Thank you very much for your interest in attaining a doctorate in the Department of Political and Social Sciences.
According to your own preferences you may choose between an Individual Doctorate (i.e. writing your doctoral thesis and defending it in an oral examination) and a Structured Doctorate (i.e. the completion of the programme of one of the Graduate Schools of the Freie Universität Berlin in addition to writing your thesis and defending it).
The Individual Doctorate is still the most popular way to attain a doctorate in Germany; and the Department of Political and Social Sciences with its wide range of subjects offers excellent opportunities to do just that. If you choose the Individual Doctorate you can focus on your doctoral project without having to comply with the rules and regulations of a study programme. You will enjoy a liberty when choosing the topic of your thesis or structuring your completely flexible working hours that no study programme can match.
In a Structured Doctorate, on the other hand, the doctorate students are fully integrated into a stable education programme. This programme brings together select doctoral students whose projects are attributable to a common interdisciplinary field. The advantages of a Structured Doctorate as opposed to the Individual Doctorate lie in the additional financial support that is being offered, a choice of interdisciplinary courses in which key qualifications for a future in academia or other professional fields can be acquired, the systematic support in career planning as well as the aid of the Welcome Center which, among other things, organises orientation weeks for new students and offers special services for international doctoral students. In addition to that you may choose to attain the academic grade Ph.D. instead of the German grade Dr. phil. or Dr. rer. pol, if you complete the programme of your Graduate School successfully.