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FAQs on doctoral examination procedure

At this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions relating to taking a doctoral degree in Physics at TU Darmdtadt

Since doctoral studies extend over a period of several years, the choice of topic should be very well considered. A high level of motivation over several years is required, so that the selection of topics should focus less on current fashion than on your own interests. The topics under consideration can be discussed with the appropriate supervisor. It should be noted here that not only the heads of the working groups, but also suitable staff members, e.g. Privatodozenten or habilitated postdocs can take on the supervision.

Various factors play a role in the selection of the working group. Of course, the research group determines the research area, so that the individual interest limits the choice. However, aspects such as the infrastructure of the group, cooperation with other groups or companies, and the scientific reputation should also be taken into account. What is the average duration of doctoral studies in the group? What is the supervision like? Is a supervisor available if needed? What is the working atmosphere like? These factors can determine the success of the doctorate. Information about this can be obtained in particular from the members of the working group. In general, you should be aware that you will be working with the members of the working group for a large part of the next few years – and that should work out.

The duration of the doctorate is of great importance for many candidates. Both for an academic career and for a career in industry, it is desirable to obtain a doctorate as quickly as possible. However, in no case the quality of the scientific work should suffer under the aspect of a fast completion. It is therefore a matter of finding a compromise between the duration of the doctorate and the quality. This aspect should also be the subject of a discussion with the supervisor.

In particular, it should be clarified to what extent teaching duties are to be assumed and what other administrative tasks are to be expected. The supervision of diploma students, which may be a part of the work, should also be largely arranged beforehand. Overall, at least 1/3 of the time should be guaranteed for self-determined research.

In physics, the average duration of a doctorate is actually approx. 4 years.

The Conference of Physics Departments (KFP) has adopted a recommendation on good scientific practice for qualification theses in physics. This text is now generally available on the KFP website.

Admission to a doctoral degree

According to §7(6) of the General Doctoral Regulations, the Doctoral Admissions Committee can attach conditions to accepting graduates which must usually be fulfilled within two years. These conditions are designed to ensure that the candidate is able to conduct academic work and may involve, in particular, proof of successfully participating in taught courses and passing certain examinations.

Conditions may especially be imposed if a degree has been taken in a different subject, at a university abroad or at a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule). The nature of those conditions as well as their extent, depend on each individual case. For further information and to ask questions, please feel free to contact the Department's Office.

You will be informed about the status of your application in writing approximately one weeks after the relevant Doctoral Admissions Committee has considered it.

Registering for admission to a doctoral degree is not obligatory. It is possible to acquire the qualification without being registered. On this point, please take note of all the necessary information to be found on TU Darmstadt’s main site.

Initiating the doctoral examination procedure

Please submit your thesis, including all the additional documents required, to the Department's Office no later than 12 a.m. the day prior to the meeting of the Doctoral Admissions Committee. Only complete applications can be considered.

The examination board consists of at least five professors. You have to suggest the two referents plus two additional examiners. The chairmen will be nominated by the doctoral admission board.
Pleas keep in mind, that at least one examiner or referent has to be experimental and one has to be theoretical physicist (experiment-theory-rule) AND not all four persons have to be part of the same institute (institute-rule).

Your disputation will be scheduled by the doctoral admission board in coordination with the Department's Office.
Once you initialize the doctoral examination process, you are asked to suggest a date for your disputation, which has been agreed by all of your examiners as well as the Department's Office.

Completing the doctoral examination procedure

According to TU Darmstadt’s General Doctoral Regulations, you are only permitted to carry the title of doctor once you have received your doctoral certificate.

In case you need a confirmation that you have passed your doctorate, please get in touch to the Department's Office. It is possible to issue a confirmation in short time.

It has to be clarified that the final version of your dissertation, which has to be accepted by your supervisor, is exactly the same PDF you have uploaded to TUprints. Therefore you have to fill in exactly the same name of the uploaded file to the column File name of the electronic version in the form, e.g. Dissertation_[Name]_v2.pdf.

When you have successfully completed your disputation, the certificate will be commissioned. The Department's Office will send you an electronic draft of your certificate and ask you to verify it. Thereafter it will then be printed. Once the certificate has been printed and signed by the President and the Dean – and you have already published you dissertation – you will be notified so that it can be collected.

No, your doctoral certificate will be issued in German only.

If you are not able to collect your doctoral certificate yourself, you can authorise another person to collect it for you. Please provide the Department's Office with written authorisation in advance.