The following pages provide information about the various avenues for doctoral training at the University of Heidelberg as well as an overview of the prerequisites and formalities for pursuing such training.
The Graduate Academy Service Point also provides support and advising on all general issues related to doctoral training.
The goal of pursuing doctoral training, which ultimately leads to the title of Doktor (Dr.), is to obtain the skills necessary to successfully carry out independent academic research, usually in a specialized research field. Over the course of the doctoral training, the results of the scholarly research carried out are documented in writing in the doctoral dissertation. After submission and review of the dissertation, the doctoral candidate must pass an oral examination, Rigorosum, or an academic defense, Disputation. During the Rigorosum/Disputation, the candidate is examined on the research presented in the dissertation as well, possibly, as other topics important to the candidate’s general field of research.
The basic prerequisites for carrying out doctoral training at the University of Heidelberg are:
- The completion of one of the following university degrees, usually with good or very good results:
Master, Magister, Diplom, Staatsexamen or an equivalent university degree from a German or foreign university
- The ability to sustain work on a particular topic, to independently pursue academic research and to work independently over a longer period.
In principle, it is possible to pursue a doctorate in any of the subjects offered at the University of Heidelberg. Doctoral training can be carried out in one of two models: individual doctoral training or doctoral training within a structured doctoral programme. Binational doctoral training or cotutelle is also possible in Heidelberg. Doctoral training is expected to take between 3 and 5 years depending on the discipline and personal situation.
Doctoral degrees are granted by the faculties of the University of Heidelberg and the regulations governing doctoral training are set down individually by each faculty in its doctoral regulations. The following doctoral degrees are granted at the University of Heidelberg:
- Dr. phil. (Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Modern Languages, Faculty of Behavioral and Cultural Studies, discipline Geography)
- Dr. rer. nat. (Faculty of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Chemistry and Geosciences)
- Dr. iur. (Faculty of Law)
- Dr. med., Dr. med.dent., Dr. sc.hum. (Faculties of Medicine)
- Dr. rer.pol. (Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences)
- Dr. theol. (Faculty of Theology)
There is more information about doctoral training at the University of Heidelberg on the following pages:
Individual Doctoral Training vs. Training in a Structured Doctoral Programme
How Do I Become a Doctoral Student?
Faculties/Dean’s Offices/Doctoral Regulations
Structured Doctoral Programmes in Heidelberg
Binational Doctoral Training/Cotutelle