Promotion / Habilitation

Doctorate at the Heidelberg University of Education

The Heidelberg University of Education has the right to award doctorates. It awards the doctoral degree (Dr. paed. or Dr. phil.) to candidates who successfully completed their dissertation projects in one of the university’s research fields.

The support and further qualification of young educational researchers is of great importance to the Heidelberg University of Education. In 2018 a total of 114 doctoral candidates were working on their doctorates at one of the three faculties, of which 61% were female and 39% male.

The Heidelberg University of Education offers various options for pursuing the doctoral path:

  • Some doctoral candidates do their doctorate within a structured doctoral program, a so-called “Graduiertenkollegs". This path towards a doctorate is structured to a certain extent and doctoral candidates therein can benefit from a systematic range of further training opportunities. In 2018, 15 doctoral candidates took part in such a structured program. Advertisements for open positions in a structured programs at our university can be found at: 
  • Many doctoral candidates (34%) conduct their thesis while having a position funded by the university’s budget or in a third-party funded research project. These positions are mostly part-time and temporary (usually for three years). Current vacancies can be found at:
  • External doctoral candidates who are not affiliated to the university can also acquire a doctoral degree. The search for a suitable topic, supervision, and funding is carried out by these doctoral candidates independently.

Responsible for the doctoral project

is one of the three faculties. The respective faculty’s doctoral committee decides on the acceptance of the applications and the further procedure.

The following document is the application form for the acceptance as a doctoral candidate and also contains information on all the corresponding documents that need to be handed in: Application for the acceptance as a doctoral candidate

The contact persons for handling the formal steps in the doctoral process are:

Formal requirements

for the acceptance as a doctoral candidate and the further steps in the course of the doctorate can be found in the current doctoral regulations (in German).


As an accepted doctoral candidate, you are required to enroll as a student during your doctorate (§ 38 (5) State University Act). Only doctoral candidates who have at least a 50 percent position at our university can declare to the rectorate, that they do not wish to be enrolled.

For more information about enrollment, please contact the student office (in German).

The most important steps on the way to a doctorate

can be found in our guide for prospective doctoral candidates (in English).

You can find help on creating the doctoral exposé here (in German).

Graduate School

Accepted doctoral candidates at the Heidelberg University of Education can voluntarily become members of the Graduate School and benefit from numerous support programs. Doctoral candidates in structured programs Graduiertenkollegs”) become members automatically. You can find an overview of what the Graduate School has to offer and what requirements a membership brings along on the website of our Graduate School.

Support and consultation regarding the doctorate

Here you find Information on obtaining a doctorate in Germany.

Are you interested in pursuing your doctorate at the Heidelberg University of Education and still have some questions? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you on your way to as well as during your doctorate.


Young Researchers

Join the Graduate School and profit from our numerous offers!