Administrative Steps in the PhD Defense and Graduation Process

PhD Thesis Defense

The candidate chooses a degree conferral date from the list provided by the Faculty:

He/she hands in the completed graduation forms to the PhD Program Coordinator.

The degree conferral date determines the deadline of the defense. The candidate schedules the date of the defense with his/her advisors accordingly and finds a chairperson for the defense, a member of the PhD program committee.

The advisors will write a graded review of the thesis and hand it in to the PhD program coordinator no later than one week prior to the defense.

The candidate hands in a printed and bound copy to the program coordinator no later than one week prior to the defense.

For the defense, the candidate prepares a presentation of about 20 minutes. There will be a discussion afterwards. The defense will take about one hour.

Graduation Process

After the defense, the candidate finalises the thesis. The advisor confirms that the thesis is ready for publication by signing the “Gut zum Druck” form (available from the PhD program coordinator). The signed form has to be handed in to the program coordinator.

The thesis can be published after the degree conferral date. Publication has to be done within two years counting from the degree conferral date.

In order to be published, the thesis has to be printed (in Format A5). The template with the correct title pages can be found here.

If the advisors wish to receive a print copy of the thesis, at least five copies need to be printed.

Three print copies have to be handed in to the central library (Zentralbibliothek, ZB), and one copy on CD. Theses in English have to contain an abstract in German (Zusammenfassung) of one page. This completes the graduation process for the candidate.

The ZB will send one copy of the thesis to the diploma office which in turn will forward it to the advisor to be signed. As soon as the signed copy is back at the diploma office, the diploma will be issued and sent to the candidate’s address in the online student file. Please make sure that this address is up-to-date.

The title on the diploma will be “Doktor/-in der Wissenschaften” / “Doctor of Science”. This title can be carried only after the receipt of the diploma.