About the doctorate
The doctorate serves to demonstrate the ability of the doctoral student to perform in-depth academic work and is based on a written dissertation, researched independently, and an oral examination, which either takes the form of an oral defense of the dissertation ("Disputation") or a more wide-ranging oral examination which includes the topic of the thesis as well as other subjects ("Rigorosum").
The core element of the doctorate is the doctoral thesis or dissertation. The topic of the dissertation is agreed upon with the candidate’s academic supervisor. The student then produces the dissertation as a piece of independent research, which serves to demonstrate the new academic knowledge gained during the doctoral project. A dissertation may be prepared either in the form of an individually supervised project or within the framework of a doctoral program.
The prerequisite for admission as a doctoral student is, as a rule, an excellent degree in a relevant subject from a university or an equivalent institution of higher education. Further details can be found in the doctoral studies regulations of the relevant faculty or in the regulations for the doctoral programs.
For general information and support, please contact the Graduate Center. In addition to developing an appropriate infrastructure for doctoral programs, the Graduate Center advises doctoral students from all disciplines and from all over the world, offering them various support services. For detailed information on the basic administrative steps required of a doctoral candidate, please contact the relevant faculty and the International Office.