Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)

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Mission Statement

The Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences offers a structured doctoral program and a research environment for doctoral researchers interested in problems of democracy and social inclusion. BGSS’s mission is to prepare doctoral researchers for a career as professional social scientists or political scientists within and outside the academic world. The BGSS program is bi-disciplinary, merging perspectives from political science and sociology. It encourages doctoral research on the interface of democracy and democratization with inequality and diversity, shaping processes of inclusion and exclusion. Anchored at the Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the program relies on the cooperation  of its faculty with researchers at non-university research institutions in Berlin such as the Social Science Research Center Berlin and the German Institute for Economic Research. Moreover, BGSS has developed a series of international networks with top universities in Europe and the US. The three-year doctoral program aims at fostering early research careers facilitated by a structured curriculum, combining high-level courses on theory and methods, milestones assuring continuous progress and feedback, and practical elements like teaching, publishing and research internships. Our faculty of over 30 professors and senior lecturers stands for high supervision standards fixed in a supervision agreement and provides access to research projects and networks.


Emerging from the Graduiertenkolleg “Das Neue Europa”, the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences has been founded in 2002. For a five-year period the BGSS has been a pilot project by the German Academic Exchange Service (German Akademische Austauschdienst). In 2007 the Graduate School became an integral part of the Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. For the Period November 2007 - 2014  the doctoral program is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. Since 2012 BGSS coordinates the European Doctoral Programme III which will receive Erasmus Mundus Funding by the beginning of 2013.


BGSS is part of the Department of Social Sciences of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Its governance Structure integrates faculty as well as doctoral researchers in the decision making process. The core element of the BGSS structure is the BGSS Board, representing all members of the Faculty and doctoral representatives.

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