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DAAD Scholarship: A Guide for Indian Students (2024)

Are you interested in scholarships in Germany for Indian students? Explore the DAAD funding programs! Find out about the benefits, requirements, eligibility, procedures, application documents, and more!

You might already be aware of the fact that most of the public universities in Germany do not charge any tuition fees. In other words, in most cases, international students, including Indians, can study in Germany for free. However, there are living costs that cannot be avoided. As per official calculations conducted by the German government, Indian students need at least 11.208 Euros per year (aka 934 Euros per month) to be able to secure their livelihood in Germany. Having this amount of money at your disposal is not a recommendation; it is a must! Why? Because it is an official requirement for a German student visa, which means that if you do not have the mentioned sum of money, your student visa application will be rejected. Consequently, you will not be able to come and study in Germany.


So the question arises: Where to get this amount of money from? In fact, there are various options, and one of them is a study scholarship from the DAAD. SPOILER ALERT: Yes, Indian students are also eligible for various DAAD scholarships! In this article, we will inform you about all available funding opportunities provided by the DAAD for Indian students, with a specific focus on the DAAD study (Master's and Bachelor's) scholarships.

It is our goal to inform you honestly and accurately, therefore, we need to add a disclaimer:

 

This article is for general information only and cannot replace your own research. We, therefore, exclude any liability and highly recommend always double-checking the information on the official DAAD web pages and with the official local DAAD representatives in India.

What is the DAAD scholarship?

The DAAD, known as the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in German), stands as the largest scholarship provider for international students looking to study in Germany.

 

Guided by its motto, "Change through Exchange," the DAAD finances both Germans who want to go abroad and international students (including Indian students) who want to come to Germany. Headquartered in Bonn with an additional branch in Berlin, the DAAD operates a vast global network. This includes 20 Regional Offices, 22 Information Centers, and 16 Information Points in around 50 countries. For instance, in India, DAAD has 3 Information Points in Bangalore, Pune and Chennai, and 1 Regional Office in New Delhi.

 

The DAAD offers different types of scholarships, like funding for undergraduates, graduates, PhD, language courses and more. In total, as of 2024, DAAD offers 86 scholarship programs, all of which vary and, hence, have diverse application and procedural requirements. As already noted, here we focus on two types of funding: DAAD scholarships for Indians to pursue their Bachelor's degree in Germany and DAAD scholarships for Indians to do their Master's studies in Germany. These are merit-based full scholarships, aka entirely covering the living costs of Indian students in Germany.

DAAD for Indian students: Eligibility

Having a full scholarship that covers all of your living costs in Germany sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? And at this point you might be wondering: "Is India eligible for the DAAD scholarship?" And here is the good news: Yes, as an Indian, you are also eligible for a DAAD scholarship!

 

However, not all DAAD scholarship programs are open for Indian applicants. As of 2024, there are 18 DAAD scholarships available for Indian students, out of which 6 scholarships are for those Indians, who would like to pursue a degree (excluding a PhD) in Germany. It is noteworthy, that all of those DAAD scholarships are for the Master's (graduate) level. Below, you can find the list of these 6 scholarships with key information in a nutshell. However, before moving to that part, let us tell you what are the options, in case you are an undergraduate student from India.

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Geeky Stuff Box

Number of Indians with a DAAD scholarship

According to the 2022 DAAD Annual Report, India ranks among the top 5 countries globally for the number of students receiving DAAD scholarships. In 2022 alone, 1.998 Indian students were awarded DAAD funding (all scholarship types included).

DAAD scholarship for bachelors in Germany for Indian students

As it was mentioned, currently there is no DAAD scholarship for Indian students, who would like to do their Bachelor's studies in Germany. However, if you are an Indian undergraduate-level student, there are some other non-degree options open for you. Here is the list:

Table 1: DAAD Scholarships for undergraduate Indians

No.*

Name

Intent

Scholarship amount

Duration

Application Deadline (approximate)

1

DAAD Scholarship - University Summer Courses offered in Germany for Foreign Students and Graduates

Language & Regional Studies Course

€1.134 (one-time) + allowances

Min. 18 teaching days, between June-September

Beginning of December

2

DAAD Scholarship - Working Internships in Science and Engineering (WISE)**

Internship

€861 (monthly) + allowances

2-3 months between May-August

Beginning of November

*The list is ordered in the exact way as presented on the DAAD Funding Guide website.
**WISE Scholarship is a DAAD internship scholarship available ONLY for Indian nationals.

