How much does a PhD cost?

What does it cost to study for a doctorate in Germany? The good news is that doctoral studies at German universities are in principle free. Both individual PhD positions as well as structured PhD programmes. PhD students are charged tuition only after completing their first six semesters. Every enrolled PhD student is required to pay a semester contribution of approximately 150 to 200 euros per semester.

Costs of Living

Several students with books in a park.

Naturally you will need to meet your living costs. Currently, anyone applying for a visa to study in Germany must be able to prove they have access to a minimum of roughly 8,000 euros a year. As a rule, this sum is not sufficient to cover all the costs. On average, according to a survey by Deutsches Studentenwerk, a student in Germany spends 812 euros a month on rent, food, clothing, travelling, work materials, leisure activities, etc. Once you have enrolled at university, your expenditure list will also include the semester fees that have to be paid when you re-register every six months. The student card you then receive allows you to pay lower fares on the bus, eat cheaply at the refectory and often pay reduced admission fees.

The German doctorate − A guide for doctoral candidates (2015, 40 pages)

This booklet for (prospective) international doctoral students presents the different options for doing a doctorate in Germany. It explains the formal requirements and gives some practical advice on finding the right supervisor or doctoral programme. It also outlines different sponsorship and funding options. Download (PDF, 9.4 MB)