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International Doctoral Researchers -
Getting Started at our Faculty

The Faculty of Medicine at HHU awards the following academic degrees:

  • Dr. med.  (lat. doctor medicinae - Doctor of Medicine)
  • Dr. med. dent.  (lat. doctor medicinae dentariae - Doctor of Dentistry)
  • Dr. PH  (Public Health - Doctor of Health Sciences)
  • PhD in Medical Sciences

Admission requirements differ for each title according to the respective Doctoral Regulations. With the following information you can decide which title is suitable for you.

Your degree needs to fulfil the following admission criteria (§ 4 Doctoral Regulations):

Dr. med:

  • Master's degree in human medicine / State examination in human medicine / an exam equivalent to the German state medical exams
  • Proof of equivalency of your foreign degree with a European / German degree
  • Proof of German professional licence / Approbation (optional)
  • Language skills in German or English

Dr. med. dent:

  • Master's degree in dentistry / State examination in dentistry / an exam equivalent to the German state dentistry exam
  • Proof of equivalency of your foreign degree with a European / German degree
  • Proof of German professional licence / Approbation (optional)
  • Language skills in German or English

Dr. PH (Public Health):

  • A state examination in human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy or a master's degree at a foreign academic university in the life sciences, social sciences or public health
  • Proof of equivalency of your foreign degree with a European / German degree
  • Language skills in German or English

PhD in Medical Sciences:

  • Master's degree in Life Sciences
  • Grade 2.0 or better / ECTS B / top 25% of class
  • Proof of equivalency of your foreign degree with a European/German degree
  • Language skills in German or English

In general, you will have to request a request for recognition of your university degree, if any the following applies:

  • Your (German) degree is not offered at HHU.
  • Your major does not correspond to the area of doctoral studies.
  • You obtained your degree outside of Germany.

The Faculty of Medicine verifies your degree with the aim of admission to a doctoral programme. Please check whether this is sufficient, e.g. for employment, for presentation to the immigration authorities and other offices.

Please use our Online Form to submit your request: Request for recognition of university degrees - Doctoral degree at Faculty of Medicine at HHU.

This will be your most important task. You will have to find and convince a supervisor to support you and develop a project together.

In general, if you are planning a research stay at the Medical Faculty, please directly contact the institute / clinic.
You will find a list of clinics and institutes on our homepage:

The Medical Graduate Center does not connect candidates with open positions. We also do not provide funding for PhD researchers.

In our faculty, a good command of either English or German is required for your doctoral studies. You will need to submit a proof of your language proficiency to the Medical Graduate Center on admission to doctoral studies.

Required language skills/certificates:

•    DSH-2
•    TestDaF (TDN 4)
•    Kleines or Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (Goethe-Institut)
•    alternative proof of language proficiency

•    IELTS-Test (at least 6.0)
•    TOEFL-Test (at least Paper 500, Computer200, iBT 80)
•    alternative proof of language proficiency

When starting a doctoral project at the Faculty of Medicine, please pay special attention to the duration of doctoral studies:

Dr. med.  / Dr. med. dent.

  • The duration of the doctoral project for Dr. med. / Dr. med. dent. at our faculty is determined by the doctoral regulations. You have a maximum of 4 years to complete the dissertation. This means that you must conduct your research, write your dissertation and submit it for examination within this time.

Dr. PH (Public Health)

  • You have a maximum of 4 years for a Dr. PH. You must take into account that at least 2 years of scientific activity related to public health is part of the admission requirements.

PhD in Medical Sciences

  • The scientific work for a PhD in Medical Sciences usually takes three to four years.

The duration of the doctoral studies can vary. It does not only depend on the success of your research project. Other factors will be the timely submission of the written reports, finding a date for the defense and others. Oral examinations cannot take place before submission of both reports.

Please note, that your physical presence is mandatory for the defense of your thesis. You may have to re-enter the country for it.

You can officially enrol for doctoral studies at the Student Services Center of Heinrich Heine University (SSC), once you have been admitted to doctoral studies by the Dean's office. You will need an official letter by the Graduate Center Medicine.

If this takes longer than anticipated, you will be able to enrol as "guest doctoral researcher from abroad". More information can be found on JUNO's webpages. Just in case...

FAQs - Recognition of university degrees

Please submit always all of the following documents in original language and as translation into English/German:

  1. High-School Degree/School Leaving Certificate: certificate, transcripts, supplements
  2. Bachelor: Certificate, transcripts, supplements
  3. Master: Certificate, transcripts, supplements
  4. Scientific CV

Applicants from VR China, Vietnam, Mongolia
Please submit a valid APS certificate from the German Embassy and send the original certificate by regular mail to the office of Medical Graduate Center.

All documents must be provided as certified translation into German or English by an accredited translator, together with the documents in the original language. English documents do not need to be translated into German.

All documents must be submitted in an officially certified copy (consulate/embassy, citizen's office, notary's office). Alternatively, copies can be shown together with the originals at the office of Medical Graduate Center.

Do not send your precious originals by regular mail!

Officially certified copies are only valid in paper form, not as electronic files.

Please go to our online-form for submission of documents: “Request for Recognition of International Degree”.
Once, you have completed it, we will be able to file the official request for checking equivalency with respect to admission to doctoral studies.

In case of an international university degree, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine decides on the equivalency of the university degree. This is usually done by requesting an official statement by the Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für Ausländisches Bildungswesen, ZAB) in Bonn.

ZAB (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen) issues an official statement on your international university degree (The Statement of Comparability). The statement requested by us relates only to the admission to doctoral studies.

In the ZAB database 'anabin', you will find lists containing most foreign universities and degrees with information on their recognition in Germany. Feel free to do some research on your own in their database:

ZAB needs several weeks and sometimes even several months for the official statement on your degree.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Graduate Center Medicine well in advance (i.e. before applying for visa/entering the country).

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