Application Requirements

The Doctoral Programme in Governance is open to candidates with an exceptionally strong master’s degree (or equivalent) in economics, law, political science, sociology, public administration, management or related fields. The doctoral programme starts at the beginning of September each year with a group of 10-15 PhD students.

Application for Living Cost Stipends

There are no tuition costs for the doctoral programme and the Hertie School offers a limited number of living cost stipends to particularly qualified applicants.  The application deadline for students applying for a Hertie School living cost stipend is 1 February  2014.

Starting in October we accept and evaluate applications for the PhD in Governance on a rolling basis. Although admissions are also offered continuously, decisions regarding living-cost stipends can nonetheless only be made in February.

A Complete Application Encompasses:  

  • The transcripts* and certificates of all acquired university degrees
  • A curriculum vitae* in tabular format
  • An English proficiency proof (TOEFL IBT 100, PBT 600, CBT 250; Cambridge ESOL qualifications CPE C, CAE B; or IELTS overall 7.0 incl. writing score 7.0)
  • A Funding Statement* to explain personal circumstances and funding situation (see Funding Process for details)
  • A short letter of motivation* (600 words maximum)
  • A research proposal* (5000 words maximum) with
    • description, goals, and methods of dissertation project
    • timetable of dissertation project
    • Name(s) of potential dissertation advisors from the Hertie School Core Faculty
  • Two letters of reference (in English language) from scholars at universities or research institutions

Letters of Reference

The letters of reference need to be sent by the referee directly to the Applications Team.

Master’s Degree certificate

Please submit all transcripts and certificates you have acquired so far. The master’s degree certificate must be submitted before the candidate’s immatriculation by 1 September.

English proficiency proof

We recommend that candidates submit the language proof together with the other application documents if available. But we will accept and review applications without the document. The language proof must be submitted before the candidate’s immatriculation until 1 September. The English proficiency proof must not be older than two years. Applicants who are native English speakers and applicants who received a university degree in a full-time study programme (of at least 4 semesters) which was exclusively taught in English do not need to submit an English proficiency proof.


Deadline for Hertie School living cost stipend: 1 February 2014

Please note

All *marked documents need to be submitted in English language to our online application portal.

The other documents should be submitted separately to the PhD Applications Team by the stipulated deadlines, either by email to phd(at) or by postal service to:

Hertie School of Governance
PhD Applications Team
Quartier 110 | Friedrichstr. 180 | 10117 Berlin