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 advisor shall determine the additional reviewers for the PhD thesis according to the following guidelines:

  1. Two readers per thesis (the advisor + one additional reader) is the current default, and ok.
  2. If the second reader has published with the PhD candidate, then we require at least a third reader.
  3. If the second reader is the PhD advisor of the first reader OR a former PhD student of the first reader, then we require a third reader.
  4. Rules (2) and (3) are *not* additive, i.e., if both cases apply then we do not require three additional readers.

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 two weeks 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.

Printing and Publication of the PhD Thesis

Please find the detailed description here