Information for (prospective) International Doctoral Candidates

While many doctoral candidates in the German academic system complete their PhD as member of doctoral (study) programs by now, a large number of them also work on their dissertation individually without being part of a structured doctoral program, which is the traditional way in Germany.

In Germany, doctoral work is in most cases financed through means of part-time employment in the research group of the supervisor or via a scholarship. If you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in Germany, you should, thus, pay attention to advertisements for research jobs that are designed for doctoral work and for suitable scholarships. Doctoral candidates have usually been in touch with their supervisor before applying for a PhD at German universities. Therefore, it is advisable to get in touch with a potential supervisor who is active in your field of interest at an early stage.

At which stage a doctoral candidate needs to be enrolled as a student of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg slightly differs by discipline/PhD program. Enrolling at the begin of the PHD is advisable, however, also because of issues related to insurances.

Please note that doctoral theses may generally be written in German or in English at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. For information specific to the discipline or PhD program regarding the registration as a doctoral candidate, the enrollment as a doctoral student, the registration of the thesis, and regarding other details of the process, please refer to the respective doctoral regulations ("Promotionsordnungen") and, if in doubt, the respective board ("Promotionsausschuss").

Services for International Doctoral Candidates

During the first time of their stay, international doctoral candidates can get support from the PhD Tutors, who also organise diverse events aimed at networking, exchange of information, getting to know different cultures, and at entertainment, e.g. the International "Stammtisch". The program of the PhD Tutors is a joint program of the Graduate Academy, the Graduate Schools Oltech and 3GO, and the International Student Office, which is funded by the DAAD support for doctoral candidates.

In addition, the Graduate School OLTECH offers a Welcome Workshop for doctoral students of Schools V and VI.

The International Relations Office offers further information for the university's international employees and a regular International Lunch.

German Language Courses

The German language courses at the University Language Center ("Sprachenzentrum") are also open for all international doctoral students, post-docs, and visiting researchers. The German language program includes courses throughout the semester (CEF-levels A1.1 to B2.2) as well as thematically focused courses (such as German for scientists, creative writing, reading, or academic skills) and intensive courses during the semester breaks (CEF-levels A1.1, A2.1 and B1.1).

The program is free of charge for anybody properly registered at the university. Everybody else needs to pay a small course fee. The intensive courses during the semester breaks are, however, an exception: here, the course fee is 250 Euros for everybody. For further information, please consult the webpages of the German section of the Language Center or feel free to contact us at deutschkurse(at)uni-oldenburg.de.

In addition to the University Language Center, the Volkshochschule Oldenburg and the Goethe-Institut have a German language program. Also, the Deutsch-Uni Online offers German courses online.

Registration for the current courses of the Language Center is usually through Stud.IP or by E-Mail. The attendance of general language courses in English, German, French, and Spanisch normally requires a placement test. The current dates can be found on the webpage of the Language Center ("Sprachenzentrum").
Please note that a placement test is not necessary for any English for Research Purposes course offered through the english+ program of the Graduate Academy.

 

PhD Tutors

During the first time of their stay, international doctoral candidates can get support from the PhD Tutors.

Furthermore, the so-called Uni-Lotsen (university guides) of the university offer an International Coffee Hour every first and third Wednesday of the month.

Formalities

Further information on planning your stay at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg can be found on the webpages of the International Relations Office (IRO):

  • important documents
  • visa and immigration
  • getting started in Oldenburg
  • social security in Germany
  • taxation in Germany

Should you be an employee of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg for your doctoral work and apply for a visa for this purpose, we advise you to present your employment contract already as part of your first application for a visa in your home country. Switching from a student visa to a work visa at a later point in time is very difficult.