FAQ New PhD Formalities

What will change when submitting the PhD thesis after 08/24/2017?


Dowload German and English version here:

[listyofiles folder=“wp-content/uploads/2017/02/“]

Further Questions

Dear PhD students, 

we had an incredible decision in the faculty council from 14 December 2015: During the transition time between old and new PhD regulations, the doctoral visa (final exam) from the old regulations is going to be removed. We answer a few questions:

Why such a decision?

Due to the fact that the lawyer from our University are really busy it seems that we still have to be patient with our new regulations. Thus, the head of our faculty, Prof. Haase, was asking for transition regulations.

How to remove the doctoral viva?

The solution is tricky and smart and would not be possible without the coming new regulations. The idea is the following: They will add a paragraph to the new regulations stating that the doctoral viva from the old regulations will be removed from 1 January 2016. As soon as the new regulations are validated, we will have the legal legitimation.

Is this procedure legal?

Yes, because our lawyers themselves suggested this procedure. This way we can be sure that they will not change this paragraph in the new regulations. The legitimation is given subsequently as soon as the new regulations are valid.


For whom and when is the doctoral viva removed?

All doctoral procedures that are already opened will follow the original old regulations – with doctoral viva. Those procedures which will be opened after 1 January 2016 can benefit from the new decision if they apply (!) for. This application has to be added the other documents when opening a new doctoral procedure. It is not mandatory.


How are grades calculated without doctoral viva?

Actually, same like before, just without the grade from the viva. Final grade = arithmetic mean from the existing grades.

I am at a graduate school and wish to still use my grade from these exams. Are they redundant now?

No. The doctoral viva are still possible, just not mandatory any more. If someone wants to skip the doctoral viva, he must apply for. If not, keep the old procedure and don’t care about this new decision.

How long will we benefit from this decision?

The new decision for the old PhD regulations (the one without doctoral viva) will take effect from 1 January 2016. This version of the old regulations is valid until 1 year after the new regulations take effect. Let’s assume the new regulations are finalized in summer 2016 (just a guess), then it is valid until summer 2017. At the same time, it is possible to change to the new regulations as soon as they take effect.


What did the faculty council think about this idea?

The opinions were literally split and we were very lucky that the decision was accepted in the end (10 of 19 votes for „yes“). The discussion was about the legalization which only comes into play with the new PhD regulations. We have no real legalization meanwhile and that – might – be problematic.