skip to content

Doctoral studies

Bildnachweis: © krizZz -

Cologne offers a broad range of possibilities to participate in cutting-edge research in some of the most exciting fields in physics. The PhD is usually done within the framework of the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy

The most important part of a PhD is a research project at the forefront of science under the direct supervision of a professor or research group leader. In addition, PhD students appoint a "Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)" - the members of this TAC support the PhD students in many ways. Our PhD students can participate in several different research networks on the national and international level and take part in international workshops and conferences.  In many cases, our PhD students also spend several months during their PhD abroad in leading research institutes.

How to apply for a PhD position
Students who have already obtained a bachelor degree in physics but not yet a master should first enrol in the master's program of the physics department. Note that the master's program also takes place in the framework of the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS). Among other measures, the BCGS provides scholarships for students in the MSc in Physics. 

For students who have already obtained or are about to obtain their master's degree, the first step towards the PhD is to find a PhD advisor. The best way is to contact directly one (or several) of the professors or other research group leaders. In most of the cases, one can apply throughout the year (even if no PhD positions are advertised). For applicants from outside of Cologne it is useful to send a CV, information about previous academic achievements and research experience. To avoid unnecessary delay, one can apply before one has completely finished the master's degree.

The advisor can provide information on the salary, possible research areas and projects. There are also a number of formal requirements (depending on the previously obtained degrees) which your advisor will discuss with you. For further information please refer to the BCGS:

Official Regulations

All documents covering the procedures and examination regulations for the PhD are available on the pages of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. In particular, we recommend the step-by-step guide from registering in Docfile to publishing the thesis.

For questions regarding Docfile please have a look at the FAQ page of the AMC.