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Structure & Credit Points

The doctoral studies are organized in the following four areas:

Working on Your Dissertation


151 CP

3 Interdisciplinary seminars from the following 4 fields

(mandatory/elective area)

15 CP

Practice perspectives/
Transferable Skills

(elective area)

8 CP

Research colloquia**


6 CP

Flexible Work on Your Own Project

(Including Research Stays Abroad)

Literature as Textual Practice*
(5 CP)

Literature from a Transnational Perspective*
(5 CP)

Literature and Knowledge*
(5 CP)

Literature, (Inter)Mediality and the Arts *
(5 CP)

Classes at DRS & HGS or full-day workshops on the areas:

  • Project Management or Comparable Offers
  • Science Communication
  • Knowledge Transfer / Didactics / Teaching

Good Academic Practice (1 CP)


Own Teaching Events (5 CP)

Annual Research Colloquium I (2 CP)

Annual Research Colloquium II (2 CP)

Annual Research Colloquium III (2 CP)

* A total of three seminars from three areas must be attended. At least one of the seminars must be an event offered by FSGS. Two of the three seminars can be replaced by another equivalent seminar at a German or foreign university.

** The colloquia are offered in the winter semesters.

Working on your dissertation

All of the Graduate School’s research projects examine comparative issues in various contexts. The projects’ diversity goes hand in hand with a variety of methods owing to the academic traditions in these fields, as well as adjusting these methods to the respective material. In the structured doctoral studies program, the doctoral candidates reflect on the learned methods and perspectives of their own field and relate them to the methodological approaches of their fellow students.

The curriculum leaves the greatest possible space for individual work on the dissertation itself (151 of 180 CP).

Research colloquia

The first-year colloquium sensitizes the doctoral candidates for the methodological diversity in literary studies and helps them point their questions in a comparative way. Coming from research subjects not subject to regional or temporal restrictions, the context of methodical access and literary theory background becomes clear in joint discussion.

The three interdisciplinary annual research colloquia (winter semester) are mandatory (6 CP), led by experienced faculty, and guarantee opening up the projects to an interdisciplinary perspective. Apart from postdocs and visiting doctoral candidates, the supervisor teams participate in the presentation meetings.


Transdisciplinary doctoral seminars about methodology and literary theory (15 CP) are offered continuously by FSGS faculty, are freely selectable, and have set, inter-year thematic topics that are defined by the FSGS’s research areas and offer guidance. A total of three seminars must be attended, including one offered by FSGS. The seminars attended at FSGS or other universities should cover three of the FSGS’s research areas. The recognition of seminars attended outside of FSGS (confirmation of attendance [PDF]) is the responsibility of the managing director.

Workshops about practice perspectives - transferable skills

Part of the new requirements of academic training is to develop activities previously reserved for later qualification phases or career stages in a short period. Accordingly, professional, career-specific support and career advice (8 CP) complement the curriculum:

Teaching experience – i.e. independent or cooperative teaching with experienced faculty (5 CP), organization of academic events, publishing conference reports, literary criticism, or academic papers serve as qualifications for teaching and research (51% of graduates) or academic management (16%). Additionally, there are events for potential occupations such as journalism, publishing, the cultural sector, or business consulting (33%). The Graduate School’s alumni network is particularly valuable: alumni talk about their experiences at the lunch forum or discuss internships, visits abroad, networks, and careers at the summer café.

The umbrella organization Dahlem Research School (DRS) offers a diverse range of workshops for key qualifications (time management, resolving conflicts, presentations, language skills, thesis defense training), complemented by high-quality mentoring (0.5 credits per workshop day).
Since the amendment of the "Ordnung zum Promotionsstudium 'Literary Studies – Literaturwissenschaftliche Studien'" in March 2020, it is also mandatory for PhD candidates to obtain one Credit Point in the field of "Good Academic Practice" (Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis (GWP)).

Department of Philosophy and Humanities
Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft