Doctoral Candidates

How to Obtain a Doctoral Degree


Registering for Doctoral Studies - The Registration Process


The registration for doctoral studies involves two steps. First, the doctoral project must be registered at the faculty at which the doctoral work will be conducted. In a second step, enrollment takes place at the Enrollment Office for PhD students.

In order to register the doctoral project with the faculty, an application for admission to doctoral studies must be submitted to the appropriate committee of the faculty. Each faculty has a committee which is responsible for reviewing thesis applications. It is usually located at the office of the faculty's Deputy Dean for Teaching and Studies (Prodekan für Lehre und Studium). The documentation required (supervisors commitment, thesis topic, work and time plan, transcripts, resume and publications list) is specified in the faculty's regulations regarding the granting of doctoral degrees, which is referred to as Promotionsordnung. All necessary information concerning the application for admission to doctoral studies can be found on the pages of the ein roter Pfeil graduate centers and doctoral offices of the faculties ("Graduiertenzentrum" and "Promotionsbüro").

The responsible committee of the faculty decides on the admission and, if necessary, sets admission conditions. The graduate is then notified of his or her admission or rejection as a doctoral candidate.

The legal basis for the decisions of the committee and faculty are ein roter Pfeil the Berlin Law on Higher Education (Berliner Hochschulgesetz, BerlHG), particularly §35, and ein roter Pfeil the Promotionsordnung (regulations for doctoral studies) of the faculty in question.

After registering the doctoral project at the faculty, the doctoral candidate must also formally enroll as a PhD student. Doctoral candidates who are also employed at the university must either enroll or register. The ein roter Pfeil Enrollment office for PhD students is responsible for this process.

The application for enrollment or registration must be submitted to the Enrollment office for PhD students no later than four weeks after receiving the admission letter from the faculty.

Enrolled PhD students are required to pay semester tuition fees.

Should the doctoral candidate be employed at the university, it is important to keep in mind that registering the doctoral project at the faculty, enrolling or registering at the Enrollment office, and being hired as an employee are three separate processes.


Notes for Applicants with International Degrees


Applicants with an international degree go through the same application and registration process as applicants with a German degree. The same steps are required (registration at the faculty and enrollment at the Enrollment office).

The requirement for admission is a degree that is equivalent to a German degree. International degrees are reviewed for equivalence during the registration process. However, this review does not have to be initiated by the applicants themselves. The doctoral office arranges this review after the applicants have submitted their application for admission and all related documents.

top of the page