Before starting your doctorate – acceptance, registration, enrolment

If you are already working as a research assistant in a professor’s research team, all the stages from step 4 onwards are relevant for you!

  1. 1.Obtaining information

    Graduates who have studied to qualify as a teacher for primary schools or for primary and lower secondary schools must complete additional activities in the acceptance procedure. You will find a summary of the type and scope of these activities here.

  2. 2.Looking for a supervisor

    • I need to narrow down the faculty that is most suitable for my topic.
    • I need to go through the list of faculties. (You will find detailed information on doctoral procedures under the headline "research".)
    • I need to find out about the individual specialist fields on the faculties’ websites and the lecturers based there.
    • I need to discover information about the content of the units of instruction that are available and the contact details from the lecture list.
    • I need to contact potential supervisors.
    • As soon as I have found a supervisor, I need to write my research proposal (at least 5 – 10 pages, including a bibliography and a schedule in tabular form, if possible) in conjunction with my supervisor.

    If you are seeking to gain a doctorate, the first step involves looking for a supervisor for your doctoral project. This will usually mean supervisors at the University of Kassel, who have been appointed to the faculty where you would like to study for your doctorate. They will support you in selecting your topic and methodology, planning your work and the individual further training opportunities.

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide any central service to find supervisors.

    When making contact, please attach your CV, your certificates and any publications in addition to the outline of your research project. 

  3. 3.Supervision agenda

    • You need to go through the supervision agenda with your supervisor.

    All doctoral candidates at the University of Kassel must sign an agreement with their supervisor, what is known as the supervision agenda. It helps to synchronise the mutual expectations during your PhD studies and plan various aspects at an early stage – e.g. attending conferences, publication strategies. You can download some guidelines, which help structure the discussions, from A copy of the fifth page must be submitted to the Doctoral Office. We urgently recommend that you update the supervision agenda every year and this is the precondition for any extension to agreements during the qualification phase.

  4. 4.Application

    + documents required

    • I need to fully complete the application formfor acceptance as a doctoral candidate and hand this in at the Doctoral Office together with the relevant documents.

    I need to attach the following documents to my application:

    • The signed fifth page of the supervision agenda
    • Officially certified copies of my university degree certificates  
    • An officially certified copy of my eligibility for university enrolment (i. e. high school diploma)
    • My research proposal: the working title and written statement about the planned thesis, including a timetable (for Dr.-Ing. degrees: please attach this in the form of a bar chart)
    • A CV in tabular form
    • A non-certified copy of my identity card or passport


    I need to attach further documents related to my person to the application:

    • Evidence about any change of name (e.g. a marriage certificate), as I have gained qualifications with a different name
    • An officially certified translation, as my documents and certificates were not issued in German or English
    • A copy of the grading system used at my former university, as I did not complete my degrees at a German university
    • Evidence of my knowledge of foreign languages (please read the information below)
    • A list of my academic publications
    • Evidence of the type and scope of the agreement covering PhD advisory services that I am using
    • Officially certified copies of my existing doctoral degree certificate

    Application Form

    Please read the information about the documents that are required carefully:

    Application: the application must contain the original signatures of you and your supervisor.

    Supervision agenda: page 5 of the supervision agenda is sufficient.

    Official certification: all the documents and certificates must be attached as officially certified copies. Official certification can be obtained at the residents’ registration office/citizens’ office provided that you pay a fee. If abroad, please go to the German embassy, a German consulate or a notary public in your home country to have any documents certified.

    A knowledge of foreign languages: a knowledge of foreign languages is necessary for some doctoral subjects in the 01, 02 and 05 faculties and evidence of this must be provided. Please compare the special rules of your faculty to find out whether and what kind of evidence of a knowledge of foreign languages you need to attach. Cf. Doctoral degree regulations.

    Please note:

    Depending on the faculty, other documents related to your subject may be necessary; please obtain more information about this from your supervisor and/or the specific doctoral degree regulations for your subject.

  5. 5.Acceptance procedure

    Between evaluation and decision

    Once you have sent your application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate to the Doctoral Office by post, an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent as soon as it has arrived.

    The Doctoral Office

    1. will check your application to see whether it is complete and 
    2. will establish whether the formal conditions for acceptance for a doctoral degree exist and
    3. will forward your application to the relevant doctoral examination committee.

    The PhD examination committee

    1. will check whether it is possible to accept you as a doctoral candidate,
    2. whether any conditions may need to be met or
    3. whether an assessment of eligibility process needs to be initiated and
    4. will communicate its results to the Doctoral Office.

    It may take up to two months before the final decision is made. Please refrain from making any enquiries during this time. As soon as the Doctoral Office has received the results, it will contact you by post.


  6. 6.Enrolment (optional)

    Once I have received my notification of acceptance, I can

    • apply for my visa or
    • extend my visa at the foreigners’ registration office or
    • initiate the optional enrolment process as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kassel or
    • apply for a scholarship.

    This takes you to the enrolment section at the eCampus. You will also obtain information on this site about which other documents you need to submit to successfully enrol at the student affairs office. 

    It is possible to enrol for a summer semester until 10th May and for a winter semester until 10th November.

    Enrolment is voluntary. Once you enrol, you will receive a CampusCard; this not only enables you to eat at reduced prices in the cafeterias at the University of Kassel and use the libraries, but it is also your ticket to use public transportation free of charge in the state of Hesse.




  7. 7.Arriving in Germany, making preparations

    As I am travelling to Germany from abroad, I need to find out about what preparations I need to make to travel. The web pages of the Welcome Centre provide detailed infomation on all necessary steps and procedures that I need to keep in mind.