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Individual PhD

The Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences awards the academic degree of "Doktor der Philosophie" (abbreviated "Dr. phil."). The following preconditions have to be fulfilled for being admitted to the PhD procedure:

  • To hold a university degree (Master's degree, Diplom, Magister, Erste Wissenschaftliche oder Künstlerisch-Wissenschaftliche Staatsprüfung für das Amt des Studienrats [First scientific or artistic/scientific state examination for the profession of high school teacher] or an equivalent examination) with an overall final grade of "good" (2.5) or better in one of the subjects taught at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences. The degree must must have been earned in a discipline in line with the discipline of the PhD. The degree must have been earned at a university or equivalent institution or at a university of applied sciences in the territory of the German Higher Education Framework Act [Hochschulrahmengesetz].
    In that case proves have to be provided in form of certified copies (in case the diploma has been issued in German or English language).


  • To hold an equivalent university degree earned outside the Federal Republic of Germany.
    In that case, additionally to certified copies of the degree certificate and the diploma, an official translation to German or English language of both degree certificate and diploma have to be handed in.

Simple photocopies or scans sent by email will not be accepted.

Holders of a bachelor's degree can be admitted to the PhD procedure after having successfully completed a special eligibility procedure. As part of such special eligibility procedure, the PhD board requests that the candidate furnishes by a deadline to be set certain certificates of achievement. By earning these certificates, the candidate proves his eligibility for a PhD. The extent and contents of the certificates of achievement to be furnished are determined by the PhD board considering the suitability of the candidate's existing qualifications for the planned PhD procedure.

Please find the detailled rules in the valid PhD regulations (2019).
Please download the valid form for a PhD agreement here.
The PhD regulations dated 2016 are to be found here.

PhD researchers may receive support and advice at the Viadrina Center for Graduate Studies, in charge of all faculties.

The independent person in charge of conflict settling (group of PhD researchers) is Ms Janett Haid (substitute: Ms Karolin Breda).