Doctoral Study of Philosophy in Religious Studies


The Doctoral Programme of Philosophy in Religious Studies enables students to acquire an internationally competitive specialization of knowledge and skills based on the previous master's programme. Graduates can contribute independently and at the highest level to the progress of knowledge in the field of religious studies, both historically and systematically.


Type of study: Doctoral studies

Duration: 6 semesters

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil.)

Reference number: UA 792 303

Language: German or English

Admission procedure: yes

Prerequisite: Completion of a professionally relevant master's or diploma degree or an equivalent course of studies at a recognized domestic or foreign university or university of applied sciences. 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.

Curriculum (in German)

 Admission procedure

Interested parties are requested to contact a professionally qualified supervisor after having reviewed the supervision proposal for Religious Studies ( In this way, project ideas and perspectives can be developed and specified in direct conversation with supervisors at the University of Vienna.

 The following documents must be submitted for admission to the PhD program to the Center for Doctoral Studies: Description of the dissertation project; letter of motivation; academic curriculum vitae; declaration of readiness; supervision of the doctoral candidate (see also studies/humanities and cultural studies/admission/).

 Study architecture and study contents

  • Minimum duration of studies: 3 years
  • Performances to be achieved have an extent of 24 ECTS points
  • Public presentation of the dissertation project within the first year of admission
  • Writing of a doctoral thesis 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

 Career orientation and professional fields

Religious Studies Scholars are qualified

  • to impart knowledge about religions and intercultural processes in the field of religious journalism and adult education;
  • to comprehend intercultural processes and to mediate in them, especially in terms of social professions;
  • for educational and therapeutic work in pastoral care, in hospitals and in asylum counseling;
  • for religion- and culture-specific consulting; for cooperation in development aid both within the framework of international or national institutions as well as in NGO organizations.

Graduates of Religious Studies have access to numerous and surprising career paths beyond academic perspectives. Likewise, in many cases, a Religious Studies education may have a sustainable impact on individual life plans. For these reasons, the Institute for Religious Studies organizes a meeting with graduates every semester to present life paths drawn from the field of Religious Studies and to inspire students to develop their own future career.

QUO VADIS Future Prospects for Students of Religious Studies