Graduation From RWTH and Employment as a Research Assistant


Are you aiming to graduate from RWTH and are you financing your doctoral studies with a position as a research assistant at the University?


If so, you do not have to enroll as a doctoral student. However, we recommend that you do so at the beginning of your doctoral studies, as the application process will include a review of the academic requirements for your doctorate. If you then have certain conditions to fulfill as part of your doctorate, you will have plenty of time to do so and will not suddenly find out about them when you register for your doctorate.

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.

In order to apply for a doctoral program, you need a written confirmation from the person who will supervise your doctorate here at RWTH.


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. Submit an application for the recognition of the doctoral requirements to the relevant doctoral committee

You need a certificate of equivalence to apply for the recognition of doctoral requirements to the doctoral committee. You will find a list of contacts at the Faculties on the website for international doctoral candidates, where you can find out more about the required documents and forms for the doctoral committee. Compile the required documents in the required form and send your request, the report, and the documents to the doctoral committee in charge.

3. Apply for a study place as a doctoral candidate

Once you have the confirmation of supervision, the certificate of equivalence, and the recognition of your doctoral requirements, you may apply for a place of study. Please note the application and enrollment deadlines.

4. Get your letter of admission to the doctoral program

If you meet all the admission requirements and have uploaded all the necessary documents, you will find the electronic letter of admission in the SelfService area of RWTHonline.

5. Enroll in your doctoral studies program

Once you have received your admission, you will have to enter some details in RWTHonline and upload further documents that are required for enrollment. You are automatically guided through the process in RWTHonline. 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.