Language choice for your doctoral project


In the graduate schools within the smartNETWORK, you can earn your doctoral degree either in German or English. This also applies to the application, to participation in seminars, workshops and other compulsory or compulsory-elective activities, to your written doctorate (dissertation) and to your oral examination (disputation).

Language skills

If you are earning your doctorate in German, you must not only have excellent command of the German language but also functional command of the English language. In order to prove your functional language skills, you must provide certification of at least three years of school education in this language or equivalent skills thereto. If you earn your doctorate in English, then you must not only have excellent command of the English language but also a minimum of active German skills in order to manage your day-to-day life in Münster.

Depending on the subject in which you wish to gain your doctorate, further language skills may be necessary. For specifics, please take a look at the charter of the graduate school you are applying to or consult the Faculty of Philosophy’s doctoral regulations (link in German).

Gaining language qualifications

If your language skills are not on par with the skills required by the doctoral regulations or the charter, it is usually possible to make up your language qualifications at the beginning of your studies. This can be done either in an intensive course or parallel to your studies. The WWU’s language center has an extensive course offer. You can find further information here.

Furthermore, the smartNETWORK offers special courses for international doctorates (German and English) in cooperation with the language center. Further information regarding this offer can be found here.

In order to assess your language skills and find the right course for your needs, it can be helpful to take the so-called C-Test, which is offered at WWU’s language center. You can take the demo-version of the C-Test (link in German) online and for free at anytime.

Language preparation

The association WiPDaF e.V., which is based at the WWU’s language center, offers the intensive and summer language courses “German as a foreign language” and “The German language and culture”. These courses are specifically designed for international graduates who already have basic command of German and want to expand their language skills. These courses are a good opportunity for international graduates planning to apply for a doctorate within the smartNETWORK both to get to know the university and the city and to establish contact to potential supervisors.

These courses are fee-based. You can find information on fees and dates on the WipDaF e.V.’s homepage. In order to finance the summer language courses, you can apply to the DAAD for a scholarship.