A doctorate is a university degree awarded by universities not only in Germany. In some fields of study, such as medicine, a doctorate is almost a matter of course and without it it is difficult to advance in one’s career. Just like studying abroad, it shows that you can think outside the box and have the courage to do something.
Enjoy doctoral studies abroad
It is possible to follow a master’s degree realized in Germany. In this case, you should absolutely choose a university with a good reputation in your field or in general (such as Yale or Stanford). This requires very good grades, which is why preparation for a doctorate abroad starts at the beginning of your studies. It is also a good idea to prove that you have social commitment, internships and excursions in addition to your good ones abroad.
You can also choose a beautiful country whose language and culture you like for your doctorate abroad. But think about whether, in retrospect, it doesn’t look like the kind of beach vacation you wanted to treat yourself to. The place and theme of your doctorate will match your concept of life.
How long does it take to complete a PhD abroad?
In other European countries, most doctorates last between two and five years, in Germany at least four years in general. Exceptions are common in medicine, where doctoral studies often begin during the actual course of study and are completed after a maximum of two years.
The way to obtain a doctoral position in another European country is different. If you wish to obtain an individual doctorate, you will first need a “Doktorvater” or “Doktormutter”. These are supervising professors under whose care and direction the thesis is written. At the same time you will work as a research assistant and gain initial teaching experience. By browsing through the scientific journals of your own department you can find potential thesis supervisors for your own thesis. You can also make useful contacts at congresses and trade fairs. In the case of an individual PhD, professors are always delighted when budding doctoral students approach them with their own ideas.
An alternative is the doctoral program, in which you study in parallel as a doctoral student and devote yourself to a given subject under the supervision of several scientists. In most cases, you will obtain your PhD after only a few years, your thesis will be written in parallel with your studies and will be evaluated by a graduate college at the end.
What is the meaning of a PhD abroad?
For the decision to acquire the doctorate abroad, it is important to know in which field it is to be acquired and whether further work abroad is planned. If you want to travel around the world as a marine biologist or ecologist, it is certainly a good decision to do your PhD abroad and choose a university that is internationally active in your field. If you want to come back to Germany and work as a lawyer, it is certainly not useful to do your doctorate abroad.
Moreover, in most other countries there is no specific doctorate as Jur. Dr. but only the Ph. D., which means nothing else but: Doctor of Philosophy. In its long form, the subject is annexed to the title, for example: Ph. D. of Economy, but you still remain a doctor with a doctorate obtained in Great Britain, Canada, the United States or Australia and New Zealand.
The title of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is automatically awarded after medical school and Doctor of Law (J.D.) after law school. What speaks for a doctorate, in any case, is the international configuration. Although the German doctorate enjoys a great reputation in Germany, it can open many doors internationally.
The aim is to carry out research to make your doctorate worthwhile. The choice of your institution plays an important role for your doctorate abroad. Select several universities before making a choice.