The above-presented table demonstrates the following: despite the fact that currently there is no DAAD scholarship for Indian students who intend to pursue their Bachelor's in Germany, Indian undergraduate students can still come to Germany with DAAD funds to do, for example, an internship or a language course. It is noteworthy that participating in one of these programs will assist Indian students in performing better for their potential DAAD master's scholarship applications presented in the upcoming section.

DAAD scholarship for masters in Germany for Indian students

Unlike the bachelor's level, when it comes to doing a master's in Germany, Indians are eligible for multiple DAAD scholarships. Here is the list:

Table 2: DAAD Master's Scholarships for Indian Students

No.*

Name

Subject

Monthly Stipend

Duration

Application Deadline (approximate)

GPA

Language skills

Work Experience

1

DAAD Scholarship -  Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Architecture

Architecture

€934

10-24 months

End of September

Min. 2.5 (German system)**

As specified by the respective study program

Not specified

2

DAAD Scholarship - Postgraduate Studies in the Fields of Fine Art, Design, Visual Communication and Film

Fine Art, Design, Visual Communication and Film

€934

10-24 months

End of November

Min. 2.5 (German system)**

As specified by the respective study program

Not specified

3

DAAD Scholarship - Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Music 

Music

€934

10-24 months

End of September

Min. 2.5 (German system)**

As specified by the respective study program

Not specified

4

DAAD Scholarship - Postgraduate Studies in the Field of the Performing Arts 

Performing Arts

€934

10-24 months

Begininng of November

Min. 2.5 (German system)**

As specified by the respective study program

Not specified

5

DAAD Scholarship - Development-Related Postgraduate Courses (EPOS)

Not predefined***

€934

12-42 months

As specified by the desired study program

Above average (upper third)

As specified by the respective study program

Min. 2 years

6

DAAD Scholarship - Helmut-Schmidt-Programme

Public Policy; Governance****

€934

12-24 months

End of July

Min. 2.5 (German system)**

As specified by the respective study program

Not specified

*The list is ordered in the exact way as presented on the DAAD Funding Guide website.
** This is not an officially stated requirement by the given DAAD program. It is a recommendation from MyGU.
***EPOS scholarship finances specific study programs from specific universities. Here is the list for the 2025/2026 intake.
****Helmut-Schmidt-Programme finances specific study programs from specific universities. Here is the list for the 2025/2026 intake.

As the table vividly shows, Indian students who want to do their master's in Germany can find a relevant full DAAD scholarship to completely cover their living costs during their studies. And the scholarships are available for almost every discipline, ranging from Music to Public Policy.

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Further Reading

DAAD Scholarships: Guide

DAAD scholarship requirements for Indian students

As noted above, in general, DAAD scholarships are different in their intention, target, admission requirements, application procedures, etc. The same is also true specifically for the DAAD study scholarships for Indians - all of them are different, with distinct requirements and procedures. Despite this, based on our research, we can still provide you with the list of key requirements and eligibility criteria that Indian students will most probably have to meet in order to qualify for the DAAD study scholarships.

List of DAAD requirements for Indians

  • Education gap. Your previous academic degree should not be older than 6 years at the time of the application deadline. Note: Usually, DAAD does not have any age limits.

  • State of residence. You cannot apply if you have resided in Germany for more than 15 months by the application deadline.

  • Language skills. Your command of English or/and German should be in line with the requirements set out by your desired study program in Germany.

  • Academic performance. Although usually not explicitly mentioned, your GPA should at least be "GOOD", aka 2.5 according to the German system.

DO NOT FORGET: In order to come to Germany and pursue a degree with a DAAD scholarship, you need to also meet all of the requirements of the specific study program you are applying to. Hence. in addition to checking the DAAD website, you also need to get well acquainted with the respective pages of the study course(s) you want to enroll at.

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Advice Box

Extracurricular activity

Even if it is not always specifically listed in the requirements, a rich extracurricular portfolio (e.g., internships, volunteerships, participation in projects, trainings, etc.) helps applicants to significantly improve their chances of winning the DAAD scholarship.

DAAD scholarship for Indians: Application documents

At this point, you might be asking yourself: "Okay, I understand the general requirements, but what are the documents that I need to prepare in order to apply for the DAAD funding?" And again, this is a very on-to-the-point question, which also does not have a one-fits-all answer because of the diversity of the DAAD scholarship programs. However, as in the case of the requirements, there are some documents, that you will usually need in any case, no matter which DAAD study funding you are applying for.

