Welcome to the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics.
If you meet the admission requirements, please check our admission deadlines, and apply either through our webportal (for international students and anyone without prior financial support) or directly, using the forms from the forms section (if you already have an advisor and financial support through him/her).
The Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics offers a doctoral programme for students that culminates in the degree "Dr. rer. nat.". In order to enter this programme, the usual requirement is that students must have obtained the minimum of a Master´s degree in Physics or equivalent.
With respect to grades, it is expected that students applying for entrance to the Graduate School have the equivalent of the grade minimum 2,0 in the German system.
This corresponds roughly to a "B+" Grade or better in the American or English system.
As an exception to this policy, the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics can admit excellent students who have completed 4 years of study in physics (Bachelor or Honours' degree). For more details on this, please read the information on the "integrated master/doctoral" programme.
Candidates will be screened for suitability. In the screening process, the grades, theses, as well as two letters of recommendation will be taken into account.
The regulations governing admission to the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy are detailed in the information brochure in pdf-form.
Excellent candidates who have completed four years of study in physics can be admitted to the integrated master/doctoral (4+4) programme of the HGSFP, which also culminates in the degree "Dr. rer. nat.".
The integrated master/doctoral programme is designed to allow physics students with four years of physics education to gain admission to the HGSFP. There are two possible categories of such students:
Category 1: Students who have a 4-year education in physics (e.g. who have successfully completed a 4-year bachelor degree, or a 3-year bachelor degree plus a one year honours degree) can apply for admission to the HGSFP for doctoral study. Admission can be granted to candidates displaying exceptional grades and ability.
Admission may be first granted for a preparatory phase of up to one year, and students may be advised to take particular courses to complete their education or complete a research-based thesis. Students who are required to do a research-based thesis should also register for the "fast track" master programme, which will ensure that they will obtain a master degree after completing the requirements.
Category 2: Students of the Heidelberg physics master's programme who have successfully completed four years of physics education (e.g. a 3-year bachelor plus one year of the master's education) and who display exceptional grades and ability may also apply for admission to the HGSFP. Admission may be granted for a preparatory phase of up to one year; full admission to the doctoral programme is subject to final success in the master programme meeting the grade requirement of the HGSFP.
In both cases, the final decision for admission is taken by the doctoral degrees committee of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
1) Students obtain access to all programmes and funding of the HGSFP during the preliminary research phase of their degree.
2) Candidates admitted to this programme can be supported by a maximum of a one year stipend at the level commensurate with their qualification.
1) Applications should be initiated by advisors. The application must include the usual full documentation required for application to the doctoral programme. In addition, the advisor should submit a strong letter of recommendation also stating that he/she agrees to fund the doctoral student for the following standard 3 years at the end of a possible HGSFP stipend, should the preparatory year be successful. Applications should include full transcripts of records of the candidate in question, a statement on motivation and a work plan.
2) Applications can be made at any time during the year and should be sent to the directorate of the HGSFP. After successful evaluation by the directorate, applications will be submitted to the doctoral degrees committee for a final decision.
3) Candidates can also register for admission to the HGSFP through the annual call for fellowships. Potential advisors will contact them in the case that they identify suitable candidates.
For students outside of Germany, application to the HGSFP must be made in conjunction with an application for a fellowship, alternatively financial support can be guaranteed by the primary advisor.
If you are a student at Heidelberg University, you may submit your application at any time directly to the Central Office of the HGSFP when registering for your doctoral studies in physics: This is possible if you fulfil the admission requirements and already have an advisor who agrees to supervise your work, and sufficient funding is available through your advisor.
As a Heidelberg student you may, however, also apply for a fellowship, in particular if funding is not secured, and if you are searching for an advisor.
