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Bielefeld Graduate School
in History and Sociology
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Applying for a Place

On behalf of the Department of History and the Faculty of Sociology, the BGHS invites applications via its online portal either for a place on the international taught Doctoral Programmes in History or Sociology, or for doctoral studies independent of the taught doctoral programme at the Faculty of Sociology.

Please note that doctoral studies independent of the Taught Programmes in History or Sociology are not performed under the roof of the BGHS. This means that such programme-independent doctoral students cannot become members of the BGHS and are excluded from the School's various funding programmes.

Application Deadlines

Students can start their doctoral studies in a winter (1 October to 31 March, deadline 15 June) or a summer semester (1 April to 30 September, deadline 15 January). The decision - normally taken within six to eight weeks - about admission to the international Taught Doctoral Programmes in History or Sociology, or to doctoral studies independent of a doctoral degree programme, is made, respectively, by the Doctoral Studies Board of the Faculty of Sociology or the Doctoral Studies Board of the Department of History, Philosophy and Theology.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an above-average degree in a social science or humanities subject, preferably such as history, sociology, social anthropology, political science, gender studies, inter-American studies or the history, philosophy and sociology of science. An indispensable requirement is the written consent of a professor at the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology or the Faculty of Sociology to act as the applicant's first supervisor. For information on how to find a supervisor click here.

For further information on study for a doctoral degree and the entry requirements of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology and the Faculty of Sociology please go to Rahmenpromotionsordnung (General Doctoral Regulations) of the University of Bielefeld as well as the relevant regulations of the other Faculties..

Language Requirement

The Doctoral Programme of the BGHS consists of German- as well as English-language classes. Applicants should therefore have a good command of at least one of these languages. The BGHS encourages doctoral students without any German to learn German as it is the University's main medium of communication and makes everyday life much easier. The School will pay the cost of two German language courses with PunktUm, the service provider for international PhD students at Bielefeld University, so that they can earn the Certificate 'Deutsch' at the end of their first academic year.

Special requirement for historians:

Historians should note that they must be proficient in three foreign languages and that they must provide certified proof of this at the latest when submitting the application for initiation of the doctoral examination process. (Information about certified proof of foreign language proficiency is available here.) It is advantageous for historians to provide proof of their proficiency in three foreign languages when applying to the doctoral programme. In any case, applicants to the doctoral programme are to submit proof of their existing foreign language proficiency.

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