What does it cost to study for a doctorate in Germany? The good news is that it costs nothing – in principle. No fees are charged for doctoral programmes at state universities and colleges – at least, for the first six semesters. 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.

Candidates who are accepted on structured doctoral programmes do not usually need to worry about funding: doctoral students at research training groups and graduate schools or non-university research schools normally either work on a research project as a research associate or receive a scholarship.

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