DAAD — The German Academic Exchange Service — offers approximately 200 scholarship options for international students. These scholarships primarily consist of short-term internships for bachelor's students, while degree programs are designed for master's and PhD students.
In this article, we will provide information on available scholarships for students from Russia, their coverage, and the application process. If you are a citizen of another country, please check the procedure and all the details on the official website.
In total, DAAD offers around 150000 scholarships annually. These scholarships typically cover accommodation, food, and personal expenses.
For bachelor’s students, the program options are more limited. They have access to short-term summer courses, study tours, and the PAD program designed for students of German from pedagogical universities.
Due to budget cuts by the DAAD, applications for summer German courses will not be accepted in 2023.
The most "generous" scholarships offered by the DAAD are available for master's programs across all fields of study.
PhD students and scientists can also apply for funding through short and long-term research programs and fellowships.
In this section, we will focus on scholarship programs specifically for full-fledged study programs, particularly for master's degrees.
DAAD scholarship for master’s in all disciplines
The most popular DAAD scholarship option is the Masterstudium für alle wissenschaftlichen Fächer, which is open to master's students in all disciplines, excluding creative specialties and architecture (they have separate scholarship programs).
The scholarship duration varies from 10 to 24 months, depending on the program. If the master's program extends for two years, high academic performance confirmation is required after the first year.
What does the scholarship cover
All scholarship recipients receive a monthly stipend of 978 USD throughout their entire period of study, which is typically sufficient to cover living expenses in Germany. Additionally, the scholarship includes:
One-time student allowance
Access to the online course "German University Online" (DUO)
Preparatory language courses in Germany (required for studies conducted in German)
Reimbursement of examination fees for TestDaF or DSH
In special cases, the DAAD may assist with rent or provide additional financial support for the dependents of scholarship holders living in Germany. Any employment during the study period must be coordinated with the DAAD coordinator.
It is important to note that the DAAD does not cover tuition fees. However, this is usually not an issue as education in Germany is generally tuition-free. If you choose to enroll at a private institution or a university in Baden-Württemberg, you may be responsible for tuition fees.
The basic requirements for candidates are as follows:
Graduate from college no earlier than 6 years prior to the application, in the same field of study you intend to pursue
Get an invitation from one of the German universities. The universities and DAAD make independent decisions. Therefore, to be eligible for a scholarship, you must enroll in at least one of the three programs you selected during the application process
Diploma and university invitation. These can be submitted later, after completing your education at your current university and gaining admission to a German university.
Language certificate, which should not be older than 2 years. If you were unable to take the exam on time, you can still apply through the portal without a certificate. However, you will need to provide it at a later stage.
Special form where you indicate your preferred study destinations. You can choose 3-5 study programs at one or multiple universities.
Translation of all native-language documents into English or German. You can complete the translations yourself without requiring notarization.
Certain programs may require an international exam certificate, such as GRE or GMAT. It is important to verify the specific exams and proficiency levels required by your chosen universities.
In addition, you have the option to include references from employers, confirm professional experience, showcase achievements in olympiads, demonstrate social activities, volunteering engagements, and participation in projects. The more achievements you can showcase, the higher your chances of receiving a scholarship.
Stages of the DAAD application
The DAAD scholarship application consists of two stages:
Applying for the scholarship. After gathering all the necessary documents, you submit an online application through the DAAD portal. Typically, there is a six-week application period in October-November, approximately one year before the start of the program. The submission deadline is November 15th. Please note that the specific dates may vary slightly each year, typically by a maximum of 2-3 days. The results of the scholarship competition are announced in April. It is recommended to check the current dates on the official website.
Applying to German universities. Irrespective of the scholarship, you are required to enroll in one of the programs indicated in your application during the first stage. German universities have two submission deadlines, but the scholarship itself only starts in October. Therefore, students usually enter the university during the summer before the start of their studies.
It is important to note that, unlike some larger programs such as Fulbright, there is no mandatory requirement to return to your home country after completing the DAAD program. However, it is advised not to express in your motivation letter an intention to stay in Germany, as this may lead to visa complications.
The DAAD committee may issue a scholarship award letter in advance. However, if you are not accepted by any university, the award will be revoked.
Criteria and procedure for candidate evaluation
Applications are thoroughly evaluated by an independent admissions committee consisting of scientists from diverse fields.
