PhDUniversität Heidelberg has most Doctoral Students in Germany

27 October 2023

With 8,900 doctoral students each, Ruperto Carola and Ludwig Maximilian University of (LMU) Munich share the top position nationwide

Heidelberg University has the largest number of doctoral students in Germany. The Federal Statistical Office (Wiesbaden) reports that last year 8,900 students were registered as doing doctoral studies, the same as at LMU Munich. The two universities occupy the top position in Germany, followed by Technical University of Munich with 8,500 and RWTH Aachen University with 7,300 doctoral students. 16 percent of all those doing a doctorate in Germany are studying at these four universities.

In 2022 a total of 205,300 graduates – 52 percent male and 48 percent female – had embarked on a doctoral course at German universities. About a fifth, i.e. 48,100 doctoral students or 23 percent, were of foreign nationality. 26 percent of doctoral students, about 54,000, were working towards their doctorate in the subject group Human Medicine/Health Sciences in the last year. The second largest group was doctoral candidates in the subject group Mathematics and Natural Sciences, accounting for 23 percent or 47,200. 

These findings on the number of current doctoral students stem from a survey of the Federal Statistical Office introduced in 2017. It covers everyone enrolled for a doctorate at a university in Germany.