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 contribution must generally be paid each semester. The first transfer is necessary after admission to the doctorate. Currently, the semester fee consists of the following items:

  • Studentenwerk contribution: 106.00 Euro
  • Student Body contribution: 186.35 Euro
    (Semester Ticket: 167.35 €, incl. Kulturticket, Stadt-RadRadspeicher and 19.00 € contribution towards student council and administration)
  •  Administrative contribution: 75.00 Euro
  •  Summe: 367.35 Euro

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

  •  Studentenwerk contribution: 106.00 Euro
  •  Student Body contribution: 186.35 Euro
(Semester Ticket: 167.35 €, incl. Kulturticket, Stadt-RadRadspeicher and 19.00 € contribution towards student council and administration)
  •  Summe: 292.35 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 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
  • Application form / Contact
  • Good scientific practice
  • Ethics Guidelines
  • Doctoral Regulations / legal basis
  • 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

Application form / Contact

Maire Linda Grünewald
Universitätsallee 1
21335 Lüneburg
Fon +49.4131.677-1826
Fax +49.4131.677-1430

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 / legal basis

The Doctoral Regulations set out in detail the applicable prerequisites and procedures for doctorates 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 taught doctoral modules 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.

After admission

  • Letter of acceptence and enrolment
  • Legal basis for enrolment
  • Transfer of semester contribution
  • Student card
  • Signing up for classes on doctoral courses
  • 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 student also become a member of the faculty in which you were admitted to the doctorate. As a doctoral student, you are thus granted certain rights (e.g. access to the intranet, SemesterTicket) and obligations (e.g. payment of the semester contribution), 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.


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
BankNorddeutsche Landesbank Hannover
  • 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.

Signing up for classes on doctoral courses

A doctorate at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg always includes participation in doctoral courses. Students sign up for classes on doctoral courses on the web-based platform myStudy, in which, among other things, 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

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