Links and Downloads

Information about physics/astronomy PhD studies at Heidelberg University is provided by the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics' web-pages.

Admission requirements for acceptance to the doctoral programme are specified here. (Heidelberg University)

Downloads for admission at the Department:

Agreement on doctoral studies and application for admission as a doctoral student.

Downloads for Enrollment at Heidelberg University

Registration form for German candidates

Annahme als Doktorand/in

Registration form for candidates from foreign countries

Application form for admission as a PhD student at the University of Heidelberg

For enrollment, non-German citizenship fellows have to go to the Akademisches Auslandsamt.

There, you will receive this document (Aufenthaltstitel zu Studienzwecken) which has to be signed and stamped by the Local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländeramt).


Acceptance to IMPRS-HD & admission to Heidelberg University

Admission for PhD studies involves some bureaucracy. The following steps are involved

1) Acceptance to the IMPRS-HD,

2) Admission to University with 2a) acceptance as PhD student by the Department for Physics and Astronomy, and 2b) enrollment at Heidelberg University.     

Enrollment 2b) is mandatory for students starting later than April 2018. Students holding another contract with Heidelberg university may apply to get exempted from the requirement of enrollment.

1) Acceptance to the IMPRS-HD

No real paper work is necessary for admission at IMPRS-HD. Applicants who applied via the IMPRS-HD application procedure and have been offered a position will be asked formally to join the IMPRS-HD upon arrival.

2) Admission at Heidelberg University

Admission/enrollment at Heidelberg university goes in two steps. First step is to register at the Department, resp. the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics (HGSFP). The signature of the Dean confirms acceptance as doctoral student at the Department of Physics and Astronomy.The second step is to register at Heidelberg University and enroll as student.
All admission material and more information about physics/astronomy PhD studies at Heidelberg University is provided by the HGSFP webpages  "Doctoral studies" and "How to apply".

Note that the Department will ask you to sign that you will help with teaching. The current teaching duty is at least two "Deputate", meaning two courses each with a formal workload of 2 hours of teaching per week per semester. In addition to that your insititute may ask you to do some more teaching.

2a) Registration at the Department of Physics & Astronomy

If you have applied to IMPRS or the Graduate School HGSFP and are accepted as a IMPRS fellow, that implies 1) that your application material has been evaluated already and 2) that registration at the Department has to be done at the secretariat of HGSFP. The office is at:

   Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics

   Im Neuenheimer Feld 226, room 02.304

   69120 Heidelberg

When you go there, you must take with you:

1) the application forms for Graduate School and University, incl. the signatures from you, your supervisor, and (part of) your thesis committee. This link provides an overview from which you could download the forms.
2) your MSc and BSc degree certificates, or equiv. (original + copy)
3) the transcripts of your studies (original + copy)
4) your MSc thesis (original + copy)
5) an abstract (in English) of your thesis (if the thesis is not written in German or English)
6) a photograph (passport sized)
7) you might be asked also for your high school certificate

If your documents are not issued in German and English language, you may need certified translations of your documents.

The Dean will sign your application form (within about a week). The HGSFP secretariat will then contact you and you could pick up all documents for registration at Heidelberg University.

  2b) Enrollment at Heidelberg University

Enrollment at the university takes place at the central administration building downtown Heidelberg (close to "Universitaetsplatz"): Seminarstr. 2, 69117 Heidelberg.

If you are of non-German citizenship you have to go to the Akademisches Auslandsamt. As a German you should go to the main registration office. The latter is just right from the main entrance, the other is located at the end of the corridor if you go left at the main entrance. Note that there are no deadlines for Ph.D. students, as they may register at any time during the year. At the Akademisches Auslandsamt, you will receive a document which has to be signed and stamped by the Local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländeramt) stating that the student will receive a residence permit once they have enrolled at the University. 

Please hand in this document and your acceptance letter from the Department at the Local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländeramt). To complete your enrollment, please hand the signed document back to the to the Akademisches Auslandsamt in order to receive your enrollment certificate. With your enrollment certificate, you have to go back to the Local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländeramt) to get your residence permit

Here are some papers provided by HD university containing more information about their formalities. Look at the checklist for visa application (in German and in English) and how enrollment depends on your visa,  and checklists for the health insurance (in German and in English and for  a private health insurance). All forms and information valid as of Sept. 2016.

When you go there, you need to take with you:

1) your original degree certificates & transcripts

2) the University admission form you had filled out for the HGSFP and which was returned to you with the signature of the Dean

3) a certificate of your health insurance (the insurance companies have special student certificates, ask them)

4) your school leaving exam certificate resp. high school certificate (if available in your country), take a copy with you

5) a photograph

6) the registration fee of about 170 Euro (as of 2020) can be payed by bank transfer

7) your passport incl. your new visa / residence permit


In order to get enrolled at HD university you must have a valid visa. Unfortunately, you will only get a visa if you are enrolled at university or have a work contract already ... The procedure is therefore that you have to visit the university office and the visa office twice (in most cases).  After your first visit to the enrollment office you will receive a preliminary admission certificate (by postal mail), that you have to show to the visa authorities. The will provide you with a form for the university for enrollment. After full enrollment that you have to go to the visa office again to pick up your visa / residence permit.

Similarly, we encountered difficulties with the visa authorities for students who are supposed to have a work contract. The contract is issued for the time period of the visa, but the visa is received for the time period of the work contract.

If your salary is above 50% of a postdoc salary, you won't be able to get a student visa, and need a Hosting Agreement from your employer. Please calrify these issues as early as possible with your supervisor, and keep IMPRS updated so that we can help if necessary.

Even if you don't need a visa, they will first only accept your material for admission, then decide about acceptance and ask you to come again to finialize enrollment. They will tell you which documents to bring (e.g. the health insurance certificate).

Note, that we have experienced changes in these procedures from each side every year, unfortunately. So, maybe you will encounter a new problem that has not been foreseen by us. Please immediately tell us and we will try to help. But don't worry, in the end nobody was ever rejected from either getting a residence permit or from enrollment.

Benefits from university enrollment

When you are enrolled at university and have received your student ID card, you may go and buy your "semester ticket" (167,50 Euro as of 2018) for public transport in the Heidelberg area and use all university services (refectories, accommodation service, email, etc.).

More information on fees for study at Heidelberg University can be found here.

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