FAQ about doctoral studies at the UdK Berlin
In graduating with a doctoral degree, candidates demonstrate their competence to conduct in-depth academic work. The programme consists of an independent doctoral thesis and an oral examination (a defence or “rigorosum”). The central task is to come up with and present in writing new academic findings in coordination with the supervisor. Important: please note that it is not possible to acquire a PhD in artistic research or a practice-based PhD at the UdK Berlin.
There is a wide variety of study programmes at the UdK Berlin where a doctoral degree is possible. The basis for the doctoral degree is a completed academic or art-academic degree (Bachelor's, Master's, Diplom, Staatsexamen, Magister, etc). You are not eligible for doctoral studies if your degree is solely art-based. Faculty regulations governing doctoral degrees define the formal prerequisites for completing a doctoral degree. The PhD committees at the individual faculties are responsible for implementing the doctoral procedures.
The University of the Arts currently offers two different ways to obtain a doctoral degree: an individual doctorate and graduation from a structured doctoral programme.
An individual doctorate is a doctoral degree from a university that is acquired outside of a structured programme. In such cases, the doctoral candidate must independently acquire the PhD degree and seek a direct supervisor at a university. The doctoral work must take place at the university where the primary supervisor is employed. If admitted by the university, applicants may enrol as doctoral students at the UdK Berlin. Enrolment requires paying semester fees that are set by the respective university. An individual doctorate is not associated with any fellowship or fixed position. Funding for the doctorate must be acquired independently by the candidate.
Before applying, anyone interested in doctoral studies must undertake the following steps on their own:
- Write a 10-12 page (standard margins, 1.5 line spacing, 12 pt Arial font) proposal that includes the following: a short overview of the subject; presentation of the research questions and, if applicable, your hypotheses (if these have already been prepared); presentation of the current state of research on the topic (what has already been researched about the topic/person?); relevance of the topic for research; description of the methodology (what methods will be used to address the research questions?); if applicable, case examples that define the research topic and questions; a timetable (succinct and drawn up for 3 years); a bibliography (if applicable, a selection of the literature relevant to the specific dissertation topic).
- Seek out a suitable primary supervisor at the UdK Berlin. Important: only regular professors who hold a doctorate degree are eligible to supervise doctoral students.
- Independently contact the primary supervisor and ask if they are willing to serve as the primary supervisor. Important: when applying for doctoral studies at the UdK Berlin, you require written confirmation that the professor in question has agreed to be the primary supervisor.
- Doctoral theses in English are possible at the UdK Berlin based on each faculty's regulations governing doctoral degrees. You also require consent from the supervising professor to complete a PhD in English.
Requirements for doctoral degrees
- Doctoral degrees at the UdK Berlin may be completed at the Faculties of Fine Arts, Music, Design and Performing Arts and at the Central Institute of Continuing Education (Zentralinstitut für Weiterbildung, ZIW).
- Each faculty's regulations governing doctoral degrees are available here:
- Information and decisions on the recognition of earlier degrees and prerequisites for doctoral studies are the exclusive responsibility of the doctorate degree committees at the individual faculty where you wish to study.
- Applications for admission to doctoral studies at the UdK Berlin must be submitted to the doctoral studies office of the relevant faculty.
- Information about the various doctoral studies offices, doctorate degree committees and the documentation required can be found here:
Enrolment and fees as a doctoral student at the UdK Berlin
- If your application for admission has been approved by the doctorate degree committee and you have received confirmation from the relevant graduate studies office to which you submitted your application, you may enrol using this letter of confirmation at the UdK Berlin Registration Office.
Doctoral students may enrol at any time. A fee of approximately €320.00 is due per semester. You can find more details about the fees here.