FOR ALL APPLICANTS: If you would like to join one of the topical graduate schools (as well as being a member of the HGSFP), such as the IMPRS-HD, IMPRS-PTFS, IMPRS-QD, GRK1940, GRK2058 (HighRR), the School on Experimental Foundations and Applications of Quantum Phenomena or the LGF School on Basic Building Blocks for Quantum Enabled Technologies, you must initiate your application through registering via our web form below. These schools offer individual fellowships.
The deadline for receipt of the full application plus references is usually in late November of each year.
Please note that you may submit the web form at any stage - your data will be saved when you submit the form. You can complete passages or make changes at any stage before the deadline has expired. Note that at this point, your application, including letters of reference, must be complete in order to be considered.
Important information for applicants: Each of the above schools takes its decision autonomously! If you apply for multiple schools, a decision from one school has no bearing on the decision from another!
The most important dates for applicants are the admission deadlines.
The deadline for the yearly international application round to the Graduate School and all the hosted schools is usually in late November of that year. There may, however, be additional application rounds for the individual topical schools during the course of the year. Please watch this site for more information!
In addition to application rounds, direct applications either directly to the potential supervisor or via the HGSFP online form may be submitted any time.
Important forms for registration at Heidelberg University
Students who have successfully applied for a fellowship through the web registration procedure will be explicitly requested at a later stage to complete the following forms and send them to the Central Office of the Graduate School.
Students at Heidelberg University may submit their application directly to the Central Office using the forms appended to this page. All of the relevant documents must be printed out, signed and brought to the Central Office of the Graduate School, together with certified copies of all certificates, including the secondary school certificate and bachelor, master or diploma certificates. Please submit certified translations into English or German, if the certificate has been issued in a foreign language. Note that in addition to certificates, all transcripts of records in original form or as certified copies must be supplied.
1. Agreement on doctoral studies and application for admission
2. (for Astronomy candidates: Requirements for astronomy candidates)
3. Registration form for German candidates OR candidates from other countries
4. Scan/copy of your passport or ID
5. (for candidates outside of the EU: scan/copy of your visa or residence permit)
6. PDF of your master thesis (unless you have earned your Master from Heidelberg University)
7. Certified copies of your Master diploma (Masterurkunde) in German or English
8. Certified copies of your Master transcript of records (Masterzeugnis) in German or English
9. Certified copies of your Bachelor diploma (Bachelorurkunde) in German or English
10. Certified copies of your Bachelor transcript of records (Bachelorzeugnis) in German or English
11. (for the University: secondary school leaving certificate)
12. Two letters of recommendation (unless you have earned your Master from Heidelberg University)
Registration forms for the University
When you register at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, please fill out and bring with you the appropriate form for registration at the University. Once the Department of Physics and Astronomy has accepted you, you will be requested to register also with the Central Administration Office of the University.
As a doctoral student, must I register with the university?
All doctoral students must register as a doctoral student at the university at which they perform their doctoral studies. (Laws of Baden-Württemberg, § 38 Chapter 5 of 5 January 2005, last amended on the 13th March, 2018). The only exception to this rule is for persons who have a contract (more than 50%) with the University itself, and who have submitted an application to the Rectorate to be exempted from this condition.
Do I have to pay fees when I register at the university?
No, doctoral students are exempt from student fees, but you do have to pay a small administration fee when registering.
However, non-EU students who take part in the integrated master/doctoral programme have to pay student fees amounting to 1.500 EUR per semester if they take part in the Master "fast track" programme. One can apply to the HGSFP for reimbursement, which may be granted in special cases.
Can I be in two schools simultaneously?
Yes, the HGSFP provides a framework for your dissertation, which all topical schools fulfil.
Can I do my doctorate at a Max Planck Institute?
Your research can be done at a Max Planck Institute. However, the degree is awarded by the University, so you must register with the university and you are required to fulfil the University requirements e.g. do tutorial work there.
Can I print the University logo on my dissertation?
No, you may not. You alone have the responsibility for the contents of your dissertation.
May I use loose binding (like spiral binding) for my thesis?
No, the thesis must be glued. It must not be possible to replace pages.