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. (Please note that the organisation and content on the faculties’ websites may vary.)
    • 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 PhD, the first step involves looking for a supervisor for your PhD 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 PhD. 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 arrange 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 PhD 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 You must sign a supervision agenda to be accepted as a PhD candidate. A copy of the fifth page must be submitted to the PhD 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 form for acceptance as a PhD candidate and hand this in at the PhD office together with the relevant documents.

    I need to attach the following documents to my application:

    • The signed first page of the supervision agenda
    • Officially certified copies of my university degree certificate   
    • An officially certified copy of my eligibility for university enrolment
    • 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 other 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 PhD degree certificate

    Application Form

    cf. the list of documents required on p. 5 too)

    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 PhD 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 PhD candidate to the PhD office by post, an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent as soon as it has arrived.

    The PhD office

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

    The PhD examination committee

    1. will check whether it is possible to accept you as a PhD 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 PhD 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 PhD office has received the results, it will contact you by post.


  6. 6. En­rol­ment (op­tio­nal)

    Plea­se no­te: this is not re­le­vant for re­se­arch as­sis­tants!

    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 PhD 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 up to 10th May and for a winter semester up to 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 means of transport 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 on the web pages of the Welcome Centre.

    This takes you to theWelcome Centre