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General Information

General Information on Pursuing a Doctorate at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources

Important note: This page gives you an overview of the general requirements regarding doctoral studies at our faculty. The specific academic and legal framework can be found in the Ph.D. regulation and should be read carefully.

NEU: "Since March 30th 2018, doctoral candidates must enroll after being accepted as a doctoral candidate by the faculty, according to § 38 Abs. 5 of the Landeshochschulgesetz (LHG). Doctoral candidates whose main occupation is at the University of Freiburg (employment contract for at least half of a full-time position) can be exempt from compulsory enrollment."

Responsible for enrollment / registration is the Student Service Center.

Further information about enrollment or registration can be found here.


  • The most important prerequisite for pursuing a doctorate is an especially qualified Master or Diploma university degree.


  • A doctorate includes writing a dissertation and taking an oral examination (defense) at the end.

Time frame

  • In general, a Ph.D. is finished within 3 to 4 years.

Institutional framework

Doctoral studies can be carried out in two ways:

  1. Individually under the supervision of two professors and without a curriculum that needs to be fulfilled.
  2. By participating in a structured doctoral program, such as the Graduate School Environment, Society and Global Change. Again, the main focus lies on the individual dissertation and supervision. However, the process is accompanied by course offers and the integration into a group of Ph.D. students.

Legal Basis

  • The Ph.D. regulation ("Promotionsordnung", only in German) lays out the academic and legal requirements and rules for pursuing a doctorate at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources. It forms the legal basis for your doctoral degree.
  • The regulations are applicable for both types of doctorates (individual and structured).


  • All doctoral students need a first and a second supervisor. In general, supervisors are professors and associated professors of the faculty. External supervisors can be accepted upon request.


  • The dissertation can be written in German or English.


  • There is no tuition fee for doctoral studies at Freiburg University.
  • The faculty does not offer scholarships. Information regarding scholarships can be found on the website of the Graduate School "Environment, Society and Global Change".
  • In some cases, doctoral students can be integrated into research projects of the faculty and thus receive a paid position. Those Ph.D. positions are usually announced on the websites of the Faculty Chairs.