public and private bodies provide financial support to doctoral students. Important donors include Germany’s federal and state governments, the European Union and a large number of charitable foundations that have set themselves the goal of supporting research and junior researchers.

For more information on funding opportunities for doctoral candidates go to:

  • DAAD scholarship database:
  • Other funding databases:
  • Selected funding programmes for PhD Students:

Job offers for doctoral students and roles for scientists

In addition to scholarships and funding programmes, there are employment opportunities at universities and research organisations. Furthermore, you may want to consider the private sector with many German companies having generous research budgets.

Find out more about employment opportunities at: