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Graduate Institute

International PhD students

Is it possible to do a PhD at H-BRS? - Yes, it is!

The higher education system in Germany comprises research-oriented universities, universities of technology and universities of applied sciences. The latter are more practice-oriented and have close links to businesses. According to German law, only universities and technical universities have been allowed to award doctoral degrees so far. At University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, however, there are quite a number of international and German doctoral students working on their doctorates. In these cases, the departments and research focuses work together with a German or foreign university. The doctoral students conduct research at the university under the joint supervision of a professor from the university and the partner university, which ultimately awards the doctorate.

The University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg cooperates with the Doctoral College NRW, which was established by the sponsoring universities on the basis of a public-law administrative agreement on 14 December 2020 as a public-law corporation based in Bochum. The aim of the Doctoral College NRW, which is anchored in the Higher Education Act of 2019, is to create the conditions for doctorates at universities of applied sciences in cooperation with the sponsoring universities.
In the future, it will probably be possible to obtain one's doctoral degree at the Promotionskolleg NRW.

All doctoral candidates can, if they wish, become members of the university's Graduate Institute, which will advise you on your doctorate. Please also contact the Graduate Institute for questions regarding your admission as a doctoral student.

The Welcome Centre of the International Office of the university offers advice and support for doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Pre-entry information
  • Invitation letter for the visa application
  • Matching with a study buddy
  • Accompaniment to visits to the authorities
  • Advice on questions such as entry, accommodation, insurance, etc.
  • Information on living and working in Germany
  • Advice on possible language courses

During the first few days, students can accompany you on request to complete the necessary formalities, such as registering at the Residents' Registration Office in Bonn, opening a bank account, health insurance, enrolment at the Graduate Institute and registering at the Aliens' Registration Office to apply for a residence permit. Please note that the Welcome Service is only available to a limited extent if you arrive outside normal working hours (e.g. at the weekend).

Further useful links on the topic of doctoral studies at University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg can be found here: