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Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

If you would like to continue your studies beyond your Master's degree programme (or, if applicable, your final university examination, Diplom, Magister, or, in very specific cases, your Bachelor's degree programme), you have the opportunity to obtain a doctoral degree (Dr. phil., "doctor philosophiae"). Who is eligible to doctoral studies is regulated by the Doctoral Regulations.

Before you may enrol to a doctoral programme, you must discuss special and individual arrangements with the intended supervisor of the Institute of History of Art. This process has particular importance if you hold a degree from a different field of study, if you have studied at another university, or if you will be considered as an international student. Please contact the respective lecturer as soon as possible.

The focus of the doctoral programme is the independent preparation of a comprehensive scientific research paper (doctoral thesis). In addition, further proof of performance concerning the doctoral subject must be provided (for example participation in seminars, field trips, colloquia).

After a period of about three years, the doctoral programme concludes with a final oral examination ("Disputation"). The doctoral candidates present their doctoral theses, which are afterwards subject to discussion by the doctoral commission. After the successful defence, the thesis has to be published.

Individually Supervised Doctoral Project

The individually supervised doctoral project is the "traditional" way to obtain a doctorate. The doctoral thesis will be written in close association with the Institute of History of Art, supervised by your doctoral supervisor. The doctoral researchers conduct their studies individually on a topic usually chosen by themselves. Therefore, the individually supervised doctoral project requires a high degree of self-motivation and presupposes a close and trusting relationship with one's doctoral supervisor. Currently, around 50 doctoral projects are being supervised at the Institute of History of Art.

Concerning the individually supervised doctoral project, a distinction is made between internal and external doctoral candidates: Internal doctoral candidates are associated with a paid position at the chair, thus are similar to a regular employment. This occupation is connected with an obligation to be involved in different tasks at the institute or chair (project work, teaching obligations). For this reason, internal doctoral candidates usually require more than three years. Because of a direct association to the chair, contact with one's doctoral supervisor is more regular than during an external doctoral candidate.

In comparison, an external doctoral programme is limited to supervision of one's dissertation: After a doctoral candidate has been accepted by a supervisor, the doctoral researcher prepares his or her thesis autonomously. Typically, a paid employment (for example as a research assistant) is not associated with this kind of doctorate project.

Administrative Steps

If you wish to apply for an individually supervised doctoral project, you need to contact the respective lecturer at the Institute of History of Art who holds an examination authorisation.

If he or she accepts your request to supervise your doctoral project, a topic has to be agreed upon.

In detail, following administrative steps are required:

1. Contacting the potential doctoral supervisor

2. Receiving a written confirmation of supervision from one's doctoral supervisor

3. Submission of one's university degree certificate and the confirmation of supervision to the responsible doctoral committee: receipt of a doctoral degree authorisation

4. Enrolment at the Registrar's Office

5. International applicants: Please note that further regulations apply

Doctoral Programme AISTHESIS and other Doctoral Colleges

The doctoral programme AISTHESIS offers the opportunity for networking with doctoral researchers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland during joint colloquia, symposia, workshops, and field trips at an early stage of your carrier.

AISTHESIS is constituted by the chairs of History of Art of the University of Regensburg, the departments of History of Art (Modern/Contemporary Art and Early Modern Art) of the University of Bern, the University of Vienna, the KIT Karlsruhe and the University of Bonn as well as the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart.

At the University of Regensburg, doctoral candidates in history of art can also profit from offerings provided by the interdisciplinary doctoral college of the Faculty of Philosophy (PUR):

A diverse program is offered in preparation for starting a professional career, for example application training, internship counselling, or mentoring.

The thematic network "Sehen und Verstehen" (Perceiving and Understanding) and the "Forum Mittelalter" (Forum Middle Ages) offer further opportunities to get in touch with academics of different qualification levels in order to conduct international and interdisciplinary connected research and to integrate oneself into the scientific community at an early stage.

In principle, the extensive range of events offered by the interdisciplinary associations at the University of Regensburg is open to doctoral researchers of the Institute of History of Art.

Doctoral researchers also have the opportunity to actively participate in projects, conferences, and publications in their own field of work.

  2. Faculty of Philosophy, Fine Arts, History and Humanities