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Doctoral Program

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Doctoral Colloquium in May 2018 in
the Bonn Archaeological and Ethnographic Collection of the Americas
(photo: Carolina Garay Doig)





Currently, 33 doctoral candidates from Germany and abroad are pursuing their PhD degree with the Department for the Anthropology of the Americas (see below for a list of current research topics).

Doctoral studies at the department include the active participation in the PhD network and research colloquium. The PhD network consists of doctoral candidates meeting in person at regularly spaced times with their advisor in order to inform them of progress and any difficulties faced in the execution of their research project. Our doctoral candidates have also independently organized workshops and invited experts to help them with financial support from the university.

In the research colloquium, doctoral candidates hold one or two presentations during the course of their doctoral phase for a large audience on the topic and goal of their work. In addition to networking meetings, a common room for doctoral candidates also offers the possibility to exchange ideas and work in the department.

How does one become a doctoral candidate at the Department for the Anthropology of the Americas?

Prerequisites for acceptance into the doctoral program include proof of a first state exam, a magister or master degree (from a German or foreign university) and upon request, foreign degrees such as the Licenciatura, Maîtrise, Laurea etc.

Candidates then contact a professor of their choice by e-mail and send an exposé of 5 to 7 pages with the question, current state of research, the planned working methods, the expected research results, and a preliminary work plan and schedule. Only with written acceptance and the formal conclusion of a supervisory agreement can candidates enroll in the doctoral program at the University of Bonn.

Advising consists of regular and independently organized reports for the supervisor.

Subject organization of the dissertation and writing language
At the University of Bonn, the dissertation can be on the subject of Ancient America or Ethnology. For both subjects, the dissertation can be written in German, Spanish or English. Upon request, other languages are also accepted. However, submission of a ca. 20 page summary in German is always required.

The dissertation will be evaluated in writing by two referees. One of these referees must be a professor at the University of Bonn. The other referee (professor) may be associated to a different university in Germany or abroad and should be able to be entrusted with the topic of the dissertation.


Once the dissertation has been submitted, preparation for defense follows. Here, the candidate presents five theses within 60 minutes that have emerged from the work. At the defense, five evaluators participate, two of which must belong to the University of Bonn. All others may belong to German or foreign universities or research institutions and must hold at least a doctoral degree as well as have worked in a thematically relevant field.


Additional and detailed information regarding the attainment of a doctoral degree with the Faculty of Arts of the University of Bonn (enrollment, registration, submission and defense) can be found on the website of the Dean’s Office for the Faculty of Arts. The current doctoral regulations can be found here .


The following graphic illustrates the process of acquiring a doctoral degree from registration to completion
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Current doctoral projects at the department:

(Click a title to see additional information about a dissertation project)

Current projects you can find here.




Completed doctoral projects at the department

You can find an overview of all successfully completed doctoral degrees here


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