Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology

The Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology offers the possibility of scientific specialization in philosophical and theological subjects. The degree (Dr. theol.) is also recognized by canon law.

The aim of the doctoral studies is to prepare students for a scientific activity in research and teaching. Furthermore, the doctorate is sometimes a prerequisite for a relevant professional activity in a leading position. 

The course of study offers scientific training at an international level and enables students to carry out independent research in the respective field of their dissertation in accordance with international standards. 

The Catholic Faculty consists of 7 institutes subdivided into 15 departments, hosts the interdisciplinary research center "Religion and Transformation" and is an active part of a broad network of different sciences and scientific activities at the University of Vienna. Hence, it offers excellent conditions for a doctoral programme that meets the high standards of the international scientific community.


Type of study: Doctoral studies

Duration: 6 semesters

Degree: Doctor of Theology (Dr. theol.)

Reference number: UA 780 011

Language: German, English, other foreign languages by arrangement

Prerequisite: Licentiate in Catholic Theology. To compensate for significant differences in terms of content, skills or learning outcomes of the degree programme, supplementary examinations can be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the 2nd semester of the degree programme.: Further information

Curriculum (in German)

 Admission procedure

Before you can be admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Theological Studies, you must undergo an admission procedure assisted by the Doctoral Advisory Board. The suitability of applicants is assessed according to the following criteria: Adequate specialist knowledge in terms of the intended dissertation field as well as high motivation and potential for the academic work.

 Hence, students should clarify the following points before submitting their application:

  •  Which theological discipline is proper for the dissertation project?
  •  Who is eligible for supervision? This is important as the teachers of the individual departments are assigned to the individual institutes.
  • Which topic do you want to work on? Please discuss your intended topic with a teacher you may choose as your supervisor*, because a confirmation of supervision for the admission application is mandatory.

You submit the application for admission to the Center of Doctoral Studies. There you will also find information about deadlines and documents you have to provide.



 Study architecture and study contents

  • Minimum duration of studies: 3 years
  • Performances to be achieved have an extent of 20 ECTS points
  • Public presentation of the dissertation project within the first year of admission
  • Writing of a dissertation agreement
  • Regular progress reports, at least once a year
  • Writing a dissertation
  • Final public examination after completion of all examinations of the curriculum and a positive assessment of the dissertation

Detailed information can be found here.