Admission to the Doctorate

Before admission

  • Finding a supervisor and getting in contact
  • Narrowing down the topic
  • Drafting a Proposal
  • Supervisor’s confirmation
  • Semester contribution
  • Funding options for doctorates

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. You should therefore bring a brief proposal outlining your research idea to your first meeting.

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.

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.

Semester contribution

The semester contributions consist of the following items:

  • Studentenwerk contribution: 104.00 Euro

  • Student body contribution: 178,32 Euro (includes "Lower Saxony Ticket" = € 161.32, incl. Kulturticket, city bike and € 17.00 contribution towards student council and administration)
  • Contribution towards administrative expenses 75.00 Euro
  • Total: 357,32 Euro

These fees are payable upon registration or re-registration for the following semester. The amounts should be transferred to

IBAN:DE 26 2505 0000 0199 916 917
Credit institute:Norddeutsche Landesbank Hannover
Purpose of use:student ID (or applicant number)
surname, name

Funding options for doctorates

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

Employment outside the University

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


  • University degree
  • Language skills
  • Supervisor’s confirmation
  • Application deadlines
  • Application form
  • Good scientific practice
  • Ethics Guidelines
  • Doctoral Regulations
  • Doctoral Regulations of the faculties


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 or second 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] (, provided the degree in question is listed there. Please note, the university cannot carry out a preliminary examination on this regard.

Language skills

No proof of proficiency in German is required for admission to the doctoral programmes. You can write your thesis either in German or in English. However, some of the doctoral programme classes are held in German. We therefore strongly recommend that you acquire the necessary level of German before commencing your doctorate (e.g. DSH level 2 or TestDaF). You can also attend the International Office'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.

Good English is only required for doctorates at the Faculties of Sustainability and Business & Economics. The following are accepted as proof of English proficiency:

  • At least 85 points in an Internet-based TOEFL test
  • At least 785 points in a TOEIC test
  • An IELTS 5.5 test
  • A Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English (CAE), Grade C or higher
  • Modules taken and passed as part of a higher education degree that are worth at least 30 CPs (ECTS) and were taught and assessed exclusively in English
  • A degree in English
  • A certificate from an English-medium school that qualifies the student to study in that English-speaking country

Students who hold a Masters from the Leuphana Graduate School do not need to provide proof of English proficiency. The doctoral board may accept alternative, equivalent proof of English proficiency in individual cases.

The TOEIC test can be taken at the Centre for Modern Languages (ZeMoS). We recommend taking the placement test to get an idea of your level before preparing for the TOEIC. The Language Centre also offers two-week preparatory courses and consultations. Leuphana cannot cover the fees for the test. You will find all the information you need about the TOEIC test on the Language Centre pages.

Proof of proficiency in English must be provided by the end of the third semester at the latest.

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.

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

Please complete the application form provided here and post it to Student Services together with all accompanying documents required.

Questions regarding the application form, please contact the Student Services.

- Application form for admission as a doctoral candidate

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 Guidelines" set out by the Senate and the Presidential Committee define the framework for good academic practice.

Ethics Guidelines

Doctoral Regulations

Please read the Doctoral Regulations carefully as they are the legal basis for your doctorate. The Doctoral Regulations set out in detail the applicable prerequisites and procedures for doctorates at Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

After admission

  • Letter of acceptence and enrollment
  • Signing up for classes on taught doctoral modules
  • Organising your Doctorate
  • Entry and residence

After admission

Letter of acceptence and enrollment

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. You will then receive your student card and SemesterTicket. Your acceptance letter will state the deadline for enrolment; it is usually 14 days from receipt of the letter.

Signing up for classes on taught doctoral modules

Students sign up for classes on taught doctoral modules on the web-based platform myStudy. myStudy is a web-based platform provided by Leuphana. This is where the course catalogue is published.

Please set up a myStudy account once you have been accepted so that you can register for classes. In your profile, enter "Promotionsstudium / doctoral courses (Promotion / doctorate)" as your programme of study and your doctoral research group as your subject. Your letter of acceptance will specify your doctoral research group.


If you have already studied at Leuphana University of Lüneburg and have a myStudy account, please remember to update your profile and enter "Promotionsstudium / doctoral courses (Promotion / doctorate)" as your programme of study and your doctoral research group as your subject.

If you already have a myStudy account because you have a teaching post or are otherwise employed at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, please contact myStudy Support to arrange for the role "Student" to be added to the existing role(s) in your myStudy account.

myStudy guest access allows you to view the current course catalogue for Leuphana University and the courses offered in previous semesters before being accepted for a doctorate.

Organising your Doctorate

You can find more information to help you organise your doctorate effectively on the webpage Organising your Doctorate.

Entry and residence

Doctoral candidates from abroad should check the immigration and visa regulations as soon as they start considering studying here. Please note that the following information is a general guide only: please check with the competent authorities for the binding requirements.

Visa Regulations

In ge­ne­ral, for­eign na­tio­nals who wish to stu­dy in Ger­ma­ny must ap­p­ly for a stu­dent visa in or­der to en­ter Ger­ma­ny. Do not en­ter Ger­ma­ny with a tou­rist visa be­cau­se it can­not be chan­ged into a stu­dent visa.

Na­tio­nals of EU-coun­tries, Is­land, Liech­ten­stein, Nor­way and Swit­z­er­land do not need a visa.

