PhD in Germany: How to Enroll From Nigeria


Truth is Germany is one of the best places for Nigerian students to study. The educational system in Germany is among the best on global scale.  The schools are of top standard and many of them had been in existence for centuries.  Making a decision to study in Germany will prove to be one of the best decisions of your life.

PhD in Germany: How to Enroll From Nigeria

Are you looking for the best university to study for your PhD program abroad? Then you should consider German universities.  The information in this write up will teach you one or two things you need to know about studying in Germany as a Nigerian.


Undergraduate students do not have to pay tuition fees to study in Germany; this is not the case with postgraduate students. You should prepare your tuition fees if you want to study for PhD program in any German university.  The fee varies from one university to another. You will have to choose contact the individual university to know what they charge as tuition fees.

PhD program in Germany usually take from 4 to 6 semesters; this translates to 2 to 3 years, meaning 2 semesters per year.  The number of semesters or year depending on the field of study you are interested in and also ion the university where you are taking the course.


You require your undergraduate and master’s degree certificates in order to study for PhD program in most German universities. There are some universities anyway that will allow you to study for PhD program with ordinary undergraduate degree; this is however a rare situation.

The master’s degree certificate and the undergraduate certificate you are presenting for admission must have been obtained from a recognized Nigerian university; any university accredited by the National University Commission (NUC) is considered recognized for admission in any Germany university for your PhD program.

However, those students who may have certificates that seem not recognized can be given preparatory examinations. If they pass these examinations, they will be admitted for PhD program without any question.

Different German universities have different requirements that they insist on their PhD students meeting up to before admission for the program. You will have to find out from individual university before you apply.

Learning German

Most universities in Germany offer their programs in German. Since German is the language of communication for most courses, you will have to learn how to speak German. In actual fact, you will have to take the German proficiency test and pass when seeking admission into a German university for your PhD program.

In actual fact, you need to submit result of the test along with other required documents. However, there are few of the courses that are offered in English medium.  Some of the proficiency tests you can sit for are:

  • German Language University Entrance Examination for International Applicants,
  • Test of German as a Foreign Language
  • Goethe Institut German Language Diploma
  • German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II.

Evidence of German proficiency is not necessary if you are only studying the PhD program for just 2 years or 4 semesters.  Many more programs are being offered at PhD level these days anyway if you are taking a course offered via English language medium, you are required to take English language proficiency course, like IELTS or TOEFL.

There are times the university of your choice may not lay importance on such language proficiency test anyway. Make sure you find out what the university requires before you apply.

How to apply 

The rules regarding admission differ from one school to the other.  Visit the website of your university of choice and find out about the process their admission follows.

In the event you cannot find specific information regarding application process on the website, you can visit the International Office of the university in Nigeria or consult the German embassy in Nigeria for the required information.  The following are however the common requirements for admission:

  • Proof of German language proficiency. Online test can suffice in place of the test certificate.
  • Scanned copy of your international passport, especially the personal detail page, which must carry a clear copy of your photo ID.
  • A passport photo
  • A translated overview of the grades and subjects of your qualification
  • A copy of your higher education entrance qualification.
  • Your transcript will not be accepted by hand, but must be delivered to the German university by your Nigerian university where you obtained those degrees you are presenting for admission in the German university.

Visa is yet another important document you are required to submit along with your other documents. Some countries are not required to submit visa; such countries are Israel, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Canada, United States, New Zealand and Australia.  But as a Nigerian, you are required to obtain German visa.

It is in your best interest to apply for the German visa at least 3 months before you travel to Germany from Nigeria.

Scholarship possibilities

A number of scholarships are made available to international students, who seek to study to study for PhD program in Germany.  The German government do make scholarship available.  Many of the universities in Germany also provide scholarship opportunities for their students.

You may have to consult the website of your university of choice to find to about their scholarship programs. Aside the German government and German universities, some non-governmental organizations also make scholarships available for PhD students.

Work/study opportunity

It is possible to work in Germany while you study for your PhD program.  As a Nigerian, you will only be permitted to work for 190 or 240 days in a year. You are required to apply for work permit anyway in order to be able to work while you study.

There are certain legal conditions surrounding working in Germany and you can get all required legal information from the German employment office. You have the opportunity to continue working in Germany for an additional 18 months, provided you have not gained permanent working opportunity.

If you are able to get full-time employment before the 18 month expires, you need to apply for visa extension in order to continue living in Germany for longer period of time.


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