For everyone who wants to be further qualified after completing an academic degree in theology or a closely-related subject: The doctoral degree course enables you to develop a theological research project and to work on a dissertation in a methodically controlled manner. At the same time, you profit from a syllabus which is directly related to your research.

Official name of the degree course: Promotionsstudiengang Theologie
Final degree: Doctor theologiae (Dr. theol.)
Standard period of study: six semesters
Starting semester: winter and summer semester
limited admission (application to the Faculty)
Application deadline: March 15 (for summer semester) and Sept. 15 (for winter semester)
Language of the program: German

Basic conditions

The doctoral program in Theology is based on specific regulations (see the link on the right-hand side): The "Admission regulations" are about the requirements and the application for admission; the "Examination and study regulations" deal with the program curriculum and the finals.

Application for admission

If you want to be accepted into the doctoral program, you first have to apply to the Faculty of Theology. Enrollment is not possible without preceding application.

The prerequisites for acceptance specifically include an academic degree in theology or a closely-related discipline, sufficient knowledge of German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and membership in a Protestant church.

Furthermore, you need a confirmation of supervision ("Betreuungszusage") by a member of the Faculty of Theology who is an authorized examiner. The link "Staff index" provides lists with professors who are potentially available as supervisors. Please note that the topic of your project should be appropriate to the supervisor`s field of research.

Additional prerequisites, rules concerning exceptions and the required application documents are stipulated in the "Admission regulations".


Once accepted for the doctoral program, you receive a notification of admission. Only afterwards you are able to apply for your enrollment at the University of Göttingen. Enrollment is mandatory; the certificate of enrollment must be submitted at the end of studies.

Doctoral studies and doctoral examination

During your studies, you are primarily engaged in writing your doctoral dissertation (German or English). In the course of this, you get support in various ways, especially by your doctoral supervisor ("Doktorvater" or "Doktormutter") and by a team of experts ("Thesis Committee"). Additionally, you attend four obligatory courses that serve to foster exchange among doctoral candidates and to expand their academic skills.

After completing your doctoral dissertation, you submit it to the office of the dean so that it can be forwarded to the appraisers. Finally, you take an oral examination.


The general rule is that financial matters fall within the remit of the doctoral students themselves. Many of them are employed as research fellows at the Faculty of Theology. Others successfully applied to institutions that award scholarships (see the link "Funding for doctoral studies"). It goes without saying that self-financing is possible, too.

Integration into the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen

The Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG) is a joint institution of the Faculties of Humanities and Theology. Its aim is to enhance the conditions for doctoral studies. E.g., it offers interdisciplinary workshops, advanced training courses and bridging grants. All doctoral students of the Faculty of Theology can apply for GSGG membership - and are encouraged to do so.

Advisory service

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the student advisory office (Dr. Frank Schleritt).