Your doctoral studies end with the publication of your research work and the awarding of the doctorate. Before that, however, you must pass your oral examination in the form of an oral defense, a Rigorosum, or a specialist examination.
Also the submission of your doctoral dissertation is subject to certain requirements that vary according to higher education institution and academic discipline. Please refer to the respective doctoral degree regulations in your academic discipline to determine the required number of copies.
Examiners will review and grade your work. If the examiners (your first and your second supervisor) evaluate your work as passing, the doctoral committee will set a date for the oral examination.
The oral examination takes place either as a presentation and defense of your doctoral dissertation (oral defense) or via an examination on the topic of your research work and your specialist area (Rigorosum). A committee or a commission, usually composed of your examiners and other professors, decides on a grade for your doctoral dissertation based on the review and the oral defense, and will finally announce the overall grade for the doctorate. As you cannot use the title until after publication of your work, the institution (faculty, etc.) will provide you with a final record stating that you have successfully completed your doctorate.
The generally valid grade scale for doctorates is as follows:
- With honors (summa cum laude)
- Very good (magna cum laude)
- Good (cum laude)
- Adequate (rite)
Doctoral studies formally end with the publication of your doctoral dissertation. Before publishing your revised doctoral dissertation, you must usually submit it to the examiners for approval. For more information, please refer to your specific doctoral degree regulations.
The doctoral procedure ends after publication in print or electronic form (online) and submission of the required copies to the faculty or higher education institution. The doctoral degree certificate is then issued and you are awarded a doctoral title. You may not use the title until then.
- Submitting the dissertation
- Preparing for the oral examination
- Oral defense / Rigorosum / specialist examination
- Finding a publisher (also with the help of your supervisor) and publication of your doctoral dissertation.