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Earning the doctorate degree PhD, MD/PhD or DMD/PhD

With the introduction of the PhD, MD/PhD and DMD/PhD programmes, University Medicine Greifswald offers high-achieving graduates of medicine, dentistry, and natural and life sciences the opportunity to conduct a structured doctorate with a focus on research, and thus excellent prospects for their further professional career and the continuation of an academic career, especially in an international context. 

The most important information at a glance:

  • The basis of the doctorate is the publication of your own research results in at least 3 publications (cumulative thesis)
  • The period between requesting admission to the doctoral procedure and the submission of the thesis is usually 3 years
  • Completion of an accompanying curriculum amounting to 24 ECTS (courses, participation in congresses, continuing education)
  • Supervision of the research work by a thesis committee and conclusion of a supervision agreement

It is also possible to obtain a PhD, MD/PhD or DMD/PhD if a doctorate for the degree of Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. or Dr. rer. med. has already been successfully completed. In this case, the initially obtained title is discarded. It is not permitted to use both titles.

List of subjects and admission requirements

University Medicine Greifswald awards the PhD, MD/PhD or DMD/PhD on the basis of a doctoral procedure in the following subjects: 

Medical Bioinformatics
Community Medicine
Ethics and Medical History
Experimental Medicine
Molecular Medicine
Experimental Pathology
Human Genetics
 Health Care Management
Clinical Infectiology
Clinical Medicine
Medical Biometry
Medical Immunology
Medical Neurosciences
Medical Psychology
Medical Sociology
Preventive Medicine
Public Health
Social Medicine
Translational Medicine

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Master's degree or equivalent university degree in a natural or life science subject other than human medicine or dentistry (min. 300 credit points)
  • Overall grade of "good" or better (better than 2.5)

Medical Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD)

  • Passed the medical examination (state examination)
  • Overall grade of "good" or better

Doctor of Medical Dentistry/Doctor of Philosophy (DMD/PhD)

  • Passed the dental examination (state examination)
  • Overall grade of "good" or better

If you are unsure whether you meet the admission requirements for the PhD, MD/PhD or DMD/PhD programme (e.g. because you are planning to change from Dr. med. to MD/PhD and have already started your research work), there is the possibility of a non-binding preliminary review by the Doctoral Board. This does not formally constitute a request for admission according to § 4 of the Doctoral Regulations.

Send the following documents in one pdf file to mathilda.guerinmed.uni-greifswaldde:

  • Covering letter (approx. 1 page) in which you outline your research project and, if applicable, any work you have already done
  • Curriculum vitae with information about your academic career
  • Degree certificate(s) and transcript of records from the relevant degree course

Accompanying curriculum

In Appendix 2 of the Doctoral Regulations you will find a list of courses at UMG and the University of Greifswald which can, in pricinciple, be credited within the curriculum - depending on the semester schedule and your individual course plan. In Addition, it is possible to apply for the recognition of external lectures.

Lecturers who would like to add their courses to the list of eligible lectures, please contact the Doctoral Board (via mathilda.guerinmed.uni-greifswaldde).

Here you will find information regarding the lectures offered in the current semester as well as regarding course enrolment.

University of Greifswald's Graduate Academy
The research-related courses of the Graduate Academy (GA) can be credited as part of the curriculum. The seminar Good Scientific Practice will be offered twice a year free of charge starting in summer 2021. Course registration is via an online form on the GA website.

B.Sc. and M.Sc. Humanbiologie
Please refer to the University's self-service portal (HIS) for the current range of courses (same login as Groupware). The courses are assigned to the Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The registration for the courses also takes place in the HIS.

PhD-Curriculum Institute for Community Medicine
The courses listed here at the Institute for Community Medicine have been explicitly designed for PhD students. If you are interested, please contact the lecturers named in the document. You can also register for the course with them.

M.Sc. Health Care Management
Please refer to the University's self-service portal (HIS) for the range of lectures (same login as Groupware); current seminars are listed separately below. The courses are offered at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Department of Economics. Registration for the courses takes place in the HIS.

Steps in the Doctoral Procedure

Degrees obtained abroad must be checked for equivalence to the above-mentioned admission requirements before you can be admitted to the doctoral programme. Please send copies or scans of your certificates and the curriculum (transcript of records) to the University of Greifswald’s International Office: 

International Office
Kathrin Brandenburg
Domstraße 8
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 3834 420 1116
E-Mail: kathrin.brandenburguni-greifswaldde

Submitted documents and the recommendation of the International Office are sent back to us and will remain in your doctoral file.

Admission to the doctoral procedure must be requested before starting research work. Please hand in the following documents by post (Dekanat UMG, Fleischmannstr. 8) as well as by e-mail (mathilda.guerinmed.uni-greifswaldde):

  • Request for Admission to the Doctoral Procedure PhD, MD/PhD or DMD/PhD
    (application form with handwritten signature; to be generated in the RIS)

  • Curriculum vitae with information about your academic career
    (with handwritten signature)

  • All certificates of passed university degrees and state examinations as legally attested copies;
    copies of Transcripts of Records
    (degrees completed abroad must first be reviewed by the International Office)

  • Agreement to supervise the doctoral procedure, including suggestion of thesis committee members (signed by the supervisor, see Templates for admission to the doctoral procedure)

  • Scientific work plan (see Templates for admission to the doctoral procedure)

  • Preliminary plan of accompanying curriculum
    (co-ordinated with the supervisor, see Templates for admission to the doctoral procedure)

  • If applicable, request for recognition of a semester off completed for research purposes as part of the degree course (informal; proof of completion of the semester off must be provided)

  • If applicable, Request for recognition of lectures already completed

  • Confirmation of Acceptance as Doctoral Candidate for enrolement as a doctoral student (after admission to be handed in at the Students’ Registration Office, Rubenowstraße 2, see Doctoral website University of Greifswald, ger)

Applicants will be informed in writing as to whether their application is accepted or rejected.

