Admission to the Doctorate

We are pleased that you are interested in a doctoral programme at Leuphana Graduate School! Here you can find out about the requirements for admission to the doctoral programme, the application procedure and first steps after admission.

For those who are new to the German education system, we recommend the online course "How to apply for a Phd in Germany" provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The course can be accessed after free registration, for an overview of how to start a doctorate.

Doctorate Information Days

The Graduate School organises information days on the doctorate at Leuphana once or twice a year. Here you can find current information on the information days.

Before admission

  • Finding a supervisor and getting in contact
  • Narrowing down the topic
  • Drafting a Proposal
  • Supervisor’s confirmation
  • Supervision agreement
  • Semester fee
  • Funding options for doctoral candidates

Before admission

Finding a supervisor and getting in contact

The first step to a doctorate is to find a supervisor for your project. Potential supervisors at Leuphana University of Lüneburg are professors who are experts in their field, and who research and teach on the Masters programmes at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Your thesis topic must correspond to the research profile of your potential supervisor, and you are responsible for initial contact.

The professors are attached to the faculties and institutes at Leuphana. You can access the professors' pages by searching for "People" on the faculty websites. These pages generally list the professors' current research and publications, and will give you an idea of whether they are researching in a relevant field for your proposed topic. You can also contact the student counselling service at the Graduate School with any questions.
In addition, several Leuphana professors have flagged their research topics and contact preferences on the website Doctoral Topics.
You would like to do your doctorate while working and are wondering how often you need to be in Lüneburg? Please clarify this question with the advised supervisor!

Narrowing down the topic

You define the topic for your thesis. Your research project must be related to one of the Leuphana research fields, and to the subjects taught at our faculties. You will find potential supervisors for your subject in the subject-specific doctoral research group or the relevant faculties.

Drafting a Proposal

The proposal is a description of your doctoral project of no more than five pages, and should include the provisional title of your thesis that you have agreed in preliminary meetings with your supervisor. Your proposal should outline your project in more detail, in part by answering the following questions:

  • What question are you seeking to explore?
  • What methods will you use?
  • What is the current state of the art?
  • What is the key literature?

Supervisor’s confirmation

Your supervisor will give you a written statement, the "supervisor’s confirmation". This statement includes an assessment of your academic qualifications, your thesis project and the relevance of your studies. The supervisor’s confirmation is one of the documents that you need to submit with your application for admission.

Unlike the supervisor´s confirmation, the supervision agreement serves to clarify mutual expectations with the aim of making the supervision relationship transparent in terms of content and time. This also serves to ensure the quality of the planning and implementation of your doctoral project. You should therefore also use the first meetings with your potential supervisor to discuss the type of supervision. The supervision agreement must be submitted to the Student Services together with the admission documents as of winter semester 2023/2024.

Semester fee

Fees are charged every semester. The first transfer is necessary after admission to the doctorate. Currently, the semester fee consists of the following items:

  • Studentenwerk fee: 112.00 Euro
  • Student Body fee: 130.55 Euro
    (Semester Ticket: 112.65 €, incl. Kulturticket, Stadt-RadRadspeicher and 17.90 € contribution towards student council and administration)
  •  Administrative fee: 75.00 Euro
  •  Sum: 317.55 Euro

A reduced semester fee applies to doctoral students who receive a scholarship from public funds:

  •  Studentenwerk fee: 112.00 Euro
  •  Student Body fee: 130.55 Euro
    
(Semester Ticket: 112.65 €, incl. Kulturticket, Stadt-RadRadspeicher and 17.90 € contribution towards student council and administration)
  •  Summe: 242.55 Euro

In order to be able to claim the reduction, you must submit proof of your scholarship to the Student Service (a copy of your scholarship approval is sufficient here).

Funding options for doctoral candidates

Employment at Leuphana

Scholarships at Leuphana

Doctoral scholarships are offered irregularly. Information on the focus, financial scope, duration and required documents can be found in the call for proposals: current calls for proposals
The regulations on the awarding of doctoral scholarships at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Gazette 07/14) can be found here.

Employment outside the University

Doctoral students can also work outside the University to cover their costs.

Requirements

  • University degree
  • Language skills
  • Supervisor’s confirmation
  • Supervision agreement
  • Application deadlines
  • Application form
  • Application form / Contact Student Service
  • Good scientific practice
  • Ethics Policy of the University
  • Doctoral Regulations / legal basis
  • Doctoral Regulations of the faculties

Requirements

University degree

Students applying for a doctorate should have a Diplom, Magister or Masters degree from a university or university of applied sciences, or have passed the 1st or 2nd Staatsexamen examination. Students must have passed their first degree with a grade higher than 2.6 (at least "gut" [good]).

For the first law Staatsexamen examination, a final grade of at least "befriedigend" [sufficient] is required.

Please make sure that your final grade and the grade for your Masters or Magister dissertation or Examensarbeit is clearly stated on your certificates/transcripts. You cannot submit these grades to Leuphana at a later stage.

The equivalence of degrees from foreign universities shall be established on the basis of the recommendations by the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen [Central Office for Foreign Education] at the Ständiges Sekretariat der Kultusministerkonferenz [Permanent Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs] (https://anabin.kmk.org/anabin.html), provided the degree in question is listed there. Please note, the university cannot carry out a preliminary examination on this regard.

For information on entering the doctorate with a Bachelor's degree (parallel admission to Master's and doctorate) Doctoral Track website.

