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Doctorate at the Faculty of Geography

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Students who are especially qualified to do scientific work may earn a doctorate in natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat) from the Faculty of Geography.

There are several prerequisites for admission as a doctoral candidate:

  • A degree in Geography in either "Master" or "Lehramt an Gymnasien" program at the Philipps-University Marburg with a final grade of "very good" or better.
  • Or, a degree in Geography from another German university with a final grade of "very good" or better.
  • Likewise, candidates may have geography as a minor or a university degree in a related discipline.
  • A professor in the Faculty of Geography must agree to supervise the doctoral thesis.

Further information can be found in the doctoral regulations , §5, para. 2 (only available in German).




If you have any questions regarding the organization and submission of your applications and documents, please contact Ms. Kerstin Hill, Assistant to the Dean.
We kindly ask you to make an appointment in advance when submitting applications and dissertations! Thank you for your understanding!


Doctoral Committee


Doctoral Regulations and General Provision

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The doctoral regulations govern the entire doctoral procedure - from admission to the publication of your dissertation. The doctoral regulations that are or were valid at the time of your acceptance as a doctoral candidate apply for the entire duration of your candidacy.

 Current regulations for doctoral candidates:


Registration as a doctoral candidate (Application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate)

In order to be accepted as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography, your "Application for Acceptance" with all of the necessary documents must be sent to the chairperson of the doctoral committee. Your documents should be submitted to Dean's Office, Ms. Hill. Please mail Ms. Hill all of the required documents in advance and arrange an in-person submission date for the documents, with original signatures.

Please note that all of the required certificates be either originals or certified copies.
If you have completed your studies abroad (B.Sc., M.Sc., etc.) you must also submit all Transcripts of Records along with your degree certificates.

Your acceptance as a doctoral candidate represents the official starting point of your doctorate.

We are happy to provide you with templates for the submission of your application


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Regardless of whether you are enrolled at the Philipps-Universität Marburg as a student or you are employed as a staff member or neither, all doctoral candidates are required to register in MARVIN, the university's administration and information system.

The registration takes place at the time of your application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate.

You can find more information about self-registering in MARVIN here:


Dissertation design

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The Department of Geography does not have any binding guidelines for the design of the dissertation itself. We recommend that you follow the common rules for preparing and formatting a scientific paper.
Please consult with your supervisor in advance.
There are different requirements for the contents of the 1st page of your written dissertation, depending on the context: on the one hand, for departmental submission which opens your doctoral procedure and, on the other hand, for publication in the university library following your thesis defense (German: Disputation).

We are happy to provide you with an overview of these differences:


Cumulative Dissertation

The Department of Geography offers two options for the written dissertation - a monograph dissertation or a cumulative dissertation. Special minimum requirements must be considered, if you elect to write cumulative dissertation:

Notification of doctoral graduation (application for the opening of the doctoral examination procedure)

As soon as you have completed your (cumulative) dissertation, apply to the chairperson of the doctoral committee to opening your doctoral procedure. Your dissertation and documents should be submitted through the Dean's Office, Ms. Hill. Please e-mail Ms. Hill all of the required documents as well as your dissertation in advance and arrange an in-person submission date for the documents with original signatures.

We will gladly provide you with templates for the submission of your application:

In addition to the personal contribution form for cumulative dissertations, the publisher's confirmation of submitted papers must be submitted with the doctoral documents.

Please note that the earliest possible defense date is at least 9-10 weeks from the time you submit the application to pen your doctoral procedure to the Dean's Office. This is due to the necessary processing times and/or minimum requirements with regard to deadlines for the assessment reports and public display of the text as well as the invitations to the public defense. The concrete schedule may deviate from this and must always be checked individually.


Dissertation publication

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After your defense, candidates are obliged to publish so-called "deposit copies" of their written dissertation at the university library.
You can obtain more information about this directly from the university library.



An apostille is an internationally recognized form of certifying documents, similar to a notary. Some countries only accept a German doctoral certificate if the apostille confirms the authenticity of the certificate.
After receiving your doctoral certificate, candidates may apply for an apostille. Doctoral candidates are responsible for paying for the apostille.
Please contact the Dean's Office, Ms. Hill, as early as possible if you need an apostille for your home country. You will then receive all the necessary information.