Language requirements

Trier University offers doctoral students the possibility to write their doctoral thesis either in German or English. Depending on the language in which you intend to write your thesis, different regulations on proof of language proficiency apply.

German language dissertation

Proof of language efficiency

Doctoral candidates who write their thesis in German are required to proof sufficient language skills in form of one of the following official certificates:

  • DSH („Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber“), bestanden auf Niveau DSH-2 oder DSH-3
  • Feststellungsprüfung im Studienkolleg (wenn das Fach Deutsch belegt und die Prüfung bestanden wurde)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C 2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS)
  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Studienbewerber) in allen vier Teilprüfungen (LV, HV, TP, mündlicher Ausdruck) mit mindestens TDN bestanden
  • telcDeutsch C1 „Hochschule“
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom (Stufe II) der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD II)

Doctoral candidates holding a German University Entrance Certificate (e.g. Abitur) or come from a German-speaking country, such as Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Austria, Switzerland (German-speaking region), Belgium (German-speaking region) or Italy (German-speaking region) do not need to provide proof of German language skills.

DSH exam

If you do not hold any of the certificates listed above, you will have to pass the "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH2)" exam at Trier University before registering as PhD student. The exam can be taken at the beginning of either the summer term or the winter term. Further information concerning dates and registration for the exam can be found on the homepages of the language center.


German language courses and DSH preparation

Language Center

The Language Center of Trier University offers German language courses at different levels (A1 to C1) and special courses on academic writing, holding presentations and intercultural communication. Further information can be found on the homepages of the language center. Please note that the language center does not offer specific DSH preparation courses.


The TASI (Trier Academy for Language Learning) offers specialized DSH preparation courses at different levels several times a year. The courses are subject to a fee. Please find more information on the TASI website.

English language dissertation

If a supervisor agrees to supervise a doctoral project in the English language, it is possible to write a doctoral dissertation in English. The language of the dissertation needs to be mentioned and confirmed by the supervisor and the Dean in the registration form of the Dean's Office (Erfassungsbogen).