Links and Downloads

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

Regulations for Doctoral Studies
(Promotionsordnung Heidelberg University; in German; link to HGSFP)

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, first contact the Graduate Academy of Heidelberg University. Non-German citizenship fellows later have to go to the Akademisches Auslandsamt.

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

Download  the IMPRS membership form, the IMPRS rules, and also the IMPRS travel support form.


Acceptance & admission to IMPRS-HD & Heidelberg University

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

1) Acceptance to the IMPRS-HD

2) Registration in heiDOCS

3) Admission to University with

     3a) acceptance as PhD student by the Department for Physics and Astronomy, and

     3b) admission and enrollment at Heidelberg University.     

Enrollment 3b) is mandatory for students who started later than April 2018. Students holding another contract with Heidelberg University (e.g. a work contract) may apply to get exempted from the requirement of enrollment.

1) Acceptance to the IMPRS-HD

Not much 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.

What is urgently necessary is to hand in to the IMPRS ( the IMPRS membership form, signed by the student and the main supervisor . This is essential for later university registration as the HGSFP membership is coupled to the IMPRS membership (and vice versa). You basically signe that you have read and will follow the IMPRS rules.

You need to provide the membership form withing 2 weeks after arrival.

2) Registration in heiDOCS

PhD students of other fields have to go via the heiDOCD registration first. This is not the case for PhD students in physics / astronomy. Their registration is done by the HGSFP / the Department.

However, later, after having received your registration code, meaning your university ID, you may enter the heiDOCS portal where you will find certain PhD documents for you.

3) Admission at Heidelberg University

Admission/enrollment at Heidelberg university goes in three 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 the third step is to enroll as student.

3a) Registration at the Department of Physics & Astronomy

ALL IMPRS students have to register at the Department for Physics and Astronomy. If you are accepted as an IMPRS fellow, registration at the Department has to be done at the secretariat of the Heidelberg Graduate School for Physics (HGSFP). Only with that registration, you can be accepted as a PhD student at the Heidelberg University.

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 semester-long courses, each with a formal workload of 2 hours of teaching per week. In addition, your insititute may require you to do some additional teaching.

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, a check list and also links to download the forms.

2) Certified copies of your  MSc and BSc degree certificates, in German OR English

3) Transcripts of your studies, in German OR English

4) The PDF of your MSc thesis (unless you have earned your MSc from Heidelberg University)

5) An abstract (in English) of your MSc thesis (if the thesis is not written in German or English)

6) For university enrollment lateron:  your secondary school leaving certificate

7) Two letters of recommendation (unless you have earned you MSc from Heidelberg University)

8) A scan/copy of your passport or ID

9) A scan/copy of your visa or residence permit ((for candidates from outside of the EU)

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

The Dean will sign your application form (within about a week).

The HGSFP secretariate will then contact you and you could pick up all documents for enrollment at Heidelberg University.

  3b) Admission and Enrollment at Heidelberg University

After you have received the letter of admission (Annahme als Doktorand) from your faculty, you must complete two more steps - you must apply for admission to the university and then enroll as a doctoral candidate.

Note: It is good to submit the documents in person as you will receive further instructions directly from the staff of the Graduate Academy. Please DO NOT send original documents to the Graduate Academy

Graduate Academy

           Im Neuenheimer Feld 370
           Room 3
           69120 Heidelberg

Have a look to their webpage.

For you as IMPRS students who wants to enroll and have been accepted by the Department, the next step to do is the step 5 on their webape. Please follow further instructions on that homepage.

Further steps for Non-German citizenship after registration at the Department via the HGSFP

As a non-German IMPRS student, you must complete three more steps - you must apply for admission to the university, apply for a residence permit and then enroll as a doctoral candidate. You have to go to the Akademisches Auslandsamt, Seminarstraße 2, 69117 Heidelberg.

You may get a paper that has to be signed by  the Local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehoerde). 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 (Ausländerbehoerdet) 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).

When you go there, you need to take with you the following (but please check their webpage for updates):


When the HGSFP office has already checked your documents (this should be true for most of you),  they may accept copies instead of original documents or certified copies.

Never give anybody copies, only show it to people.


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 constant 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.

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

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