Qualification for Doctoral Studies


Requirements for Admission

Usually, the basic educational requirement for being accepted as a doctoral candidate is a degree with an excellent GPA awarded by an internationally recognized research university or equivalent academic institution. This degree has to be equivalent to a German Master's degree (or to a "Magister", "Diplom", or "State Examination" degree according to the pre-Bologna degree system).

Division 2.1 of the International Office will evaluate international degrees and assess whether they can be considered equivalent to German university degrees. If the degree is not fully equal to a corresponding German degree, students may be given the opportunity to take selected classes and sit exams related to their field of research in order to gain full admittance to PhD studies at a later stage.

Doctoral candidates have to conduct their PhD project under the supervision of and in close cooperation with a professor (in German, the "Doktorvater" or "Doktormutter"). Thus, as already stated above, a RWTH professor must issue a written confirmation that he or she is willing to act as the candidate's supervisor (the so-called "PhD Supervision Confirmation Form" / "Betreuungsbescheinigung"). Please note that a candidate may only apply for doctoral studies at RWTH Aachen University after having a written confirmation from the supervising professor.


Please note

Within the process of the admission to doctoral studies an assessment of an international degree is also necessary. To read more about this, please follow this link:


Recognition of International Degrees

As a prerequisite for taking up doctoral studies and/or employment at RWTH Aachen University, your degree will be assessed by Division 2.1 of the International Office, a procedure which serves to ascertain whether your degree is equivalent to a German university degree. If you wish to take up employment, the expert opinion on your degree will be submitted to the Human Resources Office, and a copy will be sent to the institute or chair that intends to employ you. Please contact our staff for further information and, if necessary, to arrange an appointment.

For the evaluation procedure, please submit the following documents to the International Office:

  • The employment invitation of the RWTH institution that offers you a position (if applicable)
  • Your CV (personal data sheet)
  • Copy of your university degree certificate
  • Certified translation (into English or German) of your university degree certificate
  • Copy of academic records listing the subjects studies as well as grades (transcripts)
  • Certified translation of transcripts into German or English

Please Note

As part of the employment procedure, applicants will have to present their original university degree certificate to the International Office!