Every journey starts with the first step

First Steps towards a Doctorate

At the beginning of the doctorate there are many questions: Do I want to do my doctorate individually or do I prefer a structured program? What are the prerequisites and requirements for a doctorate in my field? Which formal steps do I have to consider at the beginning and how do I enroll as a doctoral student? On this page you will find information and tips on all these questions - so that you can get off to a good start with your doctoral studies.

What Type of Doctorate Suits You?

The university offers you two options: you can pursue a classic individual doctorate with the support of a doctoral supervisor as experts in your field, or you can choose from our more than 30 structured doctoral programs. Structured doctoral programs combine excellent scientific framework conditions with individual supervision by experienced researchers in your field - supplemented by continuous exchange and regular meetings with your supervisors.

How to obtain your PhD in Germany

The Individual Doctorate

As a full-spectrum university, the University of Bonn offers a wide range of subjects in which every professor can be considered as a possible supervisor for your doctoral thesis. Find out about the numerous research fields that are covered in the seven faculties of the university. Talk to one of our professors with your idea for your dissertation project.

Doing a doctorate in a structured doctoral program

Each of our structured doctoral programs offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages you to reach your full potential and prepare for a successful career. The programs include innovative, personal support with regular progress reviews as well as extensive opportunities to expand your research network and establish contacts in your research field.


International Doctoral Students


Doctoral Degrees per Year


Female Doctoral Students

Formal Steps towards Your Doctorate

There are three important formal steps to be followed on the way to a successful doctorate. In this video you will learn which steps these are and what you have to do to get off to a successful start with your doctoral studies.

Formal steps towards a doctorate


Confirmation of Supervision 

Find a supervisor at the University of Bonn and obtain a signed confirmation of supervision from him or her. The faculties have their own templates ready for this. Contact your faculty's doctoral office.


Registration at the Faculty

Contact the doctoral office of your faculty with the written confirmation of supervision. Additional documents may be required. Find out about this in advance. If the registration is successful, you will receive a letter of admission within four to eight weeks.


Enrollment as Doctoral Student

As soon as you have received the letter of admission, you can enroll as a doctoral student. You can get more information about the documents you need from the Enrollment Office

Doctoral Offices and Regulations

Each faculty determines its own doctoral regulations, the prerequisites and requirements for the doctorate. Below you will find a link to these regulations as well as the contact details of contact persons for questions about the doctoral degree regulations for each faculty and for registration in the doctoral office.

Doctoral Degree Regulations and Contacts of the Doctoral Offices

Dr. Hanno Dockter

+49 (0228) 73 7343 
An der Schlosskirche 2-4
53113 Bonn
Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Catholic Theology can be found here [in German].

Helen Siegburg und Iris Hanita

+49 (0228) 73 7366 
Am Hof 1 
53113 Bonn

Silke Weingartz und Gabriele Watzl

+49 (0228) 73 9101 
Adenauerallee 24-42 
53113 Bonn

Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Law and Economics can be found here [in German].

Contact for the Dr. med. and Dr. med. dent. Doctorate
Janine Bernabei und Martina Suhre

+49 (0228) 287 19203 
Venusberg-Campus 1, Haus 33, 1. OG
53127 Bonn

Contact for the PhD and MD/PhD
Sarah Funk 

+49 (0228) 287 10146
Venusberg-Campus 1, Haus 33, 1.OG
53127 Bonn

Contact for Doctoral Statistics
Lisa Schmidt

Venusberg-Campus 1, Haus 33, 1.OG
53127 Bonn

Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Medicine can be found here.

Dipl.-Psych. Anke Piel 

+49 (0228) 73 7268 
Am Hof 1, Hauptgebäude, EG Raum 0.138
53113 Bonn

Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Arts can be found here.


Karina Limbach, Claudia Schmidt und Jorg Wenniges

+49 (0228) 73 2232 
Wegelerstr. 10, Raum 0.012 und 0.013
53115 Bonn

Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences can be found here.


Regina Kirchner-Bierschenk (Agrar, ELW)

+49 (0228) 73 2867 
Meckenheimer Allee 174
53115 Bonn

Evelyn Fink/Florian Herchen (GuG)

+ 49 (0228) 73 2868
Meckenheimer Allee 174
53115 Bonn

Further information on the doctoral program at the Faculty of Agriculture can be found here.

PhD Statistics

Information on the registration of doctoral students and the current questionnaire.

Support during Your Doctoral Studies

Learn more about the comprehensive support offers during your doctorate. Find out more about the Doctorate plus qualification program, our funding lines and individual advice and coaching offers for doctoral candidates.

From all over the world to Bonn

The International Office will support you on the way to a successful doctorate even before your arrival. Find out about visas, health insurance and finding accommodation.


Avatar Papel

Sandra Papel

I am happy to advise international doctoral students on planning!

+49 228 73-9527

Avatar Radu

Dr. Robert Radu

Do you have general questions about the doctorate? Feel free to make an appointment for a consultation.

+49 228 73-60222

Also see

Life in Bonn

There is life outside the lecture hall and laboratory— and what a life! The City of Bonn and the Rhineland region has much to offer; the University also makes its own contribution to this mix.


Get to know our numerous orientation and support offerings.

Events and Opportunities

Find out what's new and see upcoming events.

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