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Admission of doctoral students

You would like to pursue doctoral studies at Faculty I of the University of Siegen? Here is what you have to do in order to be admitted as a doctoral student.

Requirements for admission to doctoral studies at Faculty I

  • You have the motivation to do intensive research about one particular area of your field of studies for several years. You have substantial academic background in your field of studies and are able to work according to scientific standards (finding the topic of your doctoral dissertation).
  • You find a supervisor for your dissertation in Faculty I. At the same time, please inform yourself about the possibilities of financing your doctoral studies. The acceptance as a doctoral candidate from a supervisor does not mean that you will receive funding from the University of Siegen to cover your living expenses. There are various ways to be funded during the time of your doctoral project.
  • You have an M.A. or an equivalent university degree (a degree requiring in total at least 4 years of academic studies). The overall grade and the grade of the M.A. (or equivalent) thesis should be 2.5 or better in the German system (this is approximately equivalent to B- in anglophone systems). Exceptions from this rule are possible if your supervisor gives sufficient reasons. Degrees and grades from universities outside of Germany have to be rated to be equivalent by the Student Admission, Registration and Training in German Language (STARTING).
  • The academic field of your university degree is the same as the academic field of your doctorate or includes it. If this is not the case, your supervisor gives his opinion on whether you are able to pursue your research project. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to do additional coursework during your doctoral studies.
  • Depending on your field of doctoral studies, you may have to prove that you possess certain language skills. You can find the requirements in the list of the fields of doctoral studies.

When you have found a supervisor, it is possible to conclude a supervision agreement (a sample is available in German). A supervision agreement is intended to make the relationship between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor transparent in terms of content and duration. For example, the agreement may also include arrangements for participating in colloquia or similar support services provided by the supervisor.

Steps of doctoral studies


Step 1: Finding a supervisor


If you wish to apply for doctoral studies at Faculty I, you first need to find a professor who is willing to supervise your doctoral thesis. Please contact directly a professor who is an expert in the field in which you would like to do your research project. You will have to agree on the subject of your research project. You may also have to write a comprehensive research proposal before you are accepted.
  • Information on the Faculty's professors and their fields of expertise can be found on our homepage.
  • Your doctoral supervisor needs to confirm that he/she has agreed to supervise your dissertation. A letter of confirmation by the supervisor is needed for steps 2 and 3.

Step 2: Applying for acceptance as a doctoral candidate at Faculty I


Once you have found your doctoral supervisor you need to apply for acceptance in the Faculty's list of doctoral candidates. For the application you should submit

  • An application letter addressed to the Commission for doctoral studies of Faculty I stating your request to be accepted in the list of doctoral candidates, your prospective thesis title, your field of doctoral studies and the name of your supervisor.
  • A short note of your supervisor (agreement to supervise your thesis) or supervision agreement (a sample is available in German).
  • Your Curriculum Vitae.
  • High School Diploma or other proof about knowledge of foreign languages (depending on the languages which are necessary for your doctoral thesis - please refer to the list of fields of doctoral studies.)
  • A copy of your university diploma or Master's degree (in official translation).
  • A copy of your transcript of records listing the courses and results of your previous studies.
  • Proof of German or English language proficiency (e.g., High School diploma, certificate of a language course, etc.).

The Commission for doctoral studies will decide about your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an official admission letter. With this admission letter you can apply for a PhD visa to Germany, if necessary.

Step 3: Enrolling as a doctoral student at the University of Siegen


Enrollment as a doctoral student at the University of Siegen is optional for doctoral candidates. However, only enrolled students get a doctoral student ID card and are able to use the University facilities (library, IT-facilities, sports facilities). Students also get a discount in the canteen and several cultural institutions and a ticket for public transport within North Rhine-Westphalia.

The enrolment itself takes place at the Student Admission, Registration and Training in German Language (STARTING). You will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Application form for admission to studies (more information).
  • The confirmation letter of your supervisor and the admission letter of the doctoral commission.
  • Your original university diplomas and a certified copy of each document.
  • A valid passport and (if necessary) a valid visa permitting entrance and residency for the pursuit of a doctoral degree in Germany.
  • A passport photograph.
  • A health insurance certificate from a state or private health insurance company.

Like regular students, all PhD students need to pay administrative fees of about 280 Euro per semester. These fees include the semester ticket for free public transport within North Rhine-Westphalia. All information regarding the enrollment of international doctoral students can be found on the website International Affairs.

Step 4: Opening of the doctoral procedure



Admission of doctoral students takes place throughout the year without specific deadlines. Enrollment for doctoral students takes place within the enrollment period.

Faculty I and the Student Admission, Registration and Training in German Language (STARTING) at the University of Siegen will support you in every step. Please contact us for questions related to steps 1 and 2 (as well as for general questions) and STARTING for questions related to step 3. If you need some help before your arrival in Siegen (e.g. accommodation, visa or entry regulations) the team at the Welcome Center would be happy to assist you.

Please also note the information about funding of doctoral studies and about examination regulations

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