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Programme Structure

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We welcome all students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in Social Sciences. To make sure that you receive support and advice for the challenging endeavour of completing a doctorate at CGS successfully, we ask students to find first an academic supervisor who is a member of the Faculty. The next step is admission to doctoral studies and enrolment in the doctoral study programme. Within the first year of your doctoral studies a supervision agreement should be documented in a contract between the doctoral student and supervisors. Parallel to the doctoral study programme, you start working on your dissertation. The dissertation is submitted to be reviewed by at least two reviewers. The doctoral procedure continues with an oral exam (defence). Finally, the dissertation has to be made publicly available, i.e. published.

Finding an academic supervisor

We want our doctoral students to receive support and academic advice during their doctorate. Hence, we require doctoral students to get in touch with a potential supervisor who is a member of the Faculty and to agree on a letter of consent before admission to doctoral studies.

Admission to Doctoral Studies

To be admitted to doctoral studies at CGS, you have to provide several documents and forms. You will find a list of necessary document and forms in the Downloads section (“Admission Documents”); please also note Section 4 of the Doctoral Regulations. These documents have to be handed in electronically via docfile. The Central Doctoral Office checks and reviews your documents, the Doctoral Committee decides concerning admission. If you have an international degree, please note the information provided by International Office of the University of Cologne.

Enrolment as Doctoral Student

After you have received admission to doctoral studies, you need to enrol as a doctoral student at the University of Cologne and decide on the specific doctoral study programme (PhD Programme in Economics, Doctoral Study Programme in Management, Doctoral Study Programme in Economics or Doctoral Study Programme in Social Sciences).

Please note: You have to enrol as student at the University of Cologne (and not at CGS), hence student application is organised via the University Registration Office (Studierendensekretariat). International students must enrol at the International Office. Please consult these webpages for further information regarding the enrolment process.

Doctoral Study Programmes and Courses

Doctoral students in the Social Sciences are required to accumulate 30 ECTS. The download section provides an overview of the structure of the programme’s course modules and the current doctoral courses. If you are unsure which courses may suit your needs, please do not hesitate to consult your supervisors.

Supervision Agreement

During the first year of your doctoral studies, you will discuss the supervision of your academic work with your primary supervisor and a second supervisor. You will then contract a supervision agreement signed by all parties. It comprises a time and work plan and determines the rights and obligations of all parties. It hast to be sent to the Central Doctoral Office within the first twelve months of admission.

Upon completing your dissertation, you must hand in the “Application for PhD examination“ essentially stating that you are ready for the final steps, i.e. that you have finished your doctoral study programme and completed your dissertation to be submitted for review.

Downloads (

The documents have to be handed in to the Central Doctoral Office to Mrs. Mundorf and electronically via docfile.