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Studying and Getting a Doctorate

Courses of study

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Bonn has 10 Institutes that, in turn, comprise several Departments. There is a course catalog (kommentiertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis; in German) with information about the classes, modules and prerequisites. In addition, an electronic version (elektronisches Vorlesungsverzeichnis) is available with info on all classes and modules offered, and on how to register. There will be different classes each semester.
In addition to the conventional courses of study, there are also international courses of study (Internationale Studiengänge).


There are several libraries where you can find the literature you will need for your studies; in addition to the University and State Library (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek; ULB) there are also many Seminar and Institute libraries. You can find a list of all the libraries on the ULB website.

Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek (ULB)

The ULB and its reading rooms are freely accessible without prior reservation. In order to check out books and for online use, you will need a library card (Bibliotheksausweis) and/or an Internet ID, which you can obtain from the computer center (Hochschulrechenzentrum). Unless you are already a registered student, you will need an auditing permit (Gasthörerschein) to register for a library card. Click here for more information.

Access to Institute and Seminar libraries

The Institute and Seminar libraries are usually reference libraries, i.e. most of their holdings are available in a reading room, and check-out is highly restricted or not possible at all. For access to these libraries, you will need a valid seminar card (Seminarkarte) or your student ID.

Transcript of records

After the semester and before you return home, you must request a transcript of records. It will list all the classes you attended and your credit points. A prerequisite for this are the certificates (Scheine) students receive at the end of the semester or after the performance test (final exam, paper, oral exam). In order to make sure that a transcript of records can be generated at the end, you should complete a Learning Agreement when you start your studies in Bonn and submit it to the International Office or to the Erasmus and international Coordinators of the corresponding Institute. You should also find out early on how many credit points you can get; please see the “Transcript of Records” template here.

Prerequisites for a doctorate

First, an informal application for a doctorate must be directed to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, with a copy of your original university graduation certificate and a notarized translation of same attached. The Dean’s Office will forward these documents to the Federal credential evaluation office (Zentralstelle für Ausländisches Bildungswesen) that will review whether the prerequisites for pursuing a doctorate have been fulfilled (a qualifying degree and grade). If the formalities are OK, the doctoral process can be initiated by means of an application for the qualification phase, provided you have submitted the corresponding certificate attesting to your knowledge of German or English. (Valid certificates for German are: DSH, Goethe; for English: IELTS or TOEFL). In addition, you will need a supervisor and a topic you have agreed on with her/him in order to apply for the qualification phase. IMPORTANT: In the event that you are planning a Cotutelle process please make sure to always check first with the Faculty's PhD Office whether a Cotutelle is possible.


Ms. Piel of the PhD Office is the person responsible for all matters regarding doctoral programs.