Criteria for candidate evaluation:
Professional qualification — Academic achievements and duration of study (supported by certificates, recommendations, CV, and language certificate)/
Quality of study project — confirmed by a motivation letter, information about the preferred master's program, recommendations, proof of language proficiency, and an acceptance letter from the German host university:
Quality of presentation and preparation of the study project
Rationale for choosing Germany as the destination for study
Explanation of academic and professional prospects.
Knowledge and skills developed through professional or volunteer activities
Participation in student government initiatives
Active political, social, and cultural engagement.
To ensure equal opportunities for all candidates, the admissions committee may also take into account any special circumstances that are indicated in the application.
Apply for a DAAD scholarship with UniPage
When preparing to apply for a DAAD scholarship, there are several important steps and documents to consider. Selecting the appropriate programs and completing numerous forms can be time-consuming, taking away valuable time that could be spent on language exam preparation and crafting a strong motivation letter.
At UniPage, our mentors oversee the entire application process, providing guidance and support. They will assist you in selecting the most suitable programs based on your qualifications and goals. Together, you will create a comprehensive resume that highlights your relevant experience and achievements. Additionally, our creative editor will offer valuable assistance in crafting an impactful motivation letter and recommendations.
DAAD scholarships for creative professions are equivalent to the Masterstudium für alle wissenschaftlichen Fächer. Selected candidates receive the same coverage and must meet identical requirements. They should have graduated in a relevant field no earlier than six years prior to the application and must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months at the time of applying.
In addition to the standard documents, applicants for creative programs must also submit examples of their work.
DAAD highlights four scholarship options for creative disciplines:
Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Music
Postgraduate Studies in the Fields of Fine Art, Design, Visual Communication and Film
Postgraduate Studies in the Field of the Performing Arts
Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Architecture
DAAD scholarship for Music programs
The application process for creative programs consists of two stages. Initially, the applicant submits the required documents through the DAAD portal. The document checklist is similar to that of non-creative programs and includes:
Form describing audio or video recordings of performances / works
The application deadlines for creative programs differ from the main scholarship for master's programs. Applications must be submitted by September 29th.
The second step involves portfolio submission. Approximately 1-2 weeks after submitting the documents, applicants receive a link to the Canto media database. Within two weeks, they are required to upload their recordings, adhering to the specified requirements detailed here.
DAAD scholarship for Fine Arts, Design, Film and Visual Communication programs
To apply for a scholarship for these programs, you are required to upload the following documents on the DAAD portal:
Statement confirming the originality of submitted works, or names of collaborators for joint works
The application deadline is November 30th. If you meet all the eligibility criteria, you will receive a link to the DAAD media database by December 15th. It is necessary to attach all the described works in the application before January 10th.
Other documents that may strengthen your application (certificates, proof of work experience, etc.)
Please ensure that you submit these documents by November 2nd. Subsequently, by November 16th, you will receive a link to upload your performance recordings. The specific requirements for the recordings can be found on the official website. The deadline for submitting your portfolio is November 30th.
DAAD scholarship for Architecture programs
The application process for scholarships in architecture follows the same procedure as the previous three options. Applicants are required to submit documents and upload a portfolio.
When writing a motivation letter for the DAAD Scholarship, it is important to convey your professional and personal reasons for pursuing an education in Germany. The letter should be concise, ranging from one to three pages.
To assist you in crafting an exceptional cover letter, DAAD provides a set of guiding questions. These questions will ensure that you cover all the necessary information required by the admissions committee.
Education, skills and knowledge:
What was your previous educational program?
Do you possess relevant professional experience?
Detail your professional and language skills and explain how they will contribute to your master's studies.
Have you participated in specialized competitions or olympiads within your chosen field? If so, have you achieved any notable victories?
Why are you interested in the specific program you are applying to?
What aspects of your chosen university appeal to you the most?
What are your expectations and anticipated benefits from studying in Germany?
Why do you require a DAAD Scholarship?
What do you hope to gain from participating in this scholarship program?
How will the scholarship support you in reaching your personal and professional goals?
In this section, highlight any extracurricular accomplishments or personal qualities that are relevant and noteworthy.
For more guidance on crafting an outstanding motivation letter, click here or watch our instructional video on YouTube.
Scholarship application with UniPage
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