Every year, GEAS admits 12 doctoral candidates who receive fully funded doctoral fellowships. Up to three other doctoral candidates per year can be accepted with funding from other Freie Universität Berlin programs, from partner institutions in East Asia or from scholarships provided by German or international organizations. In 2015 and 2016, up to two more candidates can be nominated for DAAD GSSP doctoral fellowships as well.

Doctoral candidates are admitted for the fall semester, starting October 1.

Application calls are announced in the previous year from October to December. For admission, please see the Admission FAQs.

The screening of applications and prospective doctoral candidates takes place in January/February. Interviews will be conducted in April. Doctoral candidates accepted for admission into GEAS will receive written notice by early to mid-May.

GEAS strives to have an international body of doctoral candidates. The official language of the program is English.

On a case by case basis, GEAS will also admit visiting doctoral candidates funded by partner universities or international scholarships to conduct dissertation related research for one or two years.

Please apply via our online NOAH portal:

Admission Process

Step 1: After being admitted to the GEAS doctoral program, the next step is to apply for admission to the respective department's Dean and PhD office your supervisor belongs to (History and Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Humanities, Political and Social Sciences, Law, Business and Economics). Being accepted by GEAS does not automatically mean that applicants are accepted to the PhD programme yet. GEAS is located as a graduate school at Freie Universität Berlin, and even if GEAS has decided to take you in, you will need admission by Freie Universität Berlin as well. Thus, you cannot start your research project until you have been oficially accepted by the department and received an admission letter ("Zulassung").It is easier to apply for a visa after the admission (Zulassung) is granted.

The GEAS Application team will proceed your online applications to the PhD offices after the admission to the GEAS doctoral program. Admissions are easier and quicker if you have submitted certified copies of your documents.

A committee decides whether your qualifications suffice for admission as a doctoral candidate. The department’s committee usually meets at regular intervals.

Step 2: After acceptance by the department, doctoral candidates must formally enroll as doctoral students with the central student administration office. To conclude the admission process and to enroll, please have your originals or certified (!) copies, as well as translations of certificates in English or German at hand to present them to the corresponding ofices. For enrollment, you should only send certified copies by postal mail.