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Costs & Funding


There are no tuition fees at the BTS; however, the university requires an enrolment fee for each semester of study, which covers a student transportation pass, and a contribution to the student union and the student support service. More detailed information can be found here.

Aside from the registration fee, candidates should expect to budget about €1,000-1,200 per month for living expenses in Berlin including housing, meals, and personal expenses.

Please consider that the PhD programme is a full-time, on-site programme. Therefore, you should not work alongside the PhD programme.


BTS Scholarships

A number of generous donors such as the Hertie Foundation and the China Scholarship Council offer funding possibilities for a limited number of candidates. All applicants will automatically be considered for a BTS scholarship during the review process. Candidates selected for a nomination for a CSC scholarship have to submit another application to the respective funding organisation as a basis for the final decision. The scholarships provided by the BTS vary according to the funding organisation. Most scholarships cover average German living expenses.

Continuation of the scholarship each year is subject to the satisfactory completion of annual requirements and the requirements of the respective funding organisation. At the end of the first year, this means successfully completing the programme requirements as well as a positive evaluation of the research proposal by the team of supervisors. At the end of the second year, each candidate‘s overall performance will be evaluated.


External Scholarships

As there is only a limited number of institutional scholarships available, in certain cases, candidates who are not offered a scholarship can be admitted to the programme provided that they secure their own external funding. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to apply to other sponsors/foundations at the same time you apply to the BTS. To support that process, we are happy to provide documentation when necessary. The BTS is also happy to provide you with a (non-exhaustive) list of German foundations that provide funding for doctoral candidates.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also provides information about scholarships for PhD candidates.

We are aware that our application and acceptance timetable may conflict with the application deadlines at some funding institutions. If needed, we can provide you with an official statement explaining that notifications of acceptance prior to the final decision of the selection committee in May are not possible to obtain; you can forward this statement to any funding institution to support your application.


Funding Field Research

Field research abroad and participation in international conferences are important elements of PhD candidates’ professional development. Thus, the BTS provides a limited amount of field research funding to each PhD candidate and supports its students in applying for external funding. Please find funding opportunities for graduates listed on Freie Universität’s website.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) helps you find your individual scholarship and supports you with country-specific information and funding possibilities related to PhD field research.

Freie Universität Berlin
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