Education & Research

Doctoral & Post-Doctoral Studies

Doing research at Bucerius Law School

The City of Hamburg has granted Bucerius Law School the right to award doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. Since then, over 280 doctoral candidates have received their doctoral degrees and seven post-doctoral candidates have qualified as a professor.

Foreign-trained lawyers may apply at Bucerius if they fulfil certain criteria; an individual must:

  1. have found a faculty member at Bucerius Law School who is willing to supervise his/her research.
  2. have completed a legal degree, which is comparable to the German First State Examination, with an outstanding grade. In order to verify this, the individual should submit all university documents including transcript(s) of grades and diploma(s) in original, accompanied by a certified translation into German or English.
  3. show proof of having followed two courses in either German private law, German criminal law or German public law at a law faculty in Germany or a faculty abroad, which is officially recognized by the respective country. This requirement may be waived if the doctoral thesis is in no way relevant to German law. The decision regarding a possible waiver will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Admission Committee.

German language proficiency is not required but strongly recommended. Further requirements to commence doctoral and post-doctoral studies at Bucerius Law School are outlined in the respective regulations and policies (German and English).

Please contact faculty members directly if you are interested in pursuing doctoral or post-doctoral studies.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please first consult our Doctoral Degree Regulations to answer your questions.

No, it is not possible to obtain a PhD degree at Bucerius. We confer the German title “Dr. jur.”.

Yes, you can write your thesis and live abroad. There is one mandatory course called Basic Principles of Scholarly Legal Research taking place at Bucerius Law School twice a year. It is held in German and takes 10 to 15 hours. The Doctoral Degree Committee can release the student from attendance in circumstances where participation would be unreasonable.

Subject to the approval of two Law School professors or lecturers who specialize in the field of law focused on in the dissertation, the Doctoral Degree Committee can allow a doctoral candidate to write his/her dissertation in a foreign language.

We do not have a program in the sense that there are fixed dates when you have to start or to finish your thesis. You can start at any time in the year provided you first have obtained the consent of a faculty member and you fulfil the admission requirements as written down in the Doctoral Degree Regulations.

We do not have a program in the sense that there are fixed dates when you have to start or to finish your thesis. You can start at any time in the year provided you first have obtained the consent of a faculty member and you fulfil the admission requirements as written down in the Doctoral Degree Regulations.

As an enrolled doctoral student you have to bear the following costs: the two admission fees (admission to the program and to the exam) are 500 Euros altogether. The German State requires you to pay about 500 Euro / year covering a public transport ticket and payment of a lump sum to the university mensa services. This fee cannot be waived. Finally, you can opt to pay Bucerius 150 Euro / term in exchange for the right to use our library and mensa.