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Acquiring a Legal Doctorate in Bonn

Every year approx. 60 students are successfully granted a legal doctorate (S.J.D. equivalent) by the Department of Law at Bonn University. Under the applicable bylaws the following requirements must be met:

  • Every applicant must have passed either the First or Second State Exam with at least "vollbefriedigend",
  • all graduates must have studied in Bonn for at least two semesters (which may include Graduate Studies)
  • every applicant must be accepted by a current member of the law faculty and
  • every applicant must have participated in a seminar including oral presentation either in Bonn or at any other legal faculty.

Exceptions may be made by individual application.

The legal doctorate is granted based on

  • an academic paper, also called dissertation, and
  • an oral exam held after handing in the dissertation to defend the thesis made in the paper (the disputation).

Furthermore, the personal admission by a faculty member is required. Therefore, it is necessary to contact faculty members who come into consideration because of their focus of research's proximity to the planned doctorate thesis individually. The Graduate School does not assist with the application nor does it accept any applications regarding this admission.

The access to the Online Forum is only open for doctorate students who were accepted by a faculty member.

In general, advise on the legal doctorate is given by the potential supervisor. Information concerning general questions (e.g. about the interpretation of the applicable bylaws) can be obtained by contacting Prof. Dr. Stuckenberg, LL.M. (Harvard).

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