The requirements for doing a doctorate in the Faculty of Humanities are set forth in the Doctoral Degree Regulations for the Faculty of Humanities dated 7 July 2010 (PDF in English) as amended on 12 April 2017 and 20 November 2019 (PDF on fast-track option). You can read an unofficial version, including amendments, on our website: unofficial version here
- university degree with a grade of “good” or higher in the doctoral subject from a degree program relevant for the dissertation project (see Section 3 PromO GW); exceptions must be decided by the doctoral committee
- supervisory commitment and suitable dissertation topic (see "First Steps")
- successful application to pursue doctoral studies (see "Admission and Enrollment")
- German language proficiency: If you plan to do your dissertation in German but your native language is not German, you must pass the DSH language test.
- Foreign language proficiency: If you plan to do your dissertation in English, you must prove that you have skills equivalent to B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). If the doctoral degree procedure is to be completed in another language pursuant to Section 7 subsection 2 and Section 11 subsection 1, the doctoral committee will establish appropriate guidelines and requirements for proof of language proficiency.
- Language requirements for certain doctoral subject areas: In a few subject areas, admission to doctoral studies requires proof of certain language skills; these are listed in Appendix 1 of the doctoral degree regulations. You must submit proof of these at the latest when you submit your dissertation.
The fast-track program at Universität Hamburg offers young researchers an opportunity to begin doctoral studies right after completing their bachelor’s program. If you have completed the bachelor’s examination with excellent results in a program related to the doctorate you wish to pursue, you can also be admitted to doctoral studies. The fast-track option is explained in the amended version of the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Faculty of Humanities dated 20 November 2019 (PDF). The separate master’s degree, which is usually required prior to commencing a doctoral degree, is instead integrated into the doctoral studies. The doctoral researcher must earn a master’s degree in a subject related to the doctoral program within the course of pursuing doctoral studies.
The program lasts 4 years in total. The Fast-Track Program is part of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskarriere (Hanseatic academic career) at Universität Hamburg, which is aimed at recognizing talented academics early in their development. The program is funded by the Excellence Strategy, a funding program financed by the federal and state governments. The department in question funds the third year.
See the Hamburg Research Academy website for more information and current calls for fast-track scholarships.
Bi-national doctoral studies (joint PhD)
You can do doctoral studies in 2 countries by submitting an application for admission to doctoral studies to a bi-national supervisory committee (pursuant to Section 6 subsection 2 or Section 6 subsection 4). Your international supervisor is then a reviewer and member of the examination commission.
Alternatively, you can do doctoral studies as a joint PhD pursuant to Section 16 of the Doctoral Degree Regulations. In this case, an individual contract is negotiated: contact your supervisor at Universität Hamburg, the doctoral studies office, and Department 5: International Affairs. When you submit an application, please read this PDF information sheet. We recommend using the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Faculty of Humanities as a basis for the contract: German contract template (docx) sand English contract template (docx)
See the Staff Service Portal for more information about the joint PhD or cotutelle procedures.