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Development-Related Postgraduate Courses

With its Development-Related Postgraduate Courses, the DAAD has created an educational programme that has set several milestones on the way towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Highly trained local professionals networked with international partners play an important role in the development of their countries. They are the best guarantee for a better future with less poverty, more education and good health for all.

For courses in this programme, the DAAD sponsors selected persons from Afghanistan with a scholarship award, which enables them to acquire an internationally competitive degree in a Postgraduate Course with heavy emphasis on practical experience.

Programme Goal

  1. In the postgraduate courses (master’s and doctoral courses), professionals from developing and threshold countries earn qualifications that enable them to act as future decision makers and cooperation partners with Germany. This takes place in postgraduate courses in all areas of knowledge relevant to the development of countries that play a significant role in development cooperation and solving global problems. The students from developing countries who participate in the programme are recognised as co-actors in this joint learning process.
  2. In addition, targeted capacity development, in the sense of promoting the development of human resources and organisations in the partner countries, aims at creating sustainable developmental effects. To achieve this, the postgraduate courses impart the skills and qualifications programme participants require in their endeavours to steadily increase the performance and development capabilities of their work environments. Alumni are to act as change agents, passing on their experience and newly acquired knowledge to others and as multipliers actively working within international networks to solve national and regional, as well as global challenges. The goal is for alumni to initiate and accompany middle and long-term development processes and, as such, make a contribution towards achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
  3. At the same time, the postgraduate courses at the German universities (and in cross-border courses, the partner universities in developing countries, as well) make a contribution towards their own further internationalisation. In this case, participants from the partner countries are promoting a south-north knowledge transfer, in which their regional-specific know-how is passed on to students, lecturers and researchers at the German universities, thereby strengthening the development-related competencies of these institutions.

Target Group for Scholarships

Foreign Professionals:

  • with a first academic degree (in general: a four-year university degree) and
  • at least two years of relevant work experience in a government ministry, central administrative office, subordinate authority or agency, a chamber of commerce or industry, an enterprise, business or firm, or as manager or employee of an NGO or development cooperation project
  • with excellent perspectives for professional reintegration upon return to the home country.
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 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 course descriptions here.

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, or on the DAAD website.

Important: 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.

Please be sure to address applications to the postgraduate course directly! 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.

f) Application deadlines for DAAD-scholarships:
Please contact the respective postgraduate course regarding the application deadline, because the application deadlines may vary from university to university. Please also check the relevant deadlines in our brochure. One application per postgraduate course is sufficient. 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.


Required documents (in the following order):
      • DAAD application form
      • hand-signed CV (please use this europass specimen form)
      • 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 courses taught in German; for the courses taught in English, if available
      • copies of awarded academic degrees
      • copies of academic transcripts
      • copy of School Leaving Certificate
Note: Some courses may require additional documents. For detailed information, please see the relevant course description. 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.

A brief list of all courses including their deadlines can also be found here.