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Current information for PhD students at the Department of History and Cultural Studies in the context of SARS-CoV-2

News from Mar 23, 2020

Dear doctoral candidates,


Due to the current situation regarding SARS-CoV-2, we would like to provide you with current information on upcoming and ongoing doctoral studies at the Department of History and Cultural Studies.

The Freie Universität Berlin will close its premises until further notice. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you wait until the university resumes regular operations (currently expected to be on April 19, 2020) before submitting dissertations and opening doctoral procedures. 


  • All office hours are cancelled until further notice. From now on, the doctoral office can only be reached by telephone or email.
  • If you have not yet re-registered for the SoSe 2020, please transfer the semester fee (plus reminder fees). We are currently working on solutions to make re-registration possible for those who still have a reservation (e.g. extension of the regular processing time). If this concerns you, please contact us by email to coordinate the further procedure.
  • Documents and applications can still be sent to us by post (letter post) or until further notice by scan (with signature) via email from the FU address. The sending of parcels is not possible at present. Please understand that the processing of requests will be delayed.
  • If your regular processing time will end in the near future, please send us the application for an extension of the regular processing time as a scan (with signature). From the seventh year of admission, we still require an informal endorsement from your supervisor*, currently by e-mail. The supervisor's e-mail should be sent directly from the institution's e-mail address to the doctoral office.
  • We recommend postponing the submission of dissertations until the regular operation of the university has resumed. If there are compelling reasons for the submission, please discuss these with us in advance by email.
  • The following applies to current display periods: Due to the immediate minimum presence (home office) at the FU Berlin, the current display periods will be suspended, since the possibility of viewing dissertations is currently not available. These will be continued as soon as regular operations are resumed.
  • Upcoming disputations should be postponed, as currently no disputations are allowed at the Department of History and Cultural Studies. If there are compelling reasons why a postponement is not possible, please contact the*chairman of the commission first. An exception can then be requested by the Chairperson of the Commission and must be confirmed by all Commission members. The decision is the responsibility of the PhD Committee.
  • Unfortunately, the issuance of doctoral certificates is delayed indefinitely until the regular operation of the university can be resumed. We apologize for this. If you urgently need a confirmation of the status of your application to complete the procedure, we can try to send you an electronic preliminary confirmation.
  • This will include confirmation of receipt of the confirmation of receipt from the university writing department. 


Please use your FU e-mail address (zedat) for inquiries.


The above measures / information are valid from today and until further notice. We hope you understand that in such a dynamic environment, some decisions may have to be adjusted, but we will still try to find the best possible solution.

Of course, we will inform you as soon as possible when the regular operation of the university has been resumed and also assure you that you will not suffer any disadvantages in the procedure as a result of the above measures.


Stay healthy, make use of the decelerated phase of life and take care of yourself and your fellow human beings. (as of 19.03.2020)

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