Offered by German Rectors' ConferenceOffered by German Rectors' Conference

Doctoral phase

The doctoral phase begins when you are officially accepted as a doctoral candidate by your faculty. To be accepted for a doctoral programme you must meet the prerequisites for admission and have a binding offer of supervision from a member of the teaching staff. You must apply in writing for acceptance as a doctoral candidate before commencing work on your dissertation. The dissertation is an independent piece of research which forms the actual core of the doctoral phase. It is normally a monographic, self-contained treatment of a research topic which complies with the rules of good scientific practice.

The dissertation is assessed by a team of reviewers. Only once the dissertation has been positively reviewed and accepted will you be invited to an oral examination.

The oral examination is a part of the doctoral programme, which you must pass in order to obtain your doctorate.

  • Acceptance

    Before starting work on your dissertation, you submit a written request to the university for acceptance as a doctoral candidate and prove that you meet the prerequisites for acceptance.

  • Dissertation

    The dissertation is the most important piece of doctoral work. It demonstrates your ability to tackle academic problems independently and therefore make a contribution to knowledge in your field.

  • Oral examination

    The oral examination complements the dissertation and takes place after the dissertation has been accepted. It may take the form of a Disputation, Rigorosum or Kolloquium.

    Oral examination