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Doctoral Studies at the University of Freiburg

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It is possible to pursue a doctoral degree at all eleven faculties of the University of Freiburg. In addition to the „classical“ form of individual doctoral studies, the university offers a large selection of structured doctoral programs in various areas.

Here you can find details about the doctoral degree regulations, faculty contacts, and further information.

The interests of all doctoral candidates are represented by the doctoral candidate councils of the faculties. The representatives of the doctoral candidate councils can be found on the homepage of the joint working committee.


Step by step instructions for registration/acceptance as doctoral candidate


Step 1: Supervision approval
First, you must receive confirmation for supervision by a person authorized for doctoral supervision (see § 5 Absatz 3 der Rahmenpromotionsordnung [RPO]).
Step 2: Conclusion of a dissertation agreement
Immediately after the supervision confirmation, a dissertation agreement between you and your supervisor must be concluded. For this, please download the relevant template from your faculty´s homepage.

Helpful tips and suggestions on how you and your supervisors can ensure the success of your doctorate, and what challenges and hurdles need to be considered along the way, can be found on our website on the subject of supervision culture.
Step 3: Central registration
With the conclusion of the dissertation agreement, you must register centrally as a prospective doctoral candidate. Information regarding the process can be found here.
Step 4: Acceptance as doctoral candidate by the faculty
The approval as a doctoral candidate should follow shortly after the conclusion of the dissertation agreement. For this, please make an application for approval through the online system Docata within six weeks of the conclusion of the dissertation agreement. After handing in the application together with the supporting documents, the doctoral examination board will decide on your application. The decision will be communicated in writing and, in the case of a rejection, justified (§ 7 Absatz 3 Satz 3 RPO).
Step 5: Enrollment/registration

After being accepted as a doctoral candidate by the faculty, you must enroll at the Service Center Studium (see § 38 Absatz 5, Satz 1, erster Halbsatz des Landeshochschulgesetzes [LHG]). Enrollment is compulsory for all doctoral candidates that were accepted as candidates at the University of Freiburg after March 30th 2018. Doctoral candidates whose main employer is the University of Freiburg (employment contract for at least half of a full-time position) can be exempt from compulsory enrollment according to § 38 Absatz 5 Satz 1, zweiter Halbsatz LHG. All doctoral candidates that have already been accepted as a doctoral candidate before March 30th 2018 are entitled to enrollment, but are not obligated to do so. Doctoral candidates that do not enroll must however register. Further information can be found here.

Legal Situation
With the Landeshochschulgesetz 2014, measures for securing quality standards in the doctoral process were implemented. Among other things, the law in § 38 Absatz 5 Satz 4 LHG requires the central registration of doctoral candidates. The registration is to occur after the conclusion of the dissertation agreement. Shortly after the conclusion of the dissertation agreement, the doctoral candidate must be accepted by the according faculty as a doctoral candidate. The dissertation agreement is concluded immediately after the supervision confirmation.
The Hochschulrechtsweiterentwicklungsgesetz from March 13th 2018 requires a compulsory enrollment for all doctoral candidates (§ 38 Abs. 5 Satz 1 LHG) who (1) have been accepted by their faculty after March 30th 2018 and (2) do not have an employment contract at the University of Freiburg for at least half of a full-time position.