PhD in Humanities

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PhD in Humanities

The PhD programme in the Humanities is an interdisciplinary programme, linking anthropological, philosophical, cultural, and linguistic disciplines.

The programme provides students with a flexible, interdisciplinary framework, built on connections between the Humanities in general, arts, culture, and linguistics. Over the course of six academic quarters, our PhD students receive extensive theoretical and methodological trainings that impart strong research and analytical skills and enable students to become leading experts in their fields of study. This particular PhD programme focuses on under represented areas of research in higher learning institutes, including anthropology and aesthetics.

Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities

Duration of programme
6 semesters

180 ECTS credits


Online, part-time

Programme start
October 2021

Occupational Areas


You are capable of identifying fundamental problems in the Humanities, especially those with interdisciplinary connections in arts, literature and communication. You are a leading expert within the field of your research and have a considerable understanding of related academic fields, in this case the Humanities, culture and linguistics.

Occupational Areas

Graduates of our Humanities PhD programme are trained to communicate clearly, think critically and make reasoned choices. These skills render them experts in counseling in a variety of branches, including the arts and culture sector as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations, communications, and media.

Details on the programme schedule

Structured doctorate

In addition to an individual doctorate, which is still the most frequent form of acquiring a PhD in Germany, the “structured doctorate” has become firmly established in recent years.
The “structured” doctorate is distinguished from the “individual doctorate” by some special formal features, but it primarily strengthens the professional and social integration of the doctoral students compared to an individual doctorate.
The doctorate programme covers a standard period of 3 years, including completion of the dissertation and completion of the oral doctoral examination. 180 ECTS credits must be earned.

Programme requirements

The following must be completed in the course of doctoral studies:

  • At the end of the first academic year, the candidate has to submit a completed dissertation concept of about 25 pages (6 ECTS) to the examination secretariat. The dissertation concept is assessed as passed or not passed by both supervisors. Exceeding the deadline for submission will result in the loss of admission to the doctorate programme, unless the doctoral candidate is not responsible for exceeding the deadline.
  • In the course of the doctorate programme, doctoral seminars and case studies are to be attended in which oral presentations are to be held

Participation in the curriculum

The choice of programme and admission to a programme usually entails a thematic focus. Doctoral students in a programme therefore not only regularly attend the specialist colloquium of their supervisor, but can also benefit from a generous range of additional courses that are specially tailored to the programme’s goals and the needs of its doctoral students. By participating in courses and workshops, both within the framework of the degree and across programmes, you will benefit from the opportunity to discuss and network.


Supervision and mentoring in the programmes is distributed among several persons (at least two, often three) who advise on dissertations in a team. A supervision agreement signed by all supervisors, the doctoral student and the spokesperson of the programme sets minimum standards and formulates the expectations of both parties. Naturally, the aim of these agreements is not to further formalise the doctorate in legal terms, but to increase the binding nature of agreements and advisory meetings and to improve the overall supervision.

Difficulties that repeatedly arise while working on the dissertation and which easily impair progress for weeks can be discussed and solved quickly and simply with other doctoral students. And since there usually is a programme coordinator, you also have a contact person for questions and problems that are not directly related to your dissertation

Admission requirements

  • Completion of a first university professional degree in a subject closely related to the curriculum offered and that corresponds to the acquisition of at least 120 ECTS credits (Diploma / Master’s degree or an equivalent domestic or foreign degree).
  • One of the most important admission requirements for the doctorate is the sponsorship of one of the research professors in the programme, in which he or she agrees to supervise the candidate’s planned doctoral project. Applicants should therefore familiarise themselves with the research areas of the faculty members and contact potential supervisors before applying for admission. This contact and the preliminary agreement should be indicated in the research project’s description. This precondition is intended to ensure that no doctoral student is left without a supervisor after enrolling in the programme. The commitment is provisional and the supervisors of the thesis may be changed after the start of the programme if all parties involved agree. This is especially the case if the project should be redefined later on.