Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - DYNAMICS


What career options do I have with a doctoral degree from DYNAMICS?

Our doctoral program provides skills required for an academic university career at leading social science departments and schools of public policy. Our faculty at Hertie School and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have an excellent academic and professional network that supports our PhD graduates in finding a job.

Which networks can I access at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and at the Hertie School?

Both Universities have an international network that spans academic and professional realms. In Berlin, they have close ties with institutions such as the Freie Universität Berlin, the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), and the Einstein Foundation, among many others. The Hertie School closely collaborates with a number of universities on doctoral education in the context of the EU-funded project CIVICA: Bocconi University (Italy), Central European University (Hungary), Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), National University of Political Studies and Administration (Romania), European University Institute (Italy), Sciences Po (France), the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) and London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has many exchange-PhD programs with excellent Universities worldwide, such as the Duke University (USA), Princeton University (USA), King's College (UK), and the European University Institute (Italy). Both Universities have excellent networks with governments and many national and international agencies, NGOs and corporations.

Will accommodation be provided? Who can I contact should I need help in looking for a place to live?

Both Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Hertie School are located at the center of Berlin and do not have a campus student housing. However, the city of Berlin offers many opportunities for accommodation at relatively reasonable rates.

Please find more information on accomodation in Berlin here: accommodation?set_language=en

The DYNAMICS-Team will be happy support you.

Will I be supported in dealing with the German authorities if necessary (questions concerning visas, residence permits, etc.)?

Yes. The DYNAMICS Team will offer support in administrative issues such as visa, residence permits, health insurance, etc.

Do I have to move to Berlin?

Yes. The doctoral program is a structured program with coursework. You are expected to take residence in Berlin for the full duration of the program. You are encouraged to spend one term at a university abroad.

Can I waive the English test?

Yes, in the following cases:

- If you are a native English speaker;

- If you received a university degree in a full-time study program (of at least 4 semesters) which was exclusively taught in English. In this case, please submit a statement from the respective program administration.

-In case of previous own teaching experience in English at a university

We do not waive the English test in other cases. Short-term study abroad, au-pair home-stays or language school certificates will not be accepted as test replacements.

Which English tests does the DYNAMICS accept?

We accept the following tests (with minimum test scores):


- Cambridge


- Equivalents

Test results may not be more than two years old. If your result is not available when you submit your application, please indicate the date when you will take one of the tests mentioned above on your application form.

TOEFL test results can be handed in until February 14.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the programme?

Applicants will be informed about the results approximately in March / April.

Should I contact potential supervisors prior to my application?

Please refrain from asking either Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or Hertie School faculty members about acceptance prior to your online application, since they are not allowed to accept PhD candidates on their own before the involvement of the DYNAMICS Selection Committee. We have a centralized application process:

All applications are sent to us via email ( As a second step, they are forwarded to potential supervisors. After the evaluation of an application, the PhD Selection Committee decides whether the applicant is invited for an interview. Please consult the list of potential supervisors to find out if your research proposal is in line with the research of one of our faculty members and state in your application two potential advisors from the ranks of the DYNAMICS faculty.

How long should the Dissertation proposal be? And should I send it to the faculty members prior to the aplication?

The dissertation proposal should contain maximum 10 pages including potential tables and figures, but excluding the list of references. You should indicate 2 members of the Faculty who could serve as potential supervisors.

Do I need to have knowledge of quantitative methods?

Yes. Knowledge of quantitative methods is mandatory. Please explain which methods skills you have and where you have acquired them.

Can I submit my Master thesis as a writing sample?

Yes, writing samples could be a Bachelor or a Master thesis or a paper that was submitted in an academic course. Both need to be in English and ideally, the writing samples should be no longer than 30 pages.

Please write your samples in Times New Roman, font size 12 with 1,5 line spacing.

Does the reference letter need to be from a Professor?

The reference letter does not need to be written by a Professor, a letter from your university teacher or your workplace will also be accepted. The references must be there on January 20. The reference letters can be free-flowing.

Does my application need to be submitted in a single PDF-file?

YES. Please submit all your application documents in ONE single PDF-file.




Still having questions? Get in touch with our Admissions Office

We are happy to help!