Deutsch Intern

Doctoral programs for foreign applicants

Doctoral programs in Germany require independent research under the supervision of a university professor. Candidates are expected to contribute  new knowledge and insights to their chosen areas of study. The findings of this research are presented in a doctoral thesis which is an independent, written presentation (Doktorarbeit, PhD thesis) covering new academic or scientific ground. Apart from submitting the doctoral thesis, candidates must also complete an oral examination, known as the "Rigorosum" before the doctorate can be conferred. The duration of doctoral studies is normally 3-5 years. The time varies depending on the area of study and the specific subject of research.

There are different possibilities for foreign applicants to take part in a doctoral program at the University of Würzburg:

1. With a faculty

2. With a Graduate School

3. Bi-Nationale Promotion (Cotutelle, Cotutella, Joint Supervision of Doctoral Thesis)

Doctoral applicants are required to have:

  • A successful, qualifying degree from an officially-recognized university (decision by the doctoral committee)
  • Confirmation from a professor (known in Germany as „Doktorvater“ or „Doktormutter“)* who is willing to supervise the research and who will either propose a topic or accept a topic proposed by you
  • Letter of acceptance from the doctoral committee
  • Proof of German proficiency when deemed necessary by the respective doctoral PhD regulations 

*Please check first if your research focus is represented at the University of Würzburg. If this is the case, please contact the respective professor.
You can find the professors and their fields in the course catalogue and in the faculties.
You can also find information on research conducted at the University of Würzburg.

If you have completed the above-mentioned prerequisites and you have received the letter of acceptance from the doctoral committee, please send the application for admission to the International Students Office in order to register for your doctoral program.

Please note: Please hand in your enrolment documents at the International Students Office as soon as possible. The staff of the International Students Office will then issue your enrolment as soon as possible. Please note that this might not be possible until the next semester, as the enrolment deadline depends on the lecture period.
Information on the official deadlines and dates can be found here: