Doctoral Studies

Are you thinking about pursuing a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Bonn? Below you will find an overview of the steps to take as well as important documents to download.

Are you currently you are undertaking your doctoral studies at our faculty with a doctoral supervisor? If you do not yet fulfill the required prerequisites, you will also need to take part in a structured doctoral program. In addition, a PhD program is currently being developed in which you can choose from different main areas.

The Doctoral Regulations (PDF file for download) form the legal basis for your doctoral studies.

Step 1: Doctoral Supervisior

First, find a doctoral supervisor for your dissertation project. You may ask any professor or private lecturer of the Faculty's departments.

Next, fill in the supervision confirmation form (PDF file for download) and get your supervisor to sign it.

Before you register, please also carefully read the information on doctoral studies at our faculty (only available in German).

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Step 2: Registration

Now you can register for your doctoral studies by sending the supervision confirmation form and the completed Hochschulstatistikfragebogen (questionnaire for statistical purposes) to the Office for Doctoral Affairs by e-mail.

For the registration of your dissertation project, you must also submit the following (original or certified copy):

  • Degree Certificates
  • Language certificates
  • Transcript of Records
  • School leaving certificate

Certificate Doctorate Plus

The certificate Doctorate plus can be acquired in the following tracks: Research, Research Management, Business and Organizations Track.

The certificate is jointly issued by the Bonn Graduate Center and its cooperating institutions: Career Center, Human Development, Bonn University and State Library, International Office, Gender Equality Office and Bonner Zentrum für Hochschullehre.

Step 3: Writing Phase

After finding your subject and preparing a synopsis in consultation with your supervisor, it is up to you to write, discuss and perhaps already present parts of your thesis.

It generally takes 3 years full-time to write a PhD thesis, and obviously longer if part-time.

We recommend that the length of your thesis does not exceed 280 pages or 750,000 characters (including spaces, annotations and bibliography). You can find details in the information sheet for download.

Step 4: Application for the Doctoral Examination

You have completed your thesis? Congratulations!

Submit at least 3 printed copies of your thesis as well as an electronic version to the Office for Doctoral Affairs. The application form for admission to the doctoral examination andthe required attachments must also be submitted.

You can find details on the formal requirements in the information sheet for download.

Expect a period of nine months between the submission of your thesis and the doctoral examination.

Step 5: Oral Defence or Viva

Decide whether you would like to take your doctoral examination in the form of a disputation (oral defense of your thesis) or a viva examination and get in touch with possible examiners. Certain requirements must be met to be eligible for a disputation.

Once your thesis has been evaluated and accepted by the examination board a date will be set for your oral examination and announced to you by e-mail. Vivas take place on a fixed date, whereas dates for disputations are arranged individually.

If you are defending your thesis in a a disputation, you must submit your arguments to the Office for Doctoral Affairs at least 6 weeks before the date.

Further Procedure

After your successful doctoral examination, you will receive a written confirmation. However, you may not use your doctoral title until you have been awarded your doctorate certificate. The condition for this is the submission of a contract for the publication of your doctoral thesis with a minimum print run of 150 copies.

Alternatively, it is possible to submit a larger number of copies to the Office for Doctoral Affairs for circulation or to publish your thesis digitally through the university library. Please contact the Office for Doctoral Affairs in advance if you would like to choose one of the latter options.

There will be a graduation ceremony, to which you, your supervisor and the the second examiner will be invited. You are also welcome to bring other guests with you.

At the graduation ceremony you will receive a certificate and may take the doctoral oath if you would like to. Following the ceremony, you will be given written confirmation that you are now entitled to use the doctoral title.

Your thesis should be published within a year of graduating, otherwise you need to apply for an extension. 7 published copies must be submitted, into which specific details must be inserted by you – the Office for Doctoral Affairs has a template you can use.

And what now? The Career Service of Bonn University can advise you on further career opportunities.


Avatar Office for Doctoral Affairs

Office for Doctoral Affairs

+49 228 73-60034

Avatar Dean's Office

Dean's Office

+49 228 73-7366

See also

Research Projects

Get an overview of the current research projects at the Faculty of Protestant Theology.

Examination Office

The Examination Office will support you with formal and organisational questions regarding your doctorale studies.

Dean's Office

The Dean's Office is your contact for all questions concerning the Faculty in Bonn as a whole.

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