3.8 Doctoral studies

All faculties of Humboldt-Universität offer the opportunity to undertake doctoral studies. Regulations (in German) may be obtained online and from the appropriate faculty, which students wishing to work towards a doctorate should contact. Interested applicants should contact the office for doctoral candidates of the faculty they wish to apply for.

Academic supervision is mandatory for doctoral studies and it is the student's responsibility to find a supervisor (Doktorvater/Doktormutter) after a preliminary decision on the topic of the thesis has been made. The faculty board will have the final decision as to whether the project is accepted.

Students applying for admission to doctoral studies must provide proof of an academic qualification equivalent to a degree from a German higher education institution. The Admission Office for international students (Zulassungsbüro für internationale Studierende und Promovierende) ( will consider each application to determine equivalence. The decision will be met directly between the Admission Office and the office for doctoral candidates of the respective faculty. Applicants whose academic qualifications are not considered equivalent may have to take an examination set by the faculty, or admission may be linked to certain conditions.

All information on doctoral studies can be found on the Doctoral Candidates' Portal. Counselling is available at:

Research Service Centre | Servicezentrum Forschung
Advice on financial support for doctoral and post-doctoral students

Dr. Uta Hoffmann
Ziegelstraße 13c, room 627
10117 Berlin
Phone: (+49 30) 2093-1664


Matriculation at the Humboldt-Universität must take place within one month after being accepted for doctoral studies. The application for matriculation goes to the Admission Office for international students (Zulassungsbüro für internationale Studierende und Promovierende) (► 5.1).

The Humboldt Graduate School
Postgraduate students on structured doctoral programmes are supported by the Humboldt Graduate School (HGS). The Graduate Schools at Humboldt-Universität are members of a union of international, competitive doctoral studies programmes. The HGS offers a comprehensive range of services to doctoral students in the membership scheme.

The HGS aims at creating a future-oriented and competitive culture of doctoral studies at Humboldt-Universität within an international context. On a regular basis, doctoral students are given reliable advice on their research projects and the process of writing their theses. A complementary teaching programme is designed to benefit their scientific qualifications and to equip them with knowledge and skills that are indispensable for success in scientific work. The programme's focus is on teaching methodological skills, presenting techniques and time management.

All doctoral programmes in Berlin are compiled online under "Doctoral Programs in Berlin".


HU Docs - an initiative for doctoral students
Early in 2004 the HU Docs initiative was established by Humboldt doctoral students with the support of the university administration. Eight years later, in October 2012, HU Docs became a registered association. Aims of the network are to improve the working environment of all doctoral students, to better represent their interests on boards and committees and to establish a network for information and research exchange. Regular meetings (so-called Doktoranden-Abende) are held at the "Orbis Humboldtianus" International Club (9.1.2) in order to hold discussions or to listen to lectures from experts in various fields. In cooperation with the Research Service and the International Office, HU Docs also organise orientation and information events as well as excursions to research institutions. Doctoral students can find further information on facebook and subscribe to the newsletter