Graduation From a University Outside Germany and Employment as a Research Assistant


Are you pursuing a doctorate abroad and would like to spend a limited period of time at RWTH with a short research stay as a so-called sandwich doctoral candidate? Will you be funding this stay with a position as a research associate at RWTH?


All enrolled students will receive an RWTH BlueCard as a student card. You can use this as a means of payment in the dining halls and cafeterias, as a library card, and a form of ID for exams, university sports, and internal university elections. All RWTH students also receive a Semester Ticket, letting them use buses, trams, and local trains in second class throughout the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as often as they wish. University emloyees on the other hand can choose whether they would like to acquire a Job Ticket, which offers transportation for buses and trains in the local area for a low monthly price.

First of all, you will need a written confirmation from the person who will supervise your short stay here at RWTH to be able to enroll at the University. Once you have this document, you can start the application process.


Step-by-Step to Your BlueCard and Semester Ticket

1. Get a certificate of equivalence via the institute hiring you

For the recruitment process, the University will check whether your foreign university degree is equivalent to a German university degree. Once your documents have been successfully checked, the so-called certificate of equivalence is issued by Division 2.1 of the International Office and the original is then sent to the Human Resources Department. A copy of the certificate is sent to the institute. Ask the secretary at your institute to provide you with a copy of the certificate of equivalence.

Important: Please do not contact the International Office yourself. The institute itself must request a certificate of equivalence for employment purposes.

2. Apply as a “sandwich” PhD

Register with the Welcome Center as a sandwich PhD and create an application. Please also upload only this confirmation of supervision here.

Once you have successfully applied, you will receive a letter of admission.

3. Register in the student management system RWTHonline

You have to register in our student management system, RWTHonline,  to be able to enroll. Please note: The Incoming Online Portal and RWTHonline are two separate databases with no direct interface between them. Therefore you have to register again in RWTHonline and set up another application to start the enrollment process. Unfortunately, we cannot create a student account for you if you have not registered and applied via RWTHonline.

4. Create an application on RWTHonline in order to enroll

Log onto RWTHonline with your user ID and password and select "My applications". On the page that now appears, you should click on "Create application" at the top right. Choose "short study period" as your form of study and fill in the requested fields carefully. Please also upload the requested documents.

5. Enroll in your doctoral studies program

After completing your application in RWTHonline, you should be able to check in the RWTHonline Self-Service areas whether any of the required documents are missing after about 15 working days. Please upload them afterwards. As soon as all the documents are available and you have paid the semester fee, your enrollment is complete.

6. Create your BlueCard

The RWTH BlueCard is the multifunctional student card of RWTH. Once you have successfully enrolled, you will have to upload a photo to then create your BlueCard. You can find further information in the FAQ on the RWTH BlueCard.

7. Get your Semester Ticket

You will receive your Semester Ticket as an eTicket. This allows you to use buses, trams, and local trains in second class throughout the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as often as you like. The ticket will be sent to you by the local public transportation provider, ASEAG, to the address given at registration. Therefore, make sure that your current address is always stored in RWTHonline, especially if you started the application process from your home country.