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Admission as a doctoral candidate

How do I get the admission? Which documents are necessary?
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We are happy to hear that you would like to do your doctorate at Friedrich Schiller University Jena! By doing a doctorate, you are taking the first step toward an academic career.

The status of a doctoral candidate is granted when you are admitted by one of the faculties of Jena University – irrespective of whether you finance your doctorate by scholarship, university employment or other means.

In order to get an admission, you usually need an academic degree in the field you would like to do a doctorate in. Also, the subject field has to be a field of teaching or research at the respective faculty. If you decide to do your doctorate in a subject that has not been your field of study previously, the respective faculty will examine your qualifications and, if necessary, may impose certain conditions like attending additional teaching units. This condition may be waived, should you be member of a structured doctoral programme. If you want to receive further information, you ought to check the doctoral examination regulations of your faculty.

Before being admitted by the faculty, a supervision agreement is necessary.

Online registration for doc-in Expand entry

doc-in is the online registration system for doctoral candidates at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It accompanies you throughout your doctorate.

doc-in offers you:

  • Support with the application for admission as a doctoral candidate and with the enrolment
  • Overview of the current state of your doctoral examination procedure
  • Verification of your status as a doctoral candidate and thus the access to the university’s offers for doctoral candidates
  • The possibility of receiving regular information about the offers for doctoral candidates by Friedrich Schiller University
  • Participation in the election of the doctoral representation of interests (DR.FSU)

You may register for doc-in at www.uni-jena.de/doc-in. Subsequently, you will receive your login data via e-mail.

Steps to admission Expand entry
  1. Log in to doc-in.
  2. Select “Admission as a doctoral candidate”.
  3. doc-in will now guide you through the application step by step.
  4. Print out the form and sign the application.
  5. Hand in the application at the Dean’s office of your faculty.

For the completion of the application you will need the following:

  • the signed application form
  • the supervision agreement
  • a certified copy of your university degree (if you studied at the University Jena, usually a basic copy is sufficient)
  • a CV and, if necessary, a proof of language skills

For the exact requirements of your faculty, please refer to the application form in doc-in.

Where does it go from here? Expand entry

After checking compliance with the requirements, the faculty will decide on your admission as a doctoral candidate. Following your admission, you will receive an admission letter.

This allows you to enrol as a doctoral candidate. The enrolment is optional. However, it does offer certain advantages such as the semester ticket for free use of public transportation in and around Jena, or a price reduction at the canteens or cafeterias.

Update the status as a doctoral candidate

By operation of the new Hochschulstatistikgesetz (higher education statistics act) from 2016, all higher education institutions are obliged to gather further data of their doctoral candidates. The data survey at FSU Jena is conducted via the update of the status as a doctoral candidate within the internet portal doc-in.

How is the status update conducted? Expand entry

Every year in July, doctoral candidates at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena will receive an e-mail asking them to update their data. Please answer this request by logging in to your doc-in account and choosing the option "Statusaktualisierung" (Status Update).

The data, which the university is required to gather, are marked as mandatory fields. Further information is primarily used to improve the research environment of doctoral candidates at the university.

Which data are being gathered? Expand entry

The following data have to be raised for all doctoral candidates:

  • Information regarding university entrance qualification (Abitur)
  • Information regarding studies (e.g. date of first enrolment and type of qualification for the doctorate)
  • Enrolment and Employee status
  • Information regarding the membership in structured graduate programmes
  • Research stays abroad in the graduate statistics

All data will be pseudonymised and forwarded to the regional statistics agency. The data pseudonymisation is regulated through the higher education statistics act.

What happens if I don't react? Expand entry

If you do not conduct your status update, the university will assume that you do not intend to complete your dissertation project. Your supervisors will be informed, and your status acceptance as doctoral candidate at Jena University will be withdrawn.

Should you intend to discontinue your dissertation project at Jena University, we kindly ask you to inform Graduate Academy in an informal written document.

Further Information Expand entry

Frequently asked questions on admission

Who can be a supervisor? Expand entry

Possible supervisors of the dissertation project may be:

  • Professors
  • private lecturer ("Privatdozent/in")
  • junior research group leaders ("Nachwuchsgruppenleiter"), if their scientific qualification has been confirmed by an external evaluation procedure.

One of your supervisors must be a member of the faculty at which you are about to carry out your project. Exceptions are possible, however, only when the faculty's council grants its approval.

How do I find a supervisor? Expand entry

If you want to start a so called individual doctorate, you should look at the website of the institute, in which your doctorate would be ideally located. Your possible supervisor should have done, or should be doing, research in the field in which you want to do your doctorate. It might be useful to search for the latest publications of the supervisor in question.

When you have found a supervisor, you should ask her or him if it would be possible to conduct a PhD thesis under her or his supervision. If you decide to contact a possible supervisor via e-mail, please provide information regarding your prior academic achievements, the topic of your master’s thesis and the subject area in which you wish to specialise. It is important to illustrate, how your research interests and experiences could enrich the research done by the professor. If you are in Jena, you can also do this in person during the office hours of your possible supervisor.

I do not know how to finance my doctorate yet. Can I start nevertheless? Expand entry

You can start with your doctorate, even though you have not found a way to finance it. But please keep in mind that finding the proper funding may take several months, in which you also need to be able to finance your living expenses. Possible options for funding can be found here.

Is it possible to start a doctorate in a subject that I did not study before? Expand entry

In order to get an admission as a doctoral candidate, you usually need an academic degree in the same field. If you decide to do your doctorate in a subject that has not been your field of study previously, the respective faculty will examine your qualifications and, if necessary, may impose certain conditions like attending additional courses.

Where can I have documents officially certified? Expand entry

The city's Bürgerservice (citizens' service) can officially certify copies. Please make an appointment online.

The Legal Office of the University of Jena can also produce officially certified copies if the original documents are marked with an apostille or legalisation. Copies of your documents can be made there for 0.50 cents per page. The authentication costs 4 euros per document (one document can contain several pages). Please make an appointment with the Legal Office beforehand.

Is enrolment obligatory? Expand entry

Enrolment is optional. There are no enrolment deadlines – doctoral candidates can enrol at any time during semester.