General information on doctorates at the University of Tübingen

A doctoral degree is the most important degree conferred by a university. The right to confer doctorates belongs to institutions of higher education alone.

Within a university, the faculties are responsible for the doctoral process and therefore also for the conferring of this academic degree.

At the University of Tübingen we have seven Faculties which are very different in terms of size and structure, age, development, and subject structure. An overview of the University of Tübingen and its Faculties and disciplines, as well as the addresses of the Dean’s Offices may be found here:

Doctoral degrees at Tübingen Faculties

The Faculties at the University of Tübingen confer the following doctoral degrees:

Dr. theol.

Faculty of Protestant Theology
Faculty of Catholic Theology

Dr. jur.

Faculty of Law

Dr. rer. pol. , Dr. rer. soc. Dr. phil

Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Dr. med., Dr. med. dent., Dr. sc. hum., PhD Experimental Medicine

Faculty of Medicine

Dr. phil.

Faculty of Humanities

Dr. rer. nat.

Faculty of Science

Formal requirements and preparation for doctoral studies

The requirements for admission to doctoral studies are set out in each Faculty’s doctoral degree regulations. Please go to the relevant Faculty website and search for the information.

You will have to complete a doctoral thesis and oral defense, as well as meeting the requirement to publish your thesis and deliver a set number of copies free of charge to the Faculty and the University Library. The time for completing a doctoral degree is between two and five years, depending on the subject, the thesis topic, and personal disposition.

An important formal requirement is documentation of successfully completed Master’s-level studies. If this degree was completed at a university outside Germany, the degree must be equivalent to a degree taken at an institution of higher education in Germany which is entitled to confer doctoral degrees. The Faculty will decide on questions of equivalency. In some cases the doctoral degree regulations set out special requirements, such as completion of a prior 2-semester program at the Faculty, special language requirements, studies in other, complementary subjects, or tests of your knowledge level. If the Faculty has additional requirements for you to fulfill, you will be notified of them in your notice of acceptance into the doctoral process. Acceptance in this case may be made conditional to you meeting the additional requirements by a set deadline, whereapon your acceptance into the Faculty’s doctoral process will be finalized.

Recommendations for international doctoral applicants

Doctoral studies and enrollment

While pursuing their doctoral studies, doctoral candidates may take on student status - i.e., they may apply to enroll at the University. Currently most of our doctoral candidates work individually, not in doctoral programs. The special nature of this form of study means that they do not attend regular University classes, instead moving forward with research and learning in order to complete their doctoral thesis. Being enrolled gives doctoral candidates the right to also use the University facilities reserved for students while pursuing their academic topic and working with their supervisor.