Do I get a doctoral scholarship abroad?

Doctorate abroad

My name is Meier - Dr. Meier. Despite plagiarism scandals and scandals: A doctorate is something special. In some areas, such as science and research, a doctorate is almost a “must” to advance a career. A doctorate abroad in particular increases your chances of promotion and income.

The Doctorate is the highest academic degreewhich is awarded by universities. A completed doctorate is also a prerequisite for the habilitation. This is not an academic degree. Instead, the qualification to teach is granted to scientists with the habilitation. On the way to becoming a professor, the habilitation is a decisive, if not mandatory, step.

The path to a doctorate abroad

© Matej Kastelic /

To a classic doctoral degree abroad such as the Ph.D. includes writing a dissertation and a subsequent disputation.

The doctorate starts in most European countries very good to goodMaster’s degree and lasts between two and five years. In Germany, the average is four to five years. An exception is a doctorate abroad in the field of medicine. This often begins during the clinical phase of the study and lasts for one to two years.

The A doctorate abroad includes a doctoral thesis, also called a dissertation, and a oral exam. As part of the dissertation, the doctoral student must independently develop and present new scientific findings. Ideally, his work will make a significant contribution to research in his field. There are two variants of the oral exam:

The doctoral candidate only receives his title once his or her thesis has been published. He usually bears the costs himself.

Individual doctoral studies or doctoral studies abroad?

The individual doctorate

For individual doctorates, doctoral students look for a doctoral supervisor to supervise their work. You work independently on your dissertation, have more freedom in choosing a topic and are more flexible in terms of time. Many doctoral students are employed as assistants at the institute of their professor. There they support his scientific work and sometimes teach students themselves.

The doctoral program

Doctoral candidates become PhD students in a doctoral program abroad supervised by several scientists. The duration and structure of the doctorate are more strictly specified. Often doctoral students write on their doctoral thesis and take additional courses. The assessment is based on the ECTS standard. Since the course is more structured, students receive their doctorate after three to four years. As a rule, the doctorate takes place within the framework of an internationally oriented research training group or a graduate school.

Doctoral studies in English-speaking countries

Doing a doctorate abroad has some differences compared to doing a doctorate in Germany.

Ph.D. as an international counterpart to the doctorate

There are various doctoral degrees in Germany. These include the Dr. jur. for lawyers, the Dr. phil for humanities scholars and the Dr. rer. nat. for scientists. In Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, on the other hand, the scientific doctorate is the Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D. for short

To avoid confusion, the Ph.D. often supplemented by the specialist title, e.g. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics, abbreviated as Ph.D. in economics. As a rule, the Ph.D. the right to teach at a university.

Doctorate without a doctoral degree - the professional doctorate

The PhD degrees must be awarded by the Professional doctorates can be distinguished. These so-called professional doctorates are common in the USA or the Czech Republic, for example. In the USA, for example, the title Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) awarded. If you are studying law at the law school, it is the so-called Juris Doctor (J.D.). These degrees are not compatible with the German or the Ph.D. to compare as the Doctoral degree without prior doctoral studies and doctoral procedures is awarded. Instead, it is the usual professional qualification in these subjects.

Country-specific features

Apart from the common Ph.D. title, the doctoral programs in English-speaking countries differ from country to country:

  • In UK, Canada and USA The path to a doctorate is also open to graduates with a Bachelor of Honors degree. Students then also acquire their master’s degree as part of their doctorate. As a result, they not only write their doctoral thesis abroad, but also have to attend many compulsory courses. Besides, the Doctorate shouldered and takes longer than in Germany.
  • In the United States the doctorate usually takes place at one Graduate school, where doctoral and master’s students study together. You will be supervised by several mentors and will have to perform differently during your studies.
  • In other English-speaking countries, such as Australia, the doctoral students work independently, similar like one Individual doctorate. They mostly visit no courses and write independently on their research work. Also in Great Britain are Courses only to be attended if the doctoral program immediately follows the bachelor’s degree.

Advantages of a doctorate abroad

© University of Essex

Doctorate Abroad: Collect valuable food for thought during the dissertation process around the world.

If you are toying with a doctorate abroad, you should dare to look outside the box in Germany. Ph.D. programs, for example, are often characterized by a intensive support by several professors and one excellent equipment out. In addition, there is often one pronounced discussion culture in front.

The doctorate abroad as a door opener

If you do your doctorate abroad, you can collect valuable suggestions for your research project Build a network of international contacts. The latter can be decisive for the later job search. You can also improve your foreign language skills and expand your soft skills. This includes the ability to work in international teams. The Participation in specialist publicationsthat arise in such international research groups can enrich the résumé immensely.

Reputation and Reputation

The Graduated from a renowned university abroad can be a plus on your resume. However, the place of study plays a subordinate role, especially in this phase of the course. Instead, the supervising chair and the selected research topic are weighted more heavily. It is worthwhile not to limit yourself to Germany, but to put out feelers and research around the world. Due to the duration and importance of the doctoral program, it is advisable to choose a doctoral program that best reflects your own interests.

The be-all and end-all of good doctoral planning

In any case, a partially or completely completed doctorate abroad requires good planning. Most universities require one extensive application, consisting of

  • curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Project outlines
  • Expert opinions from professors
  • Selection interviews
  • Admission and foreign language tests.

You should also take care of the financing early on. There are different ways. Applying for a scholarship is generally recommended. Especially in the postgraduate area there is a large number of scholarship providers, above all the DAAD and various gifted scholarships, such as the German National Academic Foundation. And the universities themselves also award scholarships to doctoral students. Applying for scholarships takes some time. I recommend one Lead time of around 1.5 years.

Quite a few doctoral students are employed at the university as research assistants and in this way finance their doctorate. Another option are student loans with low interest rates or education funds.