|Postgraduate studies at a German university differ greatly from the Ph.D. programs in English-speaking countries. The postgraduate studies here do not consist of a set schedule of lectures, rather a sort of research project on which the Ph.D. candidate works under the supervision of an assigned professor.||
Application: In order to be admitted to postgraduate studies, the applicant must have obtained an academic degree from a German university (e.g. Diplom, Magister Artium, Staatsexamen, Master) or an approved equivalent degree from a foreign university. Normally applicants coming from the Anglo-American educational system must have a “Master” degree.
The applicant is then expected to find a university professor (doctoral adviser) who is willing and also has the authorization to supervise the Ph.D. project. If the applicant does not know any of the professors for his/her area of specialization, the dean of the department may be able to help. Once the supervision is ensured, the department’s Doctoral Candidate Admissions Board (Promotionsausschuss) determines the equivalence of the previous course of studies with a German academic degree and issues the letter of admission for Ph.D. studies.
Duration: On average, 3-5 years are needed to complete the Ph.D. studies, not counting the time that is necessary to determine the equivalence with a German academic degree.
If possible, you should already have at least a basic foundation in the German language before you arrive in Germany. Language courses for Ph.D. candidates are offered in the TU Dortmund University’s Language Center (Sprachenzentrum).
The financial basis for your Ph.D. studies should be secured before you arrive in Germany. You may apply for a scholarship through the DAAD.
You can find an overview of all the departments of the TU Dortmund University here.