Structure & CP

The doctoral degree divides into the following four areas:



151 CP


Modules on Methodology and Literary Theory

(optional compulsory section)

15 CP


Practice  perspectives

(optional compulsory section)

8 CP


Research Colloquia


6 CP

Flexible work on the project


Research stay abroad

Literature as textual practice

Courses at DRS,





Research Colloquium

Literature from a transnational perspective

Research Colloquium

Literature and knowledge

Research Colloquium


Literature, (inter-)mediality and the arts

Work on the dissertation

All dissertation projects of the Graduate School - coming from different professional contexts - work on comparative questions. The diversity of the subjects involves a variety of methods, that is due to the literary studies traditions of the subjects, as well as the adaptation of the methods to the respective material. The structured dissertation program obliges the doctoral students to reflect on the learned methods and perspectives of their subject and to put them into relation to the methodical access of their fellow students.

There is no schoolification. The curriculum provides the largest possible room for the individual work on the dissertation (151 of 180 CP).

Research colloquia

The first-year Research Colloquium sensitizes the doctoral students to the methodical diversity of Literary Studies and assists them in sharpening their research problem. Based on the research subjects, which are neither restricted by regions nor time, the connection of methodical approaches and the literary theory background is cleared in the joint discussion.

The interdisciplinary Research Colloquia take place in the winter semester and are mandatory. They are supervised by experienced professors and support the dissertation projects' opening towards an interdisciplinary perspective. Alongside PostDocs and international guests, the supervision teams participate in the presentation sessions.


Transdisciplinary doctoral seminars on methodology and literary theory (6 CP) are offered continuously by professors (W1, W2) associated with FSGS, can be chosen freely by the students across the doctoral years and place thematic emphases that are defined by the research areas of FSGS, thereby providing orientation. In total, three seminars have to be taken with one being offered at FSGS. The seminars taken at FSGS or other universities need to cover three of the Research Areas of FSGS. Recognition of seminars taken outside of FSGS (form on recognition) is conducted by the School's management.

Workshops on practice perspectives - Transferable Skills

One of the new demands on academic education is the inclusion of activities within a narrow period of time that used to be reserved for later qualification or employment stages before. Accordingly, a professional and job-related support and career advice (8 CP) supplement the curriculum:

Teaching experience - be it independent or joint teaching with experienced researchers - (5 CP), organization of academic events, publication of conference reports, book reviews or academic articles serve the doctoral students' qualification in teaching and researching (51% of the graduates) or science management (16%). Besides, events on potential occupational areas such as journalism, publishing, the cultural sector or consulting (33%) are offered. The Graduate School's alumni network is of particular value: Alumni report on and discuss internships, stays abroad, networks and career-related topics in the Noon Forum or Summer Café [German only].

The umbrella organization Dahlem Research School (DRS) offers a wide range of workshops on key skills (time management, conflict resolution, presenting, rhetoric skills, disputation training), supplemented by high-quality mentoring offerings (0.5 CP per workshop day).