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DAAD Postgraduate Courses for Professionals with Relevance to Developing Countries, Germany

From among the large number of postgraduate courses offered by German institutions of higher education, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports a carefully chosen selection of programmes which are of particular interest to junior executives from developing countries. These degree courses, which consist of one to two years of concentrated study, provide academically-trained young professionals in first leading positions from developing countries with the opportunity to engage in postgraduate education and training in their particular field or profession.

Deadline: See details

At present, postgraduate courses are offered in the following fields:

  • Economic Sciences / Business Administration /  Political Economics
  • Development Co-operation
  • Engineering and Related Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Regional Planning
  • Agriculture and Forest Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Medicine and Public Health
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Social Sciences and Education and Law
  • Media Studies

Scholarship applicants from developing countries (on the DAC List of the OECD) can apply at the German embassy or DAAD regional office, directly at the DAAD in Bonn or directly to the university.

The general closing dates for applications are as follows:

  • German Embassy/DAAD Regional Office: 31st July
  • DAAD in Bonn: 31st August
  • University: 30th September or 15th October

Applicants should be sure to check information regarding application closing dates directly with the individual universities  because they may vary from the general deadlines listed above.
The selection process generally takes place at the universities in the period from November to February.

Scholarships are usually awarded for the following winter semester.

Prerequisites and Requirements

1. Prerequisites and Requirements

Selection criteria and procedures for DAAD scholarship recipients ensure that

  • priority target candidates have proven, development-related motivation and can be expected to make full use of their scholarship and education by taking on social responsibility later in their careers, acting as agents of change who stimulate and support development in their personal and professional surroundings (motivation, commitment to development),
  • the candidates have the professional and academic qualifications necessary to ensure successful completion of the degree programme in Germany (final scores on previous academic examinations, language skills),
  • women and candidates from disadvantaged groups who meet the required academic and professional standards and show proven commitment to development-related issues are especially targeted for programme admission.

a) The typical scholarship holder:

  • works either for a public authority or a state or private company in a developing country (according to the DAC list of the OECD) and, as such, is engaged in the planning and execution of directives and projects with emphasis on development policies having a bearing on technological, economic or social areas.
  • holds a Bachelor’s degree (4 years) in a related subject.
  • has completed an academic degree with far above average results and at least two years of related professional experience.
  • is no older than 36 (for some courses the age limit is 32), respectively his/her academic degrees should normally not be more than 6 years old. Concerning a possible age limit, please refer to the course details on the following pages.

b) Language skills:

  • For courses in German: DSH 2 or TestDaF 4; at time of application German skills at completed level A2 are required. In addition, German language courses at level A2 or B1 are highly recommended.
  • Exception: Candidates for some German-speaking or bilingual courses need a very good command of German at time of application. For detailed information see the relevant course introduction on the following pages.
  • Note: It is not possible to pass the required German language courses (DSH or TestDaF) without any previous basic knowledge in the German language (at least A.2.1 Level), even with the preceding six-month, intensive course in Germany. Passing the language test is a formal prerequisite for graduating from the German university
  • For courses in English: IELTS (Band 6) certificate or TOEFL (minimum score: 550 paper based, 213 computer based, 80 internet based)

Note: Some courses may expect different level. For detailed information see the relevant course introduction on the following pages.

c) Proof of current work situation:

All applicants should state their current work situation at the time of application and submit the following proof: Certificate(s) of employment that include the exact position and period of employment; a letter of reference from the employer(s), ideally guaranteeing re-employment after completion of the postgraduate course in Germany.

d) Statement of motivation:

Applicants must submit a statement of motivation explaining why they are interested in attending a particular postgraduate course with reference to their current employment.

e) Application formalities:

If you have no private financial resources or cannot obtain a scholarship from your government, company or an international organisation, you may apply for a DAAD scholarship – either full or partial. DAAD application forms are available from the German Embassies, the DAAD offices abroad, directly from the University or on the DAAD website.

Applications from CameroonMyanmar and Nigeria must be submitted via the German Embassy. Applicants from the People’s Republic of China are asked to submit an APS Certificate, as well as 2 address labels written in Chinese characters with their application documents.

Please be sure to address applications sent to the DAAD directly to DAAD Section 431!

DAAD Section 431 confirms all applications received for the postgraduate courses via e-mail to the applicant. Sending a complete application with no missing documents is a definite advantage. Later submission of belated, individual documents should be addressed directly to the postgraduate course, not to the DAAD.

Applications sent via e-mail to the DAAD cannot be considered during the selection process.

Applicants are asked to state whether they are able to pay for cost of living expenses and their studies in Germany themselves or whether they can only complete the postgraduate course with financial support from a DAAD scholarship. Qualified applicants for whom self-financing is possible, have a good chance of being accepted by a postgraduate course.

Please note: Scholarships cannot be awarded without the official DAAD application form. Many courses, however, have their own forms, which must be submitted in addition to the DAAD application form (see details under course description).

f) Application deadlines for DAAD-scholarships:

31 July: At the German embassy or a DAAD regional office: (Deadlines may differ in your home country. Please check!)

31 August: At the DAAD Section 431 in Bonn/Germany

15 October: At the respective universities in Germany: (normally; please check description for exact date)

Application deadlines may vary from university to university. Please check the relevant deadlines in this booklet. One application per postgraduate course is sufficient. If you send the complete application to the DAAD, you do not need to send the same application to the university as well.

IMPORTANT: Late applications cannot be considered!

g) Admission:The postgraduate course and/or the university decide on admission after consideration of the application documents. Admission to the university is a prerequisite for receiving a DAAD scholarship. However, applicants do not need to request early or pre-admission to the university.

Please Note that the selection process for all postgraduate courses listed in this booklet lasts from the end of October until February.
2. Required documents (in the following order):

  • DAAD application form (
  • hand-signed CV (please use the europass specimen form at
  • hand-signed letter of motivation (with reference to current occupation)
  • research exposé (if required by university)
  • academic letter/s of recommendation from your university; the letter must have a signature and office stamp and must be of recent date (not in a sealed envelope)
  • professional letter/s of recommendation from your employer; the letter must have a signature and office stamp and must be of recent date (not in a sealed envelope)
  • confirmation of employment from the employer in your home country and if possible, a guarantee of re-employment upon your return home
  • Proof of language abilities:

– English – IELTS or TOEFL (Note: Institutional TOEFL will not be accepted)

– German – necessary for the courses taught in German; for the courses taught in English, if available

  • certified copies of awarded academic degrees
  • certified copies of academic transcripts
  • certified copy of School Leaving Certificate

Note: Some courses may require additional documents. For detailed information, please see the relevant course description on the following pages. All documents must be submitted as identical duplicates. Applications that do not clearly state the desired degree course or are not completed in full, cannot be processed and will not be considered. If applying to more than one course, please list courses in order of priority. You must send one full set of application documents for each course applied to. All submitted applications forms, including all required documents, copies, etc. become property of the DAAD. The applicant has no right to payment or reimbursement. No documents will be returned.

For economic and environmental reasons, please avoid using sheet holders and plastic folders in your application.

Click here to view details.


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