Ci­ti­zens from coun­tries that are ex­emp­ted from the EU visa re­gu­la­ti­ons, such as Aus­tra­lia, Bra­sil, Ca­na­da, Is­ra­el, Ja­pan, New Ze­a­land, Re­pu­blic Ko­rea and USA, may en­ter Ger­ma­ny wi­thout a visa, but must ap­p­ly for a re­si­dence per­mit wi­t­hin two weeks upon ar­ri­val.

Visa ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons must be made well in ad­van­ce at the com­pe­tent Ger­man em­bas­sy or con­su­la­te in the home coun­try. The re­le­vant lo­cal of­fice for for­eign na­tio­nals in Ger­ma­ny, e.g. Lüne­burg, must ap­pro­ve the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on and the Ger­man em­bas­sy or con­su­la­te is not al­lo­wed to is­sue a visa pri­or to this ap­pro­val. The­re­fo­re, it might take up to 3 months from ap­p­li­ca­ti­on date to is­sue date.

Plea­se check de­tails re­gar­ding the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on pro­cess and ac­com­pany­ing do­cu­ments with your com­pe­tent Ger­man em­bas­sy/​con­su­la­te!

For­eign na­tio­nals can also ob­tain a visa that is va­lid for the ent­i­re du­ra­ti­on of their stay in Ger­ma­ny. In this case, no ap­p­li­ca­ti­on for an elec­tro­nic tit­le of re­si­dence (eAT) is ne­cessa­ry. Plea­se con­tact your con­su­la­te to find out more about this op­ti­on.

For fur­ther and fre­quent­ly up­dated in­for­ma­ti­on, plea­se vi­sit the web­sites of your com­pe­tent con­su­la­te or of the Federal Foreign Office.

Health Insurance

In Ger­ma­ny health in­suran­ce is com­pul­so­ry. The­re­fo­re, in­ter­na­tio­nal stu­dents must pro­vi­de pro­of of ade­qua­te health in­suran­ce co­ver­age du­ring their stay in Ger­ma­ny. Travel insurance will not be accepted!

Stu­dents from coun­tries that have si­gned the Trea­ty on Health Care Ab­road must only pro­vi­de pro­of of health in­suran­ce in their home coun­try and along their elec­tro­nic health in­suran­ce card/​AT 11. Plea­se note that for working du­ring the stu­dy pe­ri­od a pu­blic health in­suran­ce in ger­ma­ny is com­pul­so­ry for all stu­dents, even for EU ci­ti­zens.

Stu­dents from other coun­tries can take out pu­blic stu­dent health in­suran­ce in Ger­ma­ny at a cost of 105 eu­ros per month. It can be ar­ran­ged in ad­van­ce on­line. Al­ter­na­tive­ly it is pos­si­ble to en­ter Ger­ma­ny with a tra­vel in­suran­ce and take out health in­suran­ce wi­t­hin se­ven days af­ter ar­ri­val. For­eign health in­suran­ce will usual­ly not be ac­cep­ted ex­cept if un­li­mi­ted co­ver­age is gua­ran­te­ed. In spe­ci­fic ca­ses stu­dents can be ex­cu­sed from the health in­suran­ce com­pul­so­ry. Stu­dents aged over 30 must take out pri­va­te health in­suran­ce wi­t­hin the first week upon ar­ri­val

Plea­se find more in­for­ma­ti­on on the Ger­man health in­suran­ce sys­tem here .

Registration of Residence

All in­ter­na­tio­nal stu­dents, in­clu­ding tho­se who do not need a visa, must re­gis­ter their place of re­si­dence in Lüne­burg with the lo­cal Re­gis­tra­ti­on Of­fice.

The re­gis­tra­ti­on of ex­ch­an­ge stu­dents will be ef­fec­ted du­ring the ori­en­ta­ti­on week. Plea­se re­gis­ter on your own, if you ar­ri­ve ear­lier.

The fol­lo­wing do­cu­ments are ne­cessa­ry for re­gis­tra­ti­on:

Plea­se note that you must give no­ti­ce of your de­par­tu­re.

Residence Permit

A visa al­lows you to en­ter Ger­ma­ny and to stay for a ma­xi­mum of 90 days. If you will stay for a lon­ger pe­ri­od of stu­dy you must ap­p­ly for a re­si­dence per­mit at the lo­cal of­fice for for­eign na­tio­nals wi­t­hin 2 weeks upon ar­ri­val in Ger­ma­ny. The elec­tro­nic tit­le of re­si­dence (eAT) will be is­sued as a do­cu­ment in credit card for­mat wi­t­hin 4 to 6 weeks. Plea­se note that you are not al­lo­wed to lea­ve and re-en­ter Ger­ma­ny un­til you have re­cei­ved the eAT. The cost for the eAT amounts to 100 eu­ros for a pe­ri­od of stay up to 12 months.

To ap­p­ly for the eAT, stu­dents need the fol­lo­wing do­cu­ments:

  • Fully completed and signed application for a title of residence
  • Valid passport including visa (with a validity period of at least 6 months or preferably one year)
  • 1 up-to-date biometric passport-size photo
  • Letter of acceptance and confirmation of registration issued by Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Proof of blocked bank account (e.g. Fintiba, X-patrio, Deutsche Bank) with the complete amount (4350 € per semester).
  • Proof of unlimited health insurance coverage in German

The In­ter­na­tio­nal Of­fice will as­sist you in ap­p­ly­ing for the eAT wi­t­hin the scope of the ori­en­ta­ti­on week.