As a comprehensive university with a world-class research profile, we offer the ideal environment for a successful doctorate. At Leipzig, you can pursue a doctorate independently or as part of a structured or binational programme. Approvals should always be based on the thematic orientation and prior consultation with the supervising professors.

First-Class Doctoral Training

Ein Mann und eine Frau stehen im Labor und arbeiten mit wissenschaftlichen Instrumenten.
Do your doctorate in our professional research environment. Photo: Christian Hüller

Our university offers excellent conditions for doctoral success:

  • Research-oriented, internationally recognised doctoral training
    Leipzig offers a research-oriented education that is internationally recognised. We have a variety of interdisciplinary research areas. In this way, you benefit from state-of-the-art teaching facilities in a dynamic environment.
  • Broad research spectrum
    We are a comprehensive university that covers a broad research spectrum. The advantage for you? At Leipzig, you can pursue a doctorate in all subject areas.
  • Excellent research environment
    Leipzig is home to an abundance of research institutions, offering you an unbeatable research environment. The 20 or so institutions include three Max Planck, two Fraunhofer and three Leibniz Institutes.
  • Unique urban culture
    Here you not only enjoy a teaching and research environment at the highest level, but at the same time live in a beautiful, vibrant city. Leipzig will surprise you with its exciting cultural scene, affordable housing and trendy districts. Your future campus is centrally located and easily accessible from anywhere in the city.


The first step towards a doctorate is finding a topic and a supervisor. Doctorates can be taken in all subjects offered at our university. You can either apply for advertised doctoral positions or a place in a structured doctoral programme, or alternatively look for a source of funding yourself and contact a suitable supervisor with your doctoral project.

It is essential that you consider a decision to pursue a doctorate – and your choice of topic and supervisor – very carefully. What academic skills do I have to offer? What new methods and questions could broaden the research field? What do I hope to gain from a doctorate? What career path would I like to pursue? To help you with these questions, it can help if you make contact with researchers in your field or with other doctoral candidates who are currently working for your potential supervisor.

Since a doctorate rarely takes less than three years to complete, you should thoroughly consider your decision to begin a doctorate, your choice of topic and your supervisor.

Am Anfang einer Promotion steht die Wahl des Themas, die Suche nach einer Betreuerin oder einem Betreuer sowie einer Finanzierungsquelle. Foto: Christian Hüller
The first step in a doctorate is choosing a topic and looking for a supervisor as well as funding. Photo: Christian Hüller

Pathways to a Doctorate

You work on your doctorate independently at a faculty and usually choose your subject yourself. You are supervised by a professor, producing your dissertation under the guidance of this so-called Doktormutter or Doktorvater. This allows you to freely organise the duration of your dissertation and gives you flexible options if you wish to change your focus or topic while you are working on it.

In a structured doctoral programme, you write your dissertation within a fixed curriculum in which the duration of your doctorate is clearly defined. You earn your doctorate within a Graduate Centre, receiving supervision from several professors. From the outset, you are in close contact with other doctoral researchers and supervisors, with whom you work on joint research projects.

At our university it is possible to pursue a structured doctorate on one of the Research Academy Leipzig’s doctoral programmes.

Binational Doctorates

At Leipzig University it is possible to pursue a binational doctorate: this means you work conduct your research at two universities in different countries, ultimately receiving a doctorate awarded jointly by the two institutions.

Graduates who hold a binational doctorate significantly improve their career opportunities. They have qualifications that are recognised in two countries. But the benefits also include linguistic and intercultural skills as well as knowledge of different academic structures and higher education systems.

Doctoral candidates are supervised by at least one professor from each university. The formalities of each binational doctorate are regulated by the two universities in a joint agreement, on the basis of which it is possible to apply for a mobility grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or, if applicable the Franco-German University.

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Doctorates at the Faculty of Medicine

Leipzig’s Faculty of Medicine has its own research and support programmes for doctoral candidates. Please refer to the faculty’s own information about special requirements and conditions.

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