At the end of the three year’s period of PhD studies you have to write a thesis on your PhD project in English language. The thesis counts 60% into your final PhD grade. For the composition of the dissertation there are some formal rules that have to be followed. You can find them in our Guidelines for Dissertation.

The dissertation has to be handed in exactly three years after your start in the PhD programme. In reasonable cases the deadline for the submission of dissertation can be extended for maximum one year. The extension of the deadline must be requested at least 3 months in advance using our form Application Extension of studies.

An important requirement for the submission of the dissertation is that you have published at least one article as first author. Coauthor papers are accepted in exceptional cases upon decision of the PhD committee. You cannot submit your dissertation before publishing a paper. In case you do not have a published artickle, you have to apply for a "Green Talk". Read about it in our FAQs.  Please send a list of publications to our coordination office before handing in your thesis – we will check whether you are ready to submit the dissertation.

Cumulative dissertations are also possible. In this case you need at least three original articles in peer-reviewed journals, of which at least two as first author.
Please feel free to come to our coordination office and to have a look at the dissertations of former PhD students. All dissertations are kept in our school’s archive.

Make sure to have all necessary documents with you for submission of your thesis when you come to our coordination office. The required documents are listed in the Guidelines for Dissertation. We will only accept your thesis if your documents are complete. Also please do not forget to bring your list of lectures and list of activities from your third study year.

After submission, your thesis will be sent to the TAC and to the external reviewer by the coordination office. The reviewers have 6 weeks to evaluate your thesis. In some cases an additional external reviewer is required and the evaluation process takes longer. As soon as the coordination office has received all evaluations, the dissertation will be made available to all university members for the duration of 14 days. This will be announced by e-mail. If there are no objections by university members, the thesis is accepted and the PhD candidate can defend his thesis (disputation).