Requirements and routes to your doctoral degree

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The fundamental formal requirement for obtaining a doctoral degree is a qualifying university degree. In addition, there are further requirements – depending on what kind of doctoral degree you wish to obtain.

At CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin, you can obtain a doctoral degree by way of

In general, the structured programs confer the doctoral degrees of PhD and MD/PhD.

If you decide to opt for the classic individual doctorate procedure, you will be generally aiming for a Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. or Dr. rer. medic. degree. At the Charité, these degrees involve the so-called Standard Track.

You can however also apply for acceptance to the Advanced Track aiming for a PhD or MD/PhD – outside a formally structured program, but under comparable conditions and the same requirements.
In the following, we have summarised some important information for you.

Do you have a foreign university degree?

If your university degree was not completed in Germany, you must obtain an assessment by the Central Office for Foreign Education of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs prior to the registration of your doctoral project. In general, your principal supervisor is responsible for this.

You can, however, also obtain the assessment yourself. However, when obtained by a private person, a fee will be charged for the assessment.

If you want to obtain an assessment of your degree yourself, then please make sure that the assessment states clearly that you are authorised to pursue doctoral studies.

Further information is available at "Recognition of foreign university degrees" [in German only].

Routes to your doctoral degree at Charité

Standard Track, Advanced Track and academic degrees

At Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, you can choose between two tracks to your doctoral degree: the Standard Track (Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. and Dr. rer. medic.) and the Advanced Track (PhD and MD/PhD). The tracks differ in the following points:

  • the doctoral degree conferred,
  • the scope (in ECTS credit points) of the doctoral studies completed parallel to work on the selected topic and
  • the type of dissertation required.

Standard Track

With the Standard Track you can obtain the academic degrees of:

  • Dr. med.
  • Dr. med. dent.
  • Dr. rer. medic.

In this case, doctorate accompanying studies equivalent to 5 ECTS credit points must be completed. A classic monograph can be submitted, whereby the submission of publications is also possible.

Advanced Track

The Advanced Track is intended for especially high-performance doctoral candidates, who are admitted to doctoral studies by way of a selection procedure. This track awards the grades of:

  • PhD
  • MD/PhD

Here, accompanying studies equivalent to 30 ECTS credit points must be completed. The papers must include either one top journal publication (cf. Notes on Journals) with the doctoral candidate as the sole lead author, or three publications whereby the doctoral candidate must be the lead author of at least one.

In principle, you have two options for completing the Advanced Track at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin:

  • in a structured doctoral program, for example a doctoral program or a (graduate) school recognised by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin,

or

  • outside a structured program by way of a classic individual doctorate procedure.

Overview: Standard Track and Advanced Track

  Standard-Track (Dr. med., Dr. med. dent, Dr. rer. medic.) Advanced-Track (PhD, MD/PhD)
Team of supervisors
  • min. 2 supervisors (3 are recommended)
  • 3 supervisors
Credit Points
  • 5 ECTS Credit Points
  • in addition to your university degree
  • Coordination with your supervisors is recommended
  • 30 ECTS Credit Points
  • in addition to your university degree
  • To be selected together with your supervisors
Dissertation
  • min. 1 original publication (peer-reviewed) as lead author plus synopsis (5 000 to 10 000 words)
  • OR monograph
  • min. 1 original publication (peer-reviewed) as lead author in an international leading journal plus synopsis (5 000 to 10 000 words)
  • OR 3 original publications (peer-reviewed), of which 1 as lead author plus synopsis (5 000 to 10 000 word)
  • OR monograph (subject to approval)
Oral examination
  • Disputation
  • OR 2 individual examinations
  • Disputation

Formal requirements according to doctoral degrees

Dr. med. and Dr. med. dent.

The requirement for acceptance to a Dr. med. or Dr. med. dent. program is a completed university degree in medicine or dentistry.

Dr. rer. medic.

Candidates may be admitted for the pursuit of a Dr. rer. medic. degree if they have completed a Master's degree (or equivalent)

  • in a non-medical subject relevant to the topic of the doctorate

or

  • if they have completed a Bachelor's degree with the ECTS grade A in a subject relevant to the topic of the doctorate and have started a Master's degree programme

or

  • if they have completed a Bachelor's degree with the ECTS grade A in a subject relevant to the topic of the doctorate and have passed an Aptitude Assessment Test conducted out by the Faculty of Medicine of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

PhD

The requirement for acceptance to a PhD program is a completed university degree in medicine, dentistry or another subject relevant to the doctorate, resulting in a Master's degree or equivalent.

In addition, doctorate accompanying studies equivalent to 30 ECTS credit points are required. The ECTS credit points must be obtained in addition to the contributions required for the degree. These should be obtained within six semesters.

The PhD degree can only be obtained by pursuing doctoral studies on the Advanced Track. The PhD degree can be obtained both within the scope of individual doctoral studies as well as within the scope of structured programs. In every case, a selection procedure must be successfully completed for acceptance to the Advanced Track.

MD/PhD

A requirement for the MD/PhD degree is a completed degree in medicine or dentistry.

In addition, studies accompanying the doctorate procedure equivalent to 30 ECTS credit points are required. The ECTS credit points must be obtained in addition to the contributions required for the degree. These should be obtained within six semesters.

The MD/PhD degree can only be obtained by pursuing a doctoral project on the Advanced Track. The MD/PhD degree can be obtained both within the scope of individual doctoral studies as well as within the scope of structured programs. In every case, a selection procedure must be successfully completed for acceptance to the Advanced Track.