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  • Application & Advice

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Applying for a place

You can apply for a place in the international doctoral programme in History or Sociology in the winter semester (1st October to 31st March, Deadline: 15th June) or in the summer semester (1st April to 30th September, Deadline: 15th January) . The application process takes place via the BGHS online portal. You can find a list of the application documents to be submitted here. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

The Commission for Doctoral Studies in the History Department and the Doctoral Committee of the Faculty of Sociology decide on the acceptance of a doctoral researcher. The decision is usually made within six to eight weeks.

Membership in the BGHS is only possible for doctoral researchers studying in the structured doctorate. The membership is established by signing the supervision agreement by the doctoral researcher, the supervisor and the BGHS management. Doctoral researchers who are involved in collaborative projects (e.g. CRC, RTG) with BGHS participation, but who are doing their doctorate in other faculties, can be associated.

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 and related disciplines. An indispensable requirement for the application is the  written statement of consent for supervision from a professor at the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology or at the Faculty of Sociology. You can find and overview of the BGHS supervisors here. We recommend contacting the potential supervisor by email. Please indicate in your request that you would like to apply for a place at the BGHS. Include a tabular CV and a short version of your research project (exposé) with your request.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have a good knowledge of either German or English. The BGHS encourages doctoral researchers without knowledge of German to learn the German language. The cost of two language courses at PunktUm, the service point for international doctoral researchers at Bielefeld University, is paid for by the International Office at Bielefeld University.

Additional language requirement for historians:

Historians should note that they must provide proof of their knowledge of three foreign languages at latest when submitting their dissertation, e.g. through the high school diploma, academic diplomas and transcripts or language certificates.

For more information on doctoral options and admission requirements at the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology and the Faculty of Sociology, please refer to the General Doctoral Regulations at the University of Bielefeld and the respective doctoral and degree regulations of the faculties.

The BGHS advises prospective doctoral candidates on all questions related to doctoral studies. Please send your inquiries to:



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