Studying and Then Earning a Doctorate

Welcome to the GRADE eLearning Tool “Studying and Then Earning a Doctorate?”!

The decision to start doctoral studies must be carefully considered. A doctorate based on academic curiosity, academic work methods and discipline requires doctoral students to be intensively engaged over many years and demands much patience.

The German research system offers many ways to earn a doctorate.

Our many years of consulting experience have shown us that many questions arise during the orientation phase:

  • Do I have the necessary prerequisites to successfully complete the doctoral project?
  • What does earning a doctorate entail?
  • Will I be supervised during my project?
  • How do I finance my doctoral studies?
    Which way of earning a doctorate fits me and my project?

We would like to provide you with information and help you to make the right decision.

Therefore GRADE offers you an eLearning Tool consisting of two modules: first, the doctoral studies guidebook, which contains a comprehensive introduction with information about doctoral studies and second, a doctoral studies screening test (Promotionseignungstest "PET").

The PET should help you to better assess  

  • to what degree you already possess central characteristics and competences that are relevant to doctoral studies.
  • in which areas you already have good prerequisites and in which areas you still might need improvement.
  • to what extent your personal circumstances are favourable for working towards a doctorate.

The test concludes with a personal feedback.


The test result is a recommendation and orientation. The PET cannot predict how successfully you would complete doctoral studies.

We wish you success in working through the test and we would be glad to answer any questions that you might have.