skip to content

Doctoral Examination Procedure

Photo: Babette Dauborn
  • Before commencing with your doctoral project please register in Docfile and fill out the form Notification of Intent to do a Doctorate. Please print and submit the document, along with a copy of your diploma or master’s (or equivalent) examination certificate and your degree certificate as well as a self-addressed envelope, to the Dean’s Office. Your documentation must be complete in order to be processed.
  • Some doctoral programs require a more detailed supervision agreement ("Betreuungsvereinbarung") between the supervisory team and the doctoral candidate. For individual doctoral students, a supervision agreement is recommended as well. A supervision agreement documents the jointly agreed rights and obligations of doctoral candidate and supervisor(s). It clarifies expectations on both sides and helps to transparently define the supervisory relationship.
  • The application for admission to the doctoral procedure is formal. The three-page form set with attachments must be submitted to the PhD Office two weeks before submission of the dissertation (at the latest). The dissertation must be submitted three times in bound form and once in electronic form (CD / DVD) no later than the deadline of submission. The date of application for the doctoral procedure is the day on which all documents are complete and submitted.
  • The examination schedule is agreed between the doctoral candidates and the examiners, and is notified to the Dean’s Office on the Terminbogen form. (If the doctoral examination is held in the form of a viva voce (rigorosum), the partial examinations must be concluded within 14 calendar days.)
  • The announcement (notice) of the disputation likewise requires a specific form. All examination board members (including the observer who keeps the minutes) must be specified therein.
  • On the day of the examination (or 1-2 days in advance if necessary), the doctoral student must pick up a sealed envelope from the doctoral office which contains the examination documents. It be handed over to the chairman or the first reviewer well in advance of the exam. On the same day the documents have to be returned in person or via the blue mailbox in front of the deanery
  • The regulations of the Cologne University and City Library for the publication of dissertations in electronic form are available online here.
  • The doctoral degree certificates are ready within two weeks after the end of each examination period and will be handed out as soon as you have submitted in full the deposit copies of your dissertation along with the other required documents.