Checklist for the DAAD Scholarship for Indians:

  • Online application form. DAAD has its own application form, which needs to be completely filled out by the applicant. Do not worry: it is quite self-explanatory and easy to follow.
  • Educational certificate(s). For instance, your Bachelor's degree and high school diploma.

  • Transcript of records. If your transcript includes only the individual grades of the courses you took without explaining the grading system at your institution, you should also separately attach the document containing that information to your DAAD application.

  • Language certificate(s). Usually, the proof of your English (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL) and/or German (e.g., TestDaf, DSH) level should not be more than 2 years old.

  • Curriculum Vitae. Full tabular CV/Resume without any unexplained gaps.

  • Letter of Motivation. Basically, around 1-3-pager, convincingly explaining why you deserve the funding.

  • Letter of Recommendation. Also called a reference letter (from a professor or from an employer).

Important: 

  1. If your documents are not originally in English or in German, you need their (certified) translations.

  2. If your DAAD scholarship application is incomplete, the documents are not in the right shape, or even one signature is missing, it can be rejected. That is why we recommend you take your time and closely inspect the requirements of your chosen scholarship program to ensure that you are well and correctly informed and do not miss anything (hence, your application is not rejected for formal reasons).

  3. Usually, you do not need to wait for the letter of admission from the German study program to apply for the DAAD scholarship. The reason is that the DAAD scholarships are pre-admission scholarships. To put it differently, as a rule, you first apply for the DAAD scholarship and then for the desired Bachelor's or Master's study program in Germany.

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Further Reading

APS India

How to apply for a DAAD scholarship from India?

As you might have already guessed, in this case as well, there is not a single list of steps that Indian students should undertake that would be valid for each and every DAAD study funding. In spite of this, Indian students have to know about these SEVEN key steps to apply for and win the DAAD scholarship.

  1. Find the scholarship. First, you should visit the DAAD scholarship database and narrow down the scholarship options using the website's basic filters.

  2. Check eligibility. After finding the scholarship that seems to be the best fit for you based on your interests and aspirations, you should make sure that you meet the basic formal requirements to qualify for it. You can find the requirements under "Application Requirements" on the DAAD database website.

  3. Collect the documents. The "Application Procedure" section of the DAAD database lists all of the required documents. Important: Certify and translate the documents as required by the DAAD.

  4. Submit the application. In most cases, this is done fully online via the DAAD portal. However, sometimes, you will encounter different procedures. For instance, some scholarship programs, like KOSPIE, also include an offline element (e.g., the requirement to send the particular document via physical post); others, like Helmut-Schmidt,  ask you to submit the application not to the DAAD but directly to the study program, etc.

  5. Wait for the response from the DAAD. This might take several months. If everything is fine with your first-stage application, DAAD will get back to you and will invite you to the second stage of the application.

  6. Complete the second stage. The second stage can also be distinct depending on the scholarship. For example, you might be invited to an interview, or the DAAD might just ask you to provide additional documents.

  7. Wait for the final results. After the second stage, the DAAD will need some months to create the final list of the selected scholarship recipients and will let you know whether you are among the winners or not.

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Geeky Stuff Box

DAAD Scholarship for Indians: Key Selection Criteria
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): very good grades will significantly improve your chances of winning the scholarship.
  • Motivation: so, take the letter of motivation seriously!

  • Extracurricular Commitment: practical experiences, participation in workshops & trainings, publications, etc. So, make sure your CV is crafted in a way that all of these details are efficiently depicted.

When to apply for the DAAD scholarship from India?

Start as soon as possible!

Our suggestion is to start preparing your DAAD application 2 months before the scholarship deadline, so that you have enough time to prepare all of the documents as requested.
 

Besides, as you can understand from the previous section, applying for the DAAD scholarship is quite a long procedure for Indian students. Actually, the total DAAD processing time is around 6 months. Taking into account that additionally you need at least 1 month to prepare the application, you might end up dedicating approximately 7 months to the whole DAAD scholarship application process. Hence, it is extremely important to plan everything well in advance to make sure that you can start your studies in Germany with a DAAD scholarship on time.

Let us make the planning issue more clear for you by providing the following example. For instance, if you want to start your Master's studies in Germany with a DAAD scholarship in October 2026, you should start with your DAAD application approximately in August 2025. Hence, in case you are targeting a DAAD scholarship, preparation for studying in Germany starts more than one year before the actual studies.

Is it hard to get a DAAD scholarship for Indians?

