Doctoral degree  

Doctoral degree and university certificate / M&B certificate

Doctoral degree (Doktortitel) and degree certificate (Urkunde)

In Germany, doctoral degrees are conferred by the faculties of universities, not by individual university institutes or graduate schools. Doctoral candidates will be awarded the title typically conferred by the faculty in which they are enrolled (e.g., Charité Medical Faculty; Faculty of Life Sciences at Humboldt-Universität; Faculty of Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität; Faculty of Education and Psychology at Freie Universität; etc.). Which faculty doctoral candidates choose for enrolment will typically depend on the affiliation of their main supervisors. The exact requirements for the doctorate and final examinations (e.g., a monography or a series of peer-reviewed publications; regulations regarding reviewers and doctoral committees; thesis defense; the requirements for receiving the degree-confirming Urkunde; duty to publish, etc.) depend on the regulations of the respective faculty. Doctoral candidates should talk to their supervisors, carefully read the webpages of the faculty where they are registered, and/or make appointments with the faculty's advisors for further information.

Examples for doctoral degrees: a biologist or a psychologist matriculated at Humboldt-Universität will be awarded a Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr. rer. nat.), a psychologist matriculated at Freie Universität will be granted a Doctor philosophiae (Dr. phil.). Psychologists or biologists enrolled in the Charité Medical Faculty will be awarded a Doctor rerum medicinalium (Dr. rer. medic.), or a PhD, and candidates with a Master's degree in medicine may be awarded a Doctor medicinae (Dr. med.). Doctoral candidates in philosophy or linguistics faculties will be awarded a Doctor philosophiae (Dr. phil.).

All doctoral degrees listed above are highly respected nationally and internationally. Doctoral candidates should discuss their degree options with their supervisors.

Generally, doctoral theses (as monographs or published papers) may be written and defended both in German and in English. However, candidates should check whether they will have to make a special application to their faculty for an English-language thesis and defense.

This page last updated on: 31 August 2019

Partner universities