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Faculty of InternationalSample Institute

Application, Admission and Enrolment

On this page you will find information about the application procedure for PhD Studies. Detailed information about financing or immigration and residence can be foud here.


General Requirements

General requirements for recognition of your university degree:
  1. Meeting the requirements for a PhD program at your university in your home country
  2. Completion of at least 4 years at an university followed by an exam and usually a Master thesis.
German language proficiency

Generally, you can earn your PhD in German and English at all faculties. In case you want to persue your doctorate in any other language than German please be aware that some faculties require an application and the approval of the supervisor.

Please confirm with your doctoral advisor

a)    which language you want to write your dissertation in

b)    which language your oral examination (Disputatio or Rigorosum) will take place in.

PhD / MD Regulations

Please inform yourself about your PhD / MD program requirements and process by carefully reading the regulations for the degree of your choice. For certain programs you need to have particular language skills or participate in doctoral student courses or lectures.

Below you will find the PhD regulations for each faculty:

Contacting Your Doctoral Advisor

Once you decide to pursue your PhD at the University of Cologne, you will need a doctoral advisor ("Doktorvater","Doktormutter").

Professors that can fulfill that function may be found on the web pages of the individual faculties. Please contact the desired advisor as early as possible.

When you contact a potential doctoral advisor, please enclose the following documents:

  • Complete C.V.
  • Description of your scientific research development
  • Draft/outline of your research project.

If the professor accepts you as a doctoral advisee, he or she will issue a confirmation of academic supervision.

Application for Admission


If you would like to do a PhD at the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, please get in touch with the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne and ask for the application requirements and deadlines.

For PhD students of other Faculties:

As soon as you receive the confirmation of academic supervision, and as soon as you can submit proof of the required language skills, you must submit an application for admission to your doctoratal studies at the International Office. We recommend that you submit all your application materials to the International Office one month before the begin of the semester (by the end of August for the winter semester, by the end of February for the summer semester)

For your application, you will need:

  • Completed and signed application for admission to doctoral studies
  • Confirmation of academic supervision
  • [at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, you will need to submit two copies of the Declaration of Intent to earn your PhD signed by you and your doctoral advisor]
  • Complete and signed C.V. (German or English)
  • Certified copies of your diploma and the German or English translation (Secondary school-leaving certificate, Bachelor and Master degree with Transcripts of Records)
  • Copy of your Master thesis completed at your foreign university. If your thesis was not written in German or English, you will also need to submit a summary in German or English
  • Copy of your passport/personal identity card

The International Office will forward your application to the appropriate dean’s office.

The doctoral committee at the faculty you applied to will make an official admission decision ("Promotionszusage").


Once you receive your admission confirmation with the application for registration from the International Office, you may enroll at the university.

To enroll, you will need:

  • Admission confirmation
  • Completed application for registration
  • Proof of health insurance from a statutory health insurance company (if under 30 years of age).

For a PhD following your studies (Fachstudium) in Germany, you normally receive a residence permit if your PhD studies combined with your prior studies will not lead you to exceed a total stay of ten years in Germany.