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General Information About PhD Studies at Freie Universität Berlin

As one of eleven Germany’s leading universities Freie Universität Berlin offers high quality doctoral education. In the Excellence Initiative competition Freie Universität was awarded additional funding for its outstanding graduate programs to promote young researchers.

Individual Doctorate

The individual doctorate ("Apprenticeship Model") – independent research under supervision of a so-called “Doktorvater” or “Doktormutter” – is still the most common way to pursue a doctorate in Germany. This usually provides greater freedom as far as the choice of subject is concerned. An individual doctorate can principally be accomplished in any subject area represented by a professorship at Freie Universität Berlin. Requirement for acceptance as a doctoral candidate is generally a very good final degree. Individual doctoral students do not automatically take part in a qualification program. Read more here.

Structured Doctoral Education

Pursuing doctoral studies in a structured doctoral program, selected doctoral candidates come together to work on projects related to a common interdisciplinary research topic. An accompanying study program prepares doctoral candidates for the research tasks. Currently, Freie Universität is offering structured doctoral programs in the framework of Graduate Schools and Research Training Groups. Read more here.

For the list of structured PhD programs please click here.

Doctoral Education at Dahlem Research School (DRS)

At Freie Universität Berlin particularly outstanding structured doctoral programs are comprised under the umbrella of Dahlem Research School. Doctoral candidates of DRS-member programs benefit from an interdisciplinary course program in which transferable skills applicable to a range of future careers in academia and beyond can be acquired. The Welcome Center offers special services to its international young researchers and hosts Orientation Weeks for newly admitted doctoral candidates. More information on Dahlem Research School.