Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of History

Incoming Doctoral Students


1. Check whether you meet all the prerequisites.

These can be found in the doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Philosophy.


Proof that you have completed a university course of study in the respective subject with at least a ‘good’ grade (Master's degree with a total of 300 study points, a BA/MA, Magisterprüfung, Staatsexamen, Diplom, or equivalent degree). The doctoral committee decides on exceptions. A reasoned application must be submitted by the examination board responsible for the subject in question.

Graduates of foreign universities must provide proof of the equivalence of their academic degree.

In exceptional cases, doctoral candidates with degrees from other disciplines may also be admitted to doctoral studies. The examination board responsible for the subject decides whether the requirements for admission are met. The board may impose conditions.

Proof of the language skills required to complete the doctoral thesis may be required. In justified exceptional cases, the dean may deviate from this rule on the recommendation of the responsible examination board.


2. Find a tutor.

A further prerequisite for admission to the doctorate at the Institute for History is a supervision agreement. A model supervision agreement can be found on page 10 et seq. of the doctoral regulations.

In order to find a supervisor, please inform yourself about the different research areas at the Institute: Link.

Finally, they should prepare a research proposal:

Doctoral programmes are supervised by at least two university professors; the first supervisor must be actively employed by the Faculty of Philosophy for the expected duration of the doctoral project.

Once you have found a supervisor who declares that he or she will accompany, advise, and support you in your doctoral project, you will discuss the topic of your dissertation and the time schedule for the planned dissertation. The supervisor is also your first reviewer and a member of the doctoral committee.

The second reviewer does not have to be a member of the Faculty of Philosophy but may instead belong to another faculty or university. The choice of the second reviewer is up to you.


3. Submit an application to Ms. Stefanie Weißmann at the Examination Office for Doctoral Matters of the Faculty of Philosophy.

You can find the application here. The supervisor must sign on page 2.

Please submit the following completed documents to the Examination Office for Doctoral Matters:

Completed and signed application for admission to doctoral studies,

Original and simple copies of the university certificates (those certifying completion of the BA and MA) if you can come to the office or certified copies of same if you send the documents by post,

Supervision agreement.


If you have a degree from a university outside your field of study, you may be admitted subject to conditions given in § 3 Para. 2 of the Promotionsordnung 2010.

If you have obtained a foreign university degree, you must have its equivalence certified. In addition, please submit transcripts and diploma supplements (BA and MA). As soon as a positive equivalence test has been passed, a decision will be made on your application for admission.


4. Matriculate at the university.

If you meet the admission requirements for a doctorate, you will receive a written notification from the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy.

If you are not employed as a research assistant at Humboldt University Berlin, you must matriculate. This is the responsibility of the Student Service of the Department of Student Affairs.

Doctoral students must apply for matriculation in writing at the Student Office within one month of the decision on admission to the doctorate, submitting this notification of admission. After successful enrolment, the matriculation number must be communicated to the Faculty of Philosophy via the Examination Office for Doctoral Affairs.


5. If applicable, register with the International Scholar Service (ISS).