WHU has the right to award doctorates and confers the academic degree of a Doctor of Business and Economics (Dr. rer. pol.) on its graduates based on a scientific paper (dissertation) and its presentation (disputation). In addition to the dissertation, students must take certain courses, and the defense of the dissertation and the disputation are also a requirement for gaining a doctorate. Further information on the program are to be found here.

How long you need to complete your doctoral studies depends on such factors as your own time frame. It usually takes between 3 and 5 years.

To be allowed on to the Doctoral Program, you need to fulfill the formal admission requirements as set out in Section 5 of the Doctoral Program Regulations and to have received written confirmation of support and supervision from a member of our faculty. If both these conditions are satisfied, you can submit an application for enrollment. Further information are to be found here.

Go to our website for the information you need about the faculty members and their research fields and then contact the faculty member of your choice. You could also find a research position in the research area of your interest.

You will find full information on the costs on the page on financing and in the Regulations Governing Fees

WHU itself does not grant doctoral students scholarships. Please contact the organizations providing educational grants for gifted students directly if you have any questions concerning funding schemes for doctoral students. You will find some links to such schemes on our page on financing

The status of internal doctoral student applies if the doctoral student is employed at WHU for at least three-eighths of a full-time staff position. You will find the job vacancies advertised both here and on the web pages of the Chairs. 

The status of external doctoral student means that you have no position of employment at all at WHU or that you are employed as a member of staff at WHU with less than a three-eighths position. 

Content and the courses you need to take during your doctoral studies depend on the requirements you fulfill when you enroll on the program. There is a minimum of 3 courses if you have a Master’s degree in a business-related discipline. You will find details of the exact requirements in Section 10 of the current Doctoral Program Regulations. For information on the courses currently offered, please click here.

Each course is organized into 2 contact hours per week (i.e., 24 academic contact hours, with the courses mainly in blocks of 3-4 days) and is worth 3 ECTS credit points. You will find details of the courses currently offered here.

The aptitude test is designed for applicants holding a qualification from a polytechnic university, or an institute of technology, or who have a Bachelor’s degree. These candidates have to demonstrate their ability to follow the Doctoral Program by taking an aptitude test.

You don’t have to live in Germany to do a doctorate at WHU. You do, however, have to travel to the campus to regular meetings with your advisor, to the course program, and to all other official meetings and appointments which are part of your doctoral studies.

It is absolutely essential that you are present on the campus for the course program and at all other official meetings and appointments which are part of your doctoral studies. You should make any other arrangements about being on the campus with your advisor.

Admission can be at any time as there are no fixed dates for starting. The date for embarking on your Doctoral Program is arranged in consultation with your advisor.

Your Contact

Claudia Heymann

Director Doctoral Program