For an individual doctorate, you will work on your dissertation project individually at a faculty, under the scientific supervision of a professor. A doctoral degree generally requires the writing and publishing of a doctoral dissertation and an oral examination.
In order to be admitted as a doctoral candidate, you will have to find a professor to supervise your dissertation on your own initiative or successfully apply for an available dissertation topic. The contact persons in the faculties’ offices of the dean will gladly help you in this regard.
The selection of your academic supervisor depends to a large extent on your dissertation topic. Ideally, your doctoral supervisor should not only be a good match for you academically, but also on a personal level, in order for you to be able to develop a successful cooperation based on trust.
If you have initial concrete ideas about the topic of your doctoral project and have already thought about the methodology, you can start looking for a suitable supervisor. A professor or, in some cases, a junior professor or “Privatdozent” (non-tenured associate professor) can supervise you. You can find more details in the regulations for a doctoral degree of the respective faculty.
Online search engines are another option and you can find some of them here:
If you found a potential supervisor, you can send them an articulate and informative e-mail.
The professors receive many supervision requests. Think of your e-mail as a letter of application intended to make you stand out from the vast number of other inquiries.
Your e-mail should contain the following information:
At the beginning of the doctoral phase, some faculties require you to suggest a second supervisor. Your primary doctoral supervisor can help you with this choice. In most cases, members of other national and international universities and non-university research institutions can also be chosen as second supervisors or mentors.
For the specific admission requirements and achievements to complete for the Ph.D. degree, please refer to the valid regulations for a doctoral degree of the faculty that is responsible for your doctoral project. A doctoral degree generally requires the writing of a doctoral dissertation, an oral examination and the publication of the dissertation. If successful, you will be awarded a doctorate. The quality criteria developed by the Potsdam Graduate School are regarded as the minimum standards to be met for Ph.D. projects.
The seven faculties of the University of Potsdam are responsible for providing subject-specific supervision and carrying out the Ph.D. projects. If you have questions or need further information, please contact the responsible contact persons in the faculties’ offices of the dean.
Prospective or current doctoral candidates from outside Germany can also seek support from the Welcome Center Potsdam.
If you have already submitted all the necessary documents for admission to your faculty, they will be forwarded internally to the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Potsdam after your admission has been confirmed. Exceptions: Doctoral candidates at the Faculty of Science and the Digital Engineering Faculty will have to hand in their enrollment documents and their notification of admission from the faculty at the Office of Student Affairs.
The Office of Student Affairs will then send you a request for the transfer of the semester fee. Upon receipt of the fee, your Potsdam University Chip Card PUCK will be created and mailed to you alongside further information material.