PhD / Dr. Phil.

We welcome research projects from all over the world. However, the Institute for Media and Communication Studies does not have a structured doctoral education. Earning a doctoral degree from the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Political and Social Sciences can be accomplished through the "apprentice model" (independent research under supervision). Every doctoral candidate has to organize financing independently. Freie Universität Berlin provides further general information on earning a doctorate (doctoral studies portal).

How to get accepted as a doctoral student at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin:

The basic requirement for getting approved as a doctoral student by the institute is an outstanding degree in a field corresponding to your future doctoral thesis and the institute’s research areas. Applications and proposals may be submitted any time of the year to the Institute for Media and Communication Studies, but you should keep in mind that during the periods from mid-February to mid-April and from mid-July to mid-October when courses aren’t in session, relevant staff will not always be available. Course sessions start in mid-October (winter semester) or mid-April (summer semester). You may write your thesis in English if your supervisor agrees. If you decide to write your dissertation in German but do not hold a German academic degree you will have to pass the DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang) or the TestDaF (Test of German as a Foreign Language).

Admission procedures in line with the doctoral regulations of the Department of Political and Social Sciences include two steps. First of all, you must find a supervisor (in German “Doktorvater” or “Doktormutter”) who is an expert on the topic of your future dissertation and willing to supervise you. After having found a supervisor you have to formally apply at the Doctoral Studies Office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences.

Step 1: How to approach the supervisor

It is not possible to apply for a doctorate without specifying your research project and stating your future supervisor. When first contacting the Institute for Media and Communication Studies via phd@kommwiss.fu-berlin.de, you have to name potential supervisor(s) and provide a brief description of your research area, topic of interest and a short review of your experience in this field including detailed information on your academic qualifications and degree. It is especially important to explain how your research interest is situated within the research area of the professor(s) and why you would find it important to be supervised by him/her. If all this information is provided, your email will be directed to the supervisor.

If the prospective supervisor is interested in taking you on as a doctoral student, he/she will ask you to outline your research project in greater detail (on 7 to max. 10 pages). It can be helpful to enclose a letter of recommendation by a professor you have already worked with. If your academic degree and the research proposal are regarded sufficient and the professor has agreed to become your supervisor, you may send your formal application to the Doctoral Studies Office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences.

Step 2: How to finish your PhD application at Freie Universität formally:

The application to the Doctoral Studies Office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences must include:

1. Research proposal for your doctoral thesis ("Exposé" of 7 to max. 10 pages) including a short summary of the subject in question

2. Declaration of your supervisor, that he/she has accepted you as a doctoral student

3. Completed form “Zulassung zum Promotionsverfahren“ (Admission to doctoral studies); (pdf-file; in German)

4. A CV in German or in English

5. Certified copies of your exam and degree certificates

6. Proof of proficiency in German (for full enrolment without further tests, TestDaF level 4/4 or an equivalent is required) or in English

» Further information on step 2


Please provide your application by mail to:

Early Career Support at the Department of Political and Social Sciences
Janis-Marie Paul
Ihnestraße 21 - Room
201
14195 Berlin

Tel.: +49.30.838-71678

You can also arrange a personal appointment with Janis-Marie Paul. She can also answer all your formal questions on the matter: nachwuchsfoerderung@polsoz.fu-berlin.de.

Further information