Doctoral CandidatesDoctoral Training in Heidelberg
Heidelberg University is proud to offer a wide range of doctorate programs with a very diverse level of structuring - individual doctoral training, as well as small and medium sized training groups or large graduate schools.
It is possible to obtain a doctoral degree in any of the subjects offered at the university. Doctoral studies can be carried out on an individual basis or within a structured doctoral program. These pages provide information about the academic prerequisites for doctoral studies, the steps necessary for beginning your studies, language requirements, funding and doctoral regulations. The electronic registration and service portal heiDOCS accompanies all doctoral students from the beginning of the admission procedure through the whole doctoral phase.
In order to pursue doctoral studies at Heidelberg University you must fulfill certain basic prerequisites. Beside the completion of a university degree with very good or good results, you must pursue independent academic research, normally a written academic thesis (dissertation) and an oral examination (disputation or rigorosum).
Formal steps for beginning your doctorate
The twelve Faculties of Heidelberg University regulate and govern doctoral training. They are responsible for admitting and registering their doctoral candidates. Depending on whether an individual doctoral training or a doctorate within a structured program is aimed at, the formal procedures in Heidelberg is differ.
Forms of doctoral training
Structured doctoral programs
Structured doctoral programs are offered in Heidelberg in many variants. From smaller doctoral colleges with 3-5 researchers to graduate schools with more than 100 members. Currently, there are more than 40 structured doctoral programs with a broad spectrum and variable intensity regarding the various structuring elements.
Individual doctoral training
The individual doctorate offers great freedom in the design and conduct of the doctoral project and thus increasingly requires independent organization. With the support of the academic supervisor, the doctoral candidate chooses a research topic and works more or less independently and on an individual basis with him or her.
Binational doctoral training – Cotutelle de thèse
A “cotutelle de thèse” is a binational doctoral program that is carried out in cooperation with an international partner university. The program is binational regarding the supervision of the project, research stays at the partner university, the involvement of external supervisors both in the evaluation of the dissertation and its defense and the issuing of a common doctoral diploma by both universities.
Arriving and Living in Heidelberg
Information for doctoral students
For all doctoral students who are new to the city, information about life in Heidelberg is offered. Doctoral students in the city and at the University of Heidelberg benefit from a number of benefits that can be taken advantage of with "acceptance as doctoral student" or matriculation. These benefits apply to housing, food, university sports, public transport and childcare.
heiDOCS is developed as an integral quality programme for the promotion of doctoral students and young researchers at Heidelberg University. It aims to establish and consolidate a vivid quality culture in the supervision of doctoral students and postdocs.