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Admission with a foreign university degree

All applicants must submit an application for admission. Please register an account with a.r.t.e.s. access to upload the following documents as pdf-files:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal (3–5 pages)
  • Certificate proving the recognition of as yet acquired credits and passed exams by the managing director (“Geschäftsführende/r Direktor/in”) of the respective department at the University of Cologne (--> download area)
  • Where appropriate: supervision agreement (--> download area). The supervisor has to be entitled to confer doctoral degrees of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
  • Certified copies of the final diploma and transcript of records (diploma supplement is not sufficient) as well as any further certificate, if appropriate. In addition, APS certificate (document verification) in case of Chinese, Mongolian or Vietnamese university degrees. Certified copies of all the above-mentioned documents as well as a copy of your passport must be submitted by post before the deadline.
  • Higher education entrance qualification (If necessary, please include authorised translations of the documents into either German, English or French).
  • A copy of the final thesis (untranslated) and an outline in either German or English (max. two pages)

Please note that the Doctoral Regulations of June 11, 2015 for admission to doctoral studies require that the candidate has attained an average grade of at least 2.4 (according to the German grading system) in their preceding degree. If the grade does not meet the threshold of 2.4, the candidate must submit a separate informal application letter and a letter of recommendation from the primary supervisor in addition to the above-mentioned documents by post before the deadline. The doctoral board decides on the requests for exception.

You are not required to provide proof of your proficiency in German at the time of your application for admission. However, when you hand in your thesis, you will also have to submit proof of German language proficiency: If you wrote the thesis in German, you will have to provide proof of German at the level C1. If you wrote your dissertation in a language other than German, language proficiency at the level B2 is sufficient. You can enclose a request for remission of the German language proficiency with your application for admission. In this case, please send a letter stating your reasons (addressed to the doctoral board) together with a letter of endorsement from your main supervisor by post before the deadline. Please note that, after admission, a remission of the German language proficiency will not be granted.

Only complete application documents will be taken into consideration. The letter of admission to doctoral studies will be sent shortly after the meeting of the doctoral board.

By submitting the letter of admission to doctoral studies as well as the required supporting documents at the Central Registrar's Office respectively International Office you will be able to enrol at the University of Cologne. Please enquire in advance, which additional documents you are required to submit to the registrar's office. If you want to enrol at the University of Cologne for the first time, please, firstly, submit your application via KLIPS 2.0. For more information concerning the enrolment, please see the website of the Registrar's Office or the International Office.