About us

International Doctoral Programme (pdf)

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ (Margaret Mead)

Our objective is to enhance capacities and contribute to personal success of our international students and through them a larger global community by providing excellent learning opportunities and pioneering research in the field of psychotherapy sciences.

SFU-phd_2Title and accreditation
Sigmund Freud University issues a title: Doctor of Psychotherapy Sciences (Dr. Sci. Pth.), which according to international standards of Postgraduate Programmes, is an academic degree, equivalent to the PhD degree.


Sigmund Freud University is accredited by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research.

graphs and chartsFacts and figures
The Firsts
-SFU is the first university in the world, which was established and which primarily focuses on the education of psychotherapy sciences.


-The English PhD programme of SFU is also the first doctoral programme of its kind, which provides academic training to practitioners of psychotherapy.
-Is located in Vienna, which many call the cradle of psychotherapy.

Folie1Diversity and pluralism in the English PhD programme
The English PhD Programme yields with diversity. We enrol psychologists, psychiatrists and/or psychotherapists with the most disparate clinical orientation (e.g. psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioural therapy, humanistic approaches etc.).  Furthermore, our candidates arrive from several related disciplines, such as cultural anthropology, sociology, history, economics or business, as their presence and meaningful contribution broadens the perspectives of the community, and contributes to more thorough understanding of psychotherapy.
We have a plurastic stance toward both the methods of scientific investigation and clinical practice. We in fact believe that theoretical as well as quantitative, qualitative, or mixed approaches are legitimate and useful in order to investigate what psychotherapy is and how it works, depending on the perspective, background, interests and so on of the researcher. Moreover, we do believe that each single psychotherapeutic orientation (psychoanalytic, CBT, etc.) is legitimate and may be useful depending on the characteristics of therapists, patients, and so on.

Number of countries of originsfu_worldwide
The English PhD Programme of SFU is proud to have a community of talented candidates, who reflect the professional, cultural, religious diversity of the world we live in.

During the 2012/2013 academic year there are 20 nationalities represented at the English PhD Programme of SFU. About 7 % of the PhD students in the English PhD programme are Austrian, while the remaining 93% comes from all over the globe. Of the international students, the majority come from Southern and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

SFU_phdProportion of women among PhD students and PhD recipients
In the world, where women are still significantly underrepresented in the academia, we are honoured to present that during the 2012/2013 academic year 69,8% of the PhD students were female. Furthermore, by the end of the 2012/2013 academic year 75% of our successful absolvents were women.
Considering that this PhD Programme is the first in the world, which provides doctoral education in psychotherapy sciences, we are very proud of our successful female graduates, who could break through the glass ceiling. Furthermore, we trust that through their professional and academic achievement they will contribute to the success of psychotherapy science.


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