In general, it is not easy to get a DAAD scholarship, no matter where you are from. The reason is that it is one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships in Germany. That is why, as per our research conducted in 2023, the DAAD scholarship success rate for India is around 6%. In other words, approximately 6 out of 100 Indian students succeed in their DAAD scholarship application. Consequently, the rejection rate for a DAAD scholarship for Indians is approximately 94%. Low GPA and, in general, weak academic profile can be the major reasons for the rejection.

 

In a word, even if you meet all the basic requirements and have completed the whole application procedure correctly, it is very likely that your application for the DAAD funding in Germany will be rejected, if, for instance, your GPA is not very good, your CV is not "rich" or your Motivation Letter is not "impressive".

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Further Reading

Student Visa for Indians (2024)

DAAD India contact

Interestingly, DAAD has a local representation in India, which is the most extensive in the world in terms of the number of DAAD offices. To be more specific, while there is only 1 DAAD office in most of the other countries, India has 4 of them: there is a DAAD Regional Office in New Delhi, DAAD Information Point in Bangalore, DAAD Information Point in Chennai and DAAD Information Point in Pune. We suggest you be in touch with the representatives of the DAAD in India in case you have any doubts or need any information specific to your case. Here are the contact details of each of the DAAD local offices in India:

DAAD Regional Office New Delhi

+

DAAD Information Point Bangalore

+

DAAD Information Point Chennai

+

DAAD Information Point Pune

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BONUS: List of all DAAD scholarships for Indians (2024)

No.*

Name

Intent

Amount

Duration

Application Deadline (approximate) 

1

Research Grants – Doctoral Programmes in Germany

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€1.300 (monthly) + allowances

max. 4 years

End of October

2

Research Grants - Bi-nationally Supervised Doctoral Degrees / Cotutelle

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€1.300 (monthly) + allowances

7-24 months

End of October

3

Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP)

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€1.200 (monthly) + allowances

max. 4 years

As specified by the respective graduate school

4

Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists 

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€2.000-€2.150  (monthly) + allowances

1-3 months

Beginning of October & Beginning of April

5

Study Visits for Academics - Artists and Architects

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€2.000-€2.150  (monthly) + allowances

1-3 months

Beginning of October & Beginning of April

6

University Summer Courses offered in Germany for Foreign Students and Graduates

Language Course

€1.134 (one-time) + allowances

min. 18 teaching days, between June-September

December 1

7

Study Scholarships - Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Architecture

Master's

€934 (monthly) + allowances

10-24 months

End of September

8

Study Scholarships - Postgraduate Studies in the Fields of Fine Art, Design, Visual Communication and Film 

Master's

€934 (monthly) + allowances

10-24 months

End of November

9

Study Scholarships - Postgraduate Studies in the Field of Music

Master's

€934 (monthly) + allowances

10-24 months

End of September

10

Study Scholarships - Postgraduate Studies in the Field of the Performing Arts

Master's

€934 (monthly) + allowances

10-24 months

Begininng of November

11

Bilateral Exchange of Academics

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€2.000-€2.150  (monthly) + allowances

min. 14 days, max. 3 months

Mid-February

12

Re-invitation Programme for Former Scholarship Holders

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€2.000-€2.150  (monthly) + allowances

1-3 months

Beginning of October & Beginning of Apri

13

Combined Study and Practice Stays for Engineers from Developing Countries (KOSPIE) with Indian IITs

Master's**

€860  (monthly) + allowances

7 months

End of February

14

Development-Related Postgraduate Courses (EPOS / AST): Re-invitation Programme for former scholarship-holders

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€2.000-€2.150  (monthly) + allowances

1-3 months

End of March & End of September

15

Development-Related Postgraduate Courses (EPOS)

Master's & PhD

€934-€1.300 (monthly) + allowances

12-42 months

As specified by the desired study program

16

DLR-DAAD Research Fellowship Programme

Research/Doctorate/PhD

€934-€2.760 (monthly) + allowances

1-36 months

Not specified +  „first come first serve“

17

Helmut-Schmidt-Programme (Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance - PPGG)

Master's

€934 (monthly) + allowances

12-24 months

End of July

18

Working Internships in Science and Engineering (WISE)

Internship

€861 (monthly) + allowances

2-3 months between May-August

Beginning of November

*The list is ordered in the exact way as presented on the DAAD Funding Guide website.
**This scholarship is not designed to cover the entire Master's studies for Indians in Germany, but a portion of it. In particular, it offers Indians, who are enrolled at the Indian Institutes of Technology, to work on their Master's thesis at one of Germany's leading Technical Universities.