Within 6 weeks after admission, please complete a Supervision Agreement with the members of your thesis committee, and hand in a copy at the Dean's office.

Upon admission to the doctoral programme, you are required to register for doctoral studies at the University of Greifswald’s Students’ Registration Office for the duration of your doctorate. Please refer to the university's doctoral website (ger) for documents to be submitted and contact details.

Please hand in the form Confirmation of Acceptance as Doctoral Candidate according to § 9 with your request for admission to the doctoral procedure. You will receive it back along with the confirmation of admission.

As part of the admission process the Doctoral Board appoints a thesis committee for each doctoral procedure. Apart from the supervisor, the committee usually consists of one internal (UMG) university lecturer and one external university lecturer; a third member might be appointed if desired. University lecturers are professors or Privatdozents.

The thesis committee monitors the progress of the doctorate and is responsible for conducting and evaluating the doctoral colloquium. Minutes of each meeting of the committee with the doctoral candidate (at the intervals specified in the supervision agreement) are taken and a copy is sent to the Dean's Office.

The qualification phase usually lasts three years and begins when admission is granted to the doctoral procedure. During the qualification phase, the scientific research is carried out upon which the written thesis is based. In addition, you will acquire a sound understanding of scientific problems, in-depth subject knowledge and the ability to work in an interdisciplinary manner.

According to § 5 PromO PhD, the qualification phase comprises:

  • performing research work in a supervisory relationship
  • regular exchange with your supervisor and your thesis committee
  • completing an accompanying curriculum amounting to 24 ECTS credits

Within 3 years, at least 24 ECTS credits must be earned through participation in research-based lectures, continuing education courses, and/or scientific conferences as part of the qualification phase.

Appendix 2 of the Doctoral Regulations comprises an overview of eligible lectures. On this website (see above) you will find information regarding the current semester as well as on course registration. If you would like to attend external lectures, please hand in the Request for Recognition of External Lectures.

Attendance in the seminar Good Scientific Practice is mandatory for all doctoral candidates. Attendance at other events offered by the Graduate Academy is recommended (information on ECTS-Points will be given with each course description).

An outline of lectures to be attended is provided as part of the request for admission. After admission, a specific semester plan will be developed by the doctoral candidate in consultation with the lecturers. The list of lectures and conferences attended is to be maintained in the Research Information System (RIS).

The thesis must relate to a field of study found in Appendix 1 of the Doctoral Regulations (see list of subjects above). It should summarise at least three original scientific publications with interrelated content that have been accepted for publication in renowned peer-reviewed journals (cumulative thesis). In all publications, the reference to University Medicine Greifswald must be recognisable. Details on the publications and their proof are regulated in the implementation provisions (Appendix 3) of the Doctoral Regulations.

In addition to the original publications, a summary made up of a brief summary, introduction, methods, results and discussion must be submitted in German or English (3000 to 4000 words, approx. 10-15 pages).

You can request that the doctoral procedure be initiated after you have completed the accompanying curriculum (approximately 3 years after admission). Please send the following documents to the Dean’s Office:

  • Request for Initiating the Doctoral Procedure
    (application form with handwritten signature; should be completed in RIS)

  • 3 printed and bound copies of the thesis including the original publications

  • Proof of lectures and congresses/training attended
    (see accompanying curriculum/qualification phase)

  • Official certificate of good conduct (document type 0 = official)
    not older than 3 months when submitting the doctoral thesis
    to be addressed directly to: Dekanat, Fleischmannstraße 8, 17475 Greifswald

  • If applicable, declaration of shares in publications and shared lead authorship
    (with handwritten signature)

Applicants will be informed in writing that the doctoral procedure has been initiated.

After the doctoral procedure has been initiated, an internal first assessment and an external second assessment are requested. If the thesis is evaluated with at least "rite" by both assessors, the oral examination (doctoral colloquium) takes place.

The doctoral colloquium is held before the thesis committee and is comprised of a presentation (max. 30 minutes) and a scientific discussion (30-90 minutes). The language of the presentation is German or English.

The date is set by the thesis committee and is announced to the doctoral candidates at least 14 days in advance. The colloquium is open to the public and will be announced to the members of the faculty.

After passing the doctoral colloquium, the thesis must be published in an unchanged and complete form according to § 12 PromO PhD (4 durable bound copies and a pdf file). The copies are to be submitted to the University Library. For more information, please visit the

Central University Library Website.

The Dean's Office will be notified of the thesis submission by the University Library.

After submitting the required copies to the University Library, a confirmation of successful completion of the doctoral procedure is issued. This entitles the doctoral candidate to use the doctoral title - for a limited period of time until the original certificate is presented.

The presentation of the doctoral certificates takes place during a ceremony for the conferral of the academic degrees usually in June and November of each year in the historic Aula of the University of Greifswald (Domstraße 11, Greifswald). Doctoral candidates will receive an invitation with a request for a binding confirmation as to whether or not they will attend. If it is not possible for someone to attend the ceremony, we asked to be informed by e-mail. In this case, the doctoral certificate will be sent by mail.