Your route to a Doctoral Degree
The faculty grants the following doctoral degrees:
- Dr. rer. nat.
- Dr. phil.
You can pursue your doctorate independently, or as part of an organized doctoral program in which the faculty participates. For the independent doctorate, you choose a topic of study and a professor from one of our institutes to be your mentor. Very often – but not always – this entails working on a research project in an institute, and writing your doctoral thesis on one of the topics from this project. In that case, you need to apply to the institute directly and find out whether there is an open position.
If you follow an organized doctoral program, you must apply to the program for a place and a scholarship.
You have a topic and a mentor?
Then you need to draft and sign a PhD supervision agreement with your supervisor. The agreement regulates your supervision during your doctoral degree studies, and your training program.
Application for acceptance
Please submit your application to the Examination Office. Send the application together with your CV, degree certificate, PhD supervision agreements and any other relevant documents (for more information, please contact the Examination Office).
The Examination Office checks that the documentation is complete and passes it on to the dean's office in Faculty 5. All dissertation projects are managed in this office and the doctoral committees are supervised there. The doctoral committee checks your application and will inform you in writing of its findings. You may be required to submit more information. The doctoral committee sits once a month during the semester. If you want to speed up proceedings, the dean's office will let you have the dates of the doctoral committee meetings.
You have a degree from a university outside Germany?
Then you will need the “Form for formal equivalence of degrees from universities outside Germany”. Please be aware that formal degree equivalence checking can take some time! If you want to apply to study for a PhD quickly, you must apply early and enclose the form.
Enrollment in doctoral studies
You can register as a doctoral student when you receive your written acceptance letter.
Submitting your dissertation and applying for admission to the examination
When you have finished writing your dissertation and have fulfilled all other necessary requirements, please hand in the dissertation at the Dean's Office in Faculty 5 (Sonja Krieger, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 4th Floor, Room 4.116). In the following leaflets you will find information on size, binding, layout of title page, etc. Each doctoral committee has its own rules! A list of all other documents you need to submit with your dissertation is available in these leaflets.
You automatically apply for admission to the examination when you submit your thesis.
Assessment of dissertation and oral examination
Your dissertation will be assessed by study advisers. As soon as the assessors' reports have been submitted, the thesis is available for public viewing for 14 days or is circulated among a selected group of persons. At the end of this consultation period, and as long as there are no objections, an oral examination takes place. You will be required to give a public talk about the topic of your PhD thesis at the oral examination, and you will take part in a non-public oral examination. The doctoral committee will appoint examiners to the examining board for the oral test.
Publishing the dissertation
When you have passed your oral examination you must publish your dissertation, and submit archival copies to the university library. Your principal study adviser must confirm that the printed copies match the manuscript. The process is then complete!
What about your certificate?
You will either receive your certificate by per post or you can pick it up at the dean's office. You will be notified when the certificate is printed.