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General Information

The doctoral program HCS is admitting up to 10 doctoral students each year in the winter semester.

The application period begins one year in advance. We publish our call for applications once a year on September 15. The application deadline is then in mid-November.

The application deadline for HCS for 2023 has passed.

You can do a doctoral degree in one of the subjects of history and cultural studies listed below:

  • Egyptology

  • Ancient Oriental Studies

  • Arabic Studies

  • Chinese Studies, Sinology

  • History

  • Didactics of History

  • Iranian studies

  • Islamic studies

  • Japanese Studies

  • Jewish Studies

  • Classical Archaeology

  • Korean Studies

  • Art History of Europe and America, East Asia, Africa

  • Prehistoric Archaeology

  • Religious Studies

  • Semitic Studies

  • Turcology

  • Near Eastern Archaeology


Where successful applicants do not bring their own funding, they will be supported in applying for scholarships.

Applications can be submitted in German or English exclusively via the online application platform of the Dahlem Research School. The online application platform will be accessible with the publication date of the call.

Following an internal selection process, selected applicants will be invited to interviews. 

Successful applicants will receive written notification. Please note that this does not constitute automatic admission to the doctoral program. You must apply for admission to the doctoral program separately at the doctoral office of the Department of History and Cultural Studies and enroll as a doctoral student once you have been admitted.

(Pursuing a PhD at the Department of History and Cultural Studies)

  • Excellent university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a degree programme relevant to the PhD.

  • A compelling dissertation project, which can be supervised at the Department of History and Cultural Studies by a suitable first supervisor.

  • Interest in the exchange between the specific subjects and different methodological approaches within Cultural Studies; willingness for interdisciplinary academic discussion within the framework of the structured doctoral studies program.

  • Statement of motivation (max. 2 DIN-A4 pages, Font Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing)

  • Dissertation proposal (max. 10 DIN-A4 pages, Font Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing)

  • Project timeline for 3 years

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 4 DIN-A4 pages)

  • One recommendation letter from a university professor/lecturer

  • A work sample (e.g. from the Master’s thesis no longer than 25 DIN-A4 pages)

  • Copies of certificates: university entrance qualification; university degrees

  • Language certificates for German and or English (one language at least at level C1, the other at least at level B2), unless these languages are your native languages.

  • Depending on your chosen subject, further language certificates may be necessary (please find out in advance whether you fulfil the foreign language requirements in your chosen subject as per the rules and regulations governing foreign language skills/Fremdsprachenordnung (fu-berlin.de))

You will not receive response in case your application cannot be considered for formal reasons. All formally approved applications will go through an internal review process.The selection committee votes to select applicants who will be invited to the selection interviews in February. During the interviews, each applicant has 5–10 minutes to give a verbal presentation on their project, followed by a 10–15 minute discussion. Shortly after the selection interviews you will receive an acceptance or rejection.

Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften