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Doctoral studies at Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School

Being part of a structured doctoral program means you are part of an interdisciplinary network and are closely mentored. The Graduate School’s structure allows for visits abroad that are integrated into the study schedule, you may organize workshops and invite guest lecturers, and you can participate in training workshops for transferable skills, or make use of career-specific mentoring.

The purpose of a structured doctoral program is to support its dissertations as effectively as possible. This “structure” includes various aspects:
  • a supervisor team of at least two PIs at FSGS, who will supervise the project (interdisciplinary) together.
  • an annual assessment of the progress and further project development in a team meeting with the supervisor team.
  • the presentation of your own project in the colloquium in the presence of the supervisor team each winter semester.
  • various seminars, workshops, and consultations through the school’s faculty and visiting international scholars.
  • training and mentoring opportunities through Dahlem Research School (DRS) at Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Graduate School at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and FSGS. These are in cooperation with the MA degree course “Applied Literary Studies“ for “Transferable Skills,“ and exploration of career options.
  • support for conducting your own teaching events, insofar as the relevant institutes can facilitate this.
  • support for visits abroad.
  • support for organizing your own events and inviting guest speakers.

First statistics prove that those who participate in structured doctoral programs do not take longer for their dissertation than those choosing the traditional path of an individual dissertation – quite the contrary. In many cases, the dissertation can be completed successfully after three and a half years. The interdisciplinary input and opportunities for discussion impart the necessary self-confidence to finish the project quickly. Practice-oriented workshops help clarify future perspectives, and examples of predecessors alleviate the fear of starting a career.

Being part of a structured doctoral program also includes that you have obligations and need to earn credits. Our structure overview of the doctoral studies program shows you how many credits you need to earn in the different areas (writing the dissertation, seminars, transferable skills workshops, colloquia). A transfer of credits from one area to another is not possible.

The individual development of the dissertation is by far the most comprehensive area. The dissertation in literary studies at FSGS is and remains a qualifying work with which you prove that you can work independently and responsibly in a scientific manner.

A residence obligation applies while writing your dissertation, i.e. you have to live in Berlin in order to guarantee consistent guidance through your supervisor team.

Seminars about methodology and literary theory are usually offered by FSGS faculty and take place every semester. You will have to attend at least one of these seminars. Seminars you attend at institutes of the Freie Universität Berlin or the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are accepted, as well as seminars you attend during your visit abroad at your guest university. Crucial for their acceptance are the number of semester hours, regular attendance, and the thematical focus (literary theory and methodology). Please fill out the confirmation of attendance form in advance and have it signed by the respective professor. After submitting these forms, the administrative office will take care of the acceptance. This can happen at any point, even after the dissertation has been submitted.

For transferable skills you may use the various workshops offered at Dahlem Research School as well as Humboldt Graduate School. Each workshop day counts for 0.5 credits. Please make sure to keep your own list of workshops attended, and indicate these in your yearly work report. 1 credit point must be obtained in the field of "Good Academic Practice". Classes you teach (5 credits) or events you organize will also be credited to the area of transferable skills. For the latter, please make an appointment with our office.

Colloquia at FSGS are mandatory and may not be substituted by other events. They are offered during the winter semesters and lead by FSGS faculty. The members of your supervisor team are invited to the session during which you present your own work.

The exemplary course of studies plan can help you plan your doctorate, but it is not compulsory. We are more than happy to advise you on how to plan your doctoral studies in a way that is optimal for your dissertation and career planning.

Here is some information about the doctoral studies program at FSGS: More information regarding transferable skills can be found here:
Department of Philosophy and Humanities
Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft