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Faculties, doctoral degrees and different paths to your doctorate

The University of Cologne is divided into six faculties. The faculties in turn are structured into institutes, professional groups and/or departments. Each faculty has its own doctoral regulations, doctoral board and doctoral office (Promotionsbüro, sometimes also called “Dean’s Office” or “Central PhD Office”).

In their doctoral regulations, the faculties set down rules for all aspects of their doctoral program,  from admission requirements to examination procedure and awarding of the doctoral degree. Usually, a degree from a 4-year program (Master or equivalent) is a prerequisite. Before you apply, it is essential that you read the relevant doctoral regulations, including the entry requirements, carefully to ensure that you provide the correct information and supporting materials. Please do not hesitate to contact the Albertus Magnus Center or the doctoral studies office (Promotionsbüro) of your faculty in case of questions. Their websites are:

At the University of Cologne, you are usually awarded a German doctoral degree. This includes an additive indicating a faculty or subject group, for example, "Dr. phil." (awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities) or „Dr. rer. nat.“ (awarded by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences). Some doctoral programs award a PhD degree.

There are two paths to obtain a doctorate: individual doctoral studies and structured doctoral programs.