Main content

Top content

PhD studies

Application deadlines

For PhD degree programs
winter semester:
July 15th
summer semester:
January 15th

For individual PhD projects
winter semester:
September 30th
summer semester:
March 30th

General information

Admission to PhD studies at Osnabrück University can only be granted if you have found a professor who is willing to act as your supervisor. In other words, your application to work towards a PhD will only be accepted if you have already found a supervisor for your research project.
We therefore recommend that you write to a professor from the relevant department, enclosing a letter of motivation, your Curriculum Vitae and relevant certificates, as well as an exposé outlining your project. You should explain in your covering letter why you have chosen the professor in question to supervise you.

The basic requirement for embarking on PhD studies in Germany is that the degree obtained in the candidate’s home country entitles him or her to gain access to a PhD program and formally equates to a German academic degree (formal check).
In addition, further conditions or requirements may also need to be met or additional qualifications acquired. This is dependent on the duration, content and structure of the course, as well as the general academic standards prevailing in the respective country and at the university concerned (substantive check).

It is up to the responsible PhD Committee to decide whether or not to accept the PhD proposal.

If permitted by PhD regulations, the PhD thesis can be written in another language other than German, however, this is subject to the supervisor’s approval.

The application or enrollment takes place exclusively online via the application portal of Osnabrück University
Please upload the following documents in the application portal as part of the online application or online enrollment:

  • Copies of your certificates, issued in your own language, together with a German or English translation, if applicable. The following certificates are required: degree certificates (Bachelor’s, Master’s and, if applicable, Diplom degrees), transcript of records and, if applicable, the results of the admissions test.
  • Confirmation of supervision
  •  Proof of payment of the semester fee (the corresponding amount will be displayed in the application portal)
  • If applicable, proof of proficiency in German, unless you intend to write your thesis in another language. In this case, confirmation by your supervisor is required.

Join our PhD interConnect program and meet our international PhD students

Ways of earning a PhD at Osnabrück University


Please contact the International Office or the Research Support Office at Osnabrück University to find out about funding options.

Two PhD models are offered at Osnabrück University. In both cases, however, a professor must have confirmed his or her willingness to act as your supervisor. You can earn your PhD by taking part in a PhD program or by pursuing the traditional method of undertaking research without attending courses.

PhD programs

Osnabrück University offers several PhD programs that accept new students each year. You will be supervised together with other PhD students who are doing research on a similar topic; you will also attend subject-specific courses.

Applications to PhD programs are subject to special rules that differ from those in the customary application process.

More information (in German)

Individual PhD projects

If there is no PhD program available in your subject, you may still earn a PhD. You will need to find a suitable professor to supervise your PhD. If a professor is willing to supervise your research project, you may apply to be admitted as a PhD student.

Following admission

The International Office will be happy to assist you in preparing your stay, and will be ready to help whenever needed once you have arrived in Osnabrück.

PhD/Postdoc Career Center

The PhD/Postdoc Career Center (ZePrOs) offers PhD students at Osnabrück University an attractive further and continuing education program, one-to-one coaching and practice-related contacts, providing a framework to foster exchange and networking with other PhD students.