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

  • 1. Evaluation of eligibility

    • Please note: If one of these eligibility requirements is not fulfilled, the application will be rejected.
    • 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

    • Secured scientific funding (e.g. a scholarship, research and/or teaching position), covering living expenses for a duration of minimum 3 years. Self-funding is not possible.

      • Listing potential funding organizations is not sufficient. Instead, a letter of acceptance of one academic funding organization needs to be enclosed, including the amount of funding.

    • A BGSS faculty member has confirmed willingness to supervise the thesis
  • 2. Evaluation on quality and fit with BGSS faculty

    • Documentation of in-depth knowledge of quantitative or qualitative techniques of social science research

    • Exposé of doctoral project

    • Mission statement

    • CV

    • Fit with BGSS faculty in terms of research topics, theories, methodology and empirical expertise


Application period

Decisions on admission are made in September in 2024. To be considered for this selection round, applications must be submitted by August 31st. We strongly recommend you to submit your application by June 15th, in order to have a smooth start in October 2024.


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)