Basic information for doctorate programs at the IfK

1. What requirements must the graduate meet for the registration to a doctorate program?

  • a highly qualified M.A. degree/diploma (at least B average, GPA of 2.5 minimum)
  • Assurance of supervision from an university professor
  • functional English skills and functional skills in an additional foreign language (missing language skills can be acquired during the course of the program; language skills can either be certified by three years of school or university education in the given language or by alternative, equivalent methods)

2. How can a graduate apply to a doctorate program?

The doctoral programs are not limited by admission. Registration is done online on the applicant-area or in person at the Admission Office. (also: Question 6: Online Application Special Features)

3. When can a graduate register for a doctoral program?

Registration is only available within certain periods:

  • Summer semester: End of February until the beginning of lectures (April)
  • Winter semester: Mid-June until the beginning of lectures (October)

4. What documents are needed for registration?

  • High school grade report/transcript
  • University transcript
  • Certificate of deregistration (from prior university)
  • Certification of health insurance coverage
  • Privately insured students, who want to be excused from the health insurance coverage for students, must document their insurance company and apply to be excepted from the mandatory insurance policy of students. Registration is not possible without certificate of exemption.

5. How will the minor, in case of a membership of the GSCS cancelled?

Cancellation will be done at the Admissions Office. This can be done at registration or at a later time.

Several things are necessary for this to happen:

  • 1. IfK: Certification of admission to the GSCS
  • 2. Doctorate Examination Office: Certification of cancellation of the minor
  • 3. Admissions Office: Cancellation of the minor

Attention: online application (applicant-area): Registration via the online application is generally only possible in combination with a minor. Cancellation of the minor happens during the consultation hours of the Admissions Office, after completing the online application.

6. What is to note for graduates who did not study a minor, whose minor is not the list of subjects of doctoral programs or for those who want to choose a “new” minor?

If the graduate did not complete a minor in the subject chosen to be the minor for the doctorate program, the graduate will have to complete courses outside of the doctorate program as set by the M.A. Exam Regulations of the philosophical faculty of the WWU. These courses can be completed during the course of the program. The decision over the nature and the extent of the additional courses will be made by the dean responsible for the minor of choice, in agreement with the corresponding professor (documentation of preparational courses for a doctorate program). GSCS members of a doctoral program do not need a minor! (Question 1: Possibilities for Promotion)

7. Does the major of the doctorate program match that of the graduates past major? (Can a graduate choose a major different from the one they received their degree in?)

The major for the first degree must normally correspond to that elected for the doctorate. Exceptions are made and decided over by the faculty and the promotion supervisor (university professor). (Question 7: preparational courses for a promotional program)

8. After how much time is the participant of a doctorate program become eligible for examination?

Two semesters, and the doctorand must be in the semester of verbal examinations.

9. Can graduates of polytechnical universities promote at the IfK?

Generally, polytechnical graduates with a B average GPA (minimum GPA of 2,5) have the possibility to participate in a doctorate program. If the supervising professor of the IfK finds that the student is not qualified enough, additional courses may be assigned. Polytechnical graduates should keep in mind that a minor must be chosen from a list of subjects which may require the attendance of additional courses. GSCS members of a doctorate do not need a minor! (Question 1: Possibilities for Promotion)

10. Which institutes offer scholarships for doctorate programs?

Information regarding graduate sponsorships can be found on the IfK homepage.

11. What registration requirements must a graduate from abroad meet?

  • a highly qualified M.A. degree/diploma (at least B average, minimum GPA of 2.5)
  • Assurance of supervision from an university professor
  • functional English skills and functional skills in an additional foreign language (missing language skills can be acquired during the course of the program; language skills can either be certified by three years of school or university education in the given language or by alternative, equivalent methods)
    • Should the thesis be written in German, the doctorand will have to certify appropriate German language skills:
      • Report card documenting university-level German language skills (DSH – or equivalent documentation)
      • If necessary German language skills are incomplete or can not be appropriately certified or for those whose German skills are not adequate after 800 hours of German lessonsthe WWU offers German language courses that certify the acquirement of necessary German language skills through DSE examinations. German language skills need to be documented prior to beginning a promotional program. (Question 15: DSH Preparational Language Course)
      • Information on the classification of German language skills (and separation into different levels of German language skills) is done by the department for German as a Foreign Language
    • Should the thesis be written in English, permission must be secured from the promotion supervisor. (Question 14: Thesis language)

12. How can a graduate from abroad apply to a doctorate program?

  • Graduates from abroad are subject to Special regulations. Although admission to doctorate programs at the University of Münster is open, registration is still necessary.
  • Foreign graduates can apply online (applicant-area). After completing the online registration, the applicant will receive a checklist of documents. The listed documents need to be sent to the Admissions Office or directly sent to the WWU. Amongst the necessary documents are:
    • Transcript / report card certifying permission of university attendance
    • University degree (ex. Master)
    • Certificates, transcripts from attended Universities
    • Certification of appropriate language skills
    • Assurance of supervision from an university professor
    • complete curriculum vitae

Certification of the above named transcripts can only be done by the appropriate embassy, consulate, authorities and notaries. Report cards / transcripts in foreign language require an official translation (in German, English, or French) of an official, certified manner.

  • Special conditions regarding applicants from the PR China, Vietnam and Mongolia can be found at the corresponding link.
  • All further information as well as documentation of positive admission will be sent to the applicant via mail. A personal visit to the Admissions Office is no longer necessary. Documentation of positive admission to the University of Münster or the print out of the online application serve as qualifications for a Visa.

13. In what language should the thesis be written?

In German, as long as the student has no permission or notice from the supervising professor that the thesis may be written in another language.

14. How can a foreign graduate apply for a DSH-preparational course?

  • Requirements for participation of a language course is documentation of permission of university attendance for the planned major as well as documentation of German language skills that are the equivalent to 800 hours of German lessons.
    • Application to language courses is available on the following dates:
    • In the Winter semester: from 01.05 until 31.05.
    • In the Summer semester: from 01.11. until 30.11.
  • Enrollment can be done online in the applicant-area. The process is identical to that of the application to the doctorate programs. (Question 13: Applying for a promotional program)
  • IImportant: A placement test is held at the beginning of the language course for all enrolled students (of the course). A minimum of 35 points (800 German language lessons, see above) are required to be eligible for language course. Students who fail to achieve 35 points forfeit their student status (Language centre homepage). This information can also be found on in the admission / registration documents! The results of the placement test (amount of points) is adjusted to the length and intensity of the DSH preparational language course.
  • Further information about participation in a language course / DSH examination are found in the German as a foreign language department (Frau Maria Meyer-Wehrmann.

15. What needs to be done after passing the DSH-exam?

Admission to language courses does not automatically grant admission to a promotional program. After completing the language course (successfully passing the DSH exam), registration to a doctorate program is necessary.

16. Is it possible, that graduates from abroad may promote at the Ifk, but compose their thesis in their home country?

  • 17. Is it possible, that graduates from abroad may promote at the Ifk, but compose their thesis in their home country?
  • It is important that this is arranged in advance.
  • The student must be present for the verbal exams.