Language skills

No proof of proficiency in Germanis required for admission to the doctoral programmes. You can write your thesis either in German or in English. However, the greater part of the doctoral courses are held in German. We therefore strongly recommend that you acquire the necessary level of German before starting your doctorate (e.g. DSH level 2 or TestDaF). You can also attend the International Center's Summer University to bring your German up to the required level, and the Language Centre can provide more information on the German classes on offer.

Please note:
For admissionsfrom the winter semester 2023/24 onwards, formal proof of English language skills is no longer required. Nevertheless, English remains an important academic language at Leuphana. An agreement on sufficient English language skills is regulated in the supervision agreement.

 

Supervisor’s confirmation

Your supervisor will give you a written statement, the "supervisor’s confirmation". This statement includes an assessment of your academic qualifications, your thesis project and the relevance of your studies. The supervisor’s confirmation is one of the documents that you need to submit with your application for admission.

Supervision agreement

Unlike the supervisor´s confirmation, the supervision agreement serves to clarify mutual expectations with the aim of making the supervision relationship transparent in terms of content and time. This also serves to ensure the quality of the planning and implementation of your doctoral project. You should therefore also use the first meetings with your potential supervisor to discuss the type of supervision. The supervision agreement must be submitted to the Student Services together with the admission documents as of winter semester 2023/2024.

Application deadlines

There are no deadlines for doctoral applications. Applications can be submitted at any time for the current semester or subsequent semesters.

Application form

Application form / Contact Student Service

Melanie Maselkowski | Phone: 04131-677-1407
Johanna Wille | Phone: 04131-677-1409

E-mail: adminpromotion@leuphana.de

Good scientific practice

The "Richtlinie zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis und zum Verfahren zum Umgang mit wissenschaftlichem Fehlverhalten der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg" ["Guidelines for Ensuring Good Academic Practice and Dealing with Academic Misconduct at Leuphana University of Lüneburg"] or "Ethics Guideline" set out by the Senate define the framework for good academic practice.

Doctoral Regulations / legal basis

The Doctoral Regulations set out in detail the applicable prerequisites and procedures for doctoral candidates at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. The Doctoral Regulations define:

  •  the admission requirements,
  •  the procedure for thesis submission,
  •  the thesis defence procedure and
  •  criteria for thesis publication

The Doctoral Regulations also describe the structure of the doctoral courses and the responsibilities of the doctoral boards, reviewers’ committees and doctoral research groups at Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Please read the Doctoral Regulations carefully as they are the legal basis for your doctorate.

For information on a cumulative thesis as an alternative to a monographic thesis, see Organising your doctorate.

After admission

  • Letter of acceptence and enrolment
  • Legal basis for enrolment
  • Transfer of semester contribution
  • Student card
  • Supervision agreement
  • Organising your Doctorate
  • Entry and residence

After admission

Letter of acceptence and enrolment

Your application will be assessed by Student Services and passed on to the competent doctoral board by the dean's office for the relevant faculty. The boards, which decide on admissions, generally meet at least twice a semester. Decisions are made on the basis of academic criteria and there are no quotas or limits. We are unfortunately not currently able to provide a preliminary assessment of your application.

Within two or three months (depending on when the competent doctoral board meets), you will hear from either the dean's office or Student Services on whether your application has been successful.

If you have been accepted, all you need to do is complete the formal enrolment process with Student Services. Upon enrolment, you as a doctoral candidate also become a member of the faculty in which you were admitted to the doctorate. As a doctoral candidate, you are thus granted certain rights (e.g. access to the intranet, SemesterTicket) and obligations (e.g. payment of the semester fees), which only  end when you are de-registered and your membership ends. Proof of membership is the student card or the certificate of enrolment.

Your acceptance letter will state the deadline for enrolment; it is usually 14 days from receipt of the letter.

Transfer of semester contribution

If the semester contribution arrives on Leuphana University Lüneburg’s account by the deadline, you are enrolled and later re-registered. By paying the contribution, you declare that you want to begin or continue your degree programme. The day on which payment is received on the university account counts, the so-called value date. Please ensure that the correct amount is transferred and that the reference is indicated correctly and in full. In the case of a re-registration, please indicate your matriculation number (7 digits) as a reference. If you are enrolling, you must provide your applicant number (9 digits). Your surname and first name follow afterwards in each case.

Example:

  • for a re-registration: 1234567, Smith, John  or
  • for an enrolment: 123456789, Smith, John.

 

Bank details of Leuphana University Lüneburg:

RecipientLeuphana Universität Lüneburg
IBANDE26 2505 0000 0199 9169 17
BICNOLADE 2 HXXX
BankNorddeutsche Landesbank Hannover
Reference
  • Matriculation number (or applicant number)
  • Surname, First name

Student card

Within 14 days after your transfer of the semester contribution you will receive your student card (incl. SemesterTicket) by mail. The registration or re-registration is now complete.

Please make sure that the Student Service has your current postal address. You can change this address at any time using the self-service facility in QIS. If your home address is the same as your postal address, you do not need to change anything. However, if your home address is e.g. in Munich and you would like to have the documents sent to another address (e.g. in Lüneburg), you can use this address as your postal address.

For the doctoral phase you conclude a supervision agreement with your supervisor, in which you set out in writing the mutual expectations for the supervision relationship in terms of content and time transparency. This serves to ensure the quality of the planning and implementation of your doctoral project. The supervision agreement must be submitted to the Studentenwerk together with the admission documents from the winter semester 2023/2024.

Organising your Doctorate

For more information to help you organise your doctorate effectively, see Organise your Doctorate.

Entry and residence

Information on entry and residence can be found on the pages of the International Office.