Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science


The BGSS seeks international applicants interested in completing a doctoral degree at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Outstanding academic records, first research experience and a strong dedication to becoming a researcher in the Social Sciences are expected.

Doctoral projects should correspond to the BGSS’ faculty’s research profile. Research and doctoral training at the BGSS concentrates on the comparative analysis of problems of social inclusion and democratic performance by addressing the following themes:


Migration, Education, Work and Labor, Social Demography, Social Inequality and Change, Welfare State

Democracy and Political Institutions, Constitutionalism and Rule of Law, Political Behavior of Individuals and Collective Actors, Political Economy


Regular members are admitted graduate students who have successfully passed the international BGSS application process. During the three year doctoral program (always starting in fall semester) regular members fulfill the annual milestones of the structured training program.


Minimum Requirements (see detailed information)

  • M.A. degree (120 CP, state accreditation) or equivalent (Magister, Diploma) in Social Sciences (Sociology, Political Science, and neighboring disciplines such as economics)
  • English language proficiency at C1-level or equivalent
  • documentation of in-depth knowledge of quantitative or qualitative techniques of social research
  • a confirmed provisional first year supervisor from the BGSS faculty
  • secured funding (e.g. doctoral scholarships or research positions at BGSS partner institutions or the HU Department of Social Sciences) has to be proven until the beginning of the doctoral program


Application period

Applications for BGSS are seeked for on an ongoing basis. Decisions on admission will be made twice a year in spring and fall of each calendar year.


Application Documents (see detailed information)

The application is to be submitted via our online application platform. The following documents are compulsory and need to be uploaded (PDF - not write protected - or JPEG file format only):

  • Mission Statement (500 words maximum)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Certificate of English Language Ability (TOEFL, IELTS, C-level etc.)
  • Exposé of your doctoral project (5-10 pages)
  • Copies of degrees and certificates (official transcripts, diplomas, including translations into German or English, if necessary)


For futher information please contact us via bgss (at)