Your Doctoral studies
Even when you are actively working on your doctorate, we would not only like to help you with the formal procedure, but also provide useful information on this site:
The order of events for your PhD degree
- I need to follow the rules of good academic practice.
- I have found out about how to deal with research data.
- I need to meet my supervisor at the times agreed in the supervision agenda in order to discuss the status of my work and my ongoing plans.
- I need to find out about additional further training programmes at the Graduates’ Academy.
I need to find out about workshops to support my PhD within the faculty.
Extension opportunities for handing in your thesis
Your acceptance as a PhD candidate is restricted to a period of five years. If requested, the deadline can be extended for a maximum period of two years. To do this, you must:
- complete an application to extend your period of acceptance,
- outline a rough timetable for this and
- discuss matters with your supervisor and have the application signed by him or her.
The application must be handed in to the PhD office at the latest three months before your period of acceptance expires.
The PhD office will then pass on the signed application to the PhD examination committee in the relevant faculty. As soon as the results are available, they will be communicated to the PhD candidate in the form of official notification.
- Before handing in my thesis, I need to make sure that the format and the visual appearance of my thesis meet the specifications.
- I need to attach a signed declaration that my work has been prepared in a manner consistent with the principles of good academic practice to each copy of my thesis.
- I need to ensure that all the necessary details are noted on the title page.
- I need to talk to my supervisor about possible examiners for my thesis.
You can find information about the format and the outward visual appearance in the leaflet entitled “Information about submitting your thesis”. The leaflet also contains more information about selecting your examiners.
Submitting your thesis
Due to Covid-19 it is currently not possible to submit your thesis personally at the doctorate's office. You are kindly asked to send your thesis and thesis copies via postal mail.
The application to initiate the main procedure
Once you have discussed matters with your supervisor and know that you can submit your thesis, you must apply to initiate the main procedure. Please proceed as follows:
- I need to fill in the application to initiate the main procedure.
- I need to hand in the application to the PhD office together with the following documents:
- 6 bound copies of my thesis (7 copies normally need to be submitted for a cumulative thesis)
- an electronic version of my thesis (CD-ROM; DVD, USB stick), either saved as a PDF or docx file for each dissertation copy
- any additional electronic or audio-visual documents must be attached to each copy of the thesis on a separate portable storage medium
- a simple copy of the title page of the thesis (Please check the sample sheet for your title page).
- if acceptance as a PhD candidate was linked to certain conditions: evidence that the conditions have been successfully met.
As soon as all your documents have arrived at the PhD office, the main PhD procedure will be initiated. This normally takes several months. First of all,
- the PhD office will communicate with the examiners who have been confirmed by the PhD examination committee;
- each examiner will receive a copy of the thesis. The relevant examiners’ reports are normally sent to the PhD office within 10 weeks;
- the PhD office will inform you about the results of the examiners’ reports;
- if all the examiners’ reports recommend acceptance of the thesis, this needs to be put on display for at least 14 days together with the examiners’ reports at the dean’s office in the faculty where the PhD is being gained;
- once the display period has expired, the PhD examination committee will decide whether the thesis has been accepted or not. You will receive written notification of this.
You will find more detailed information about the sequence of events described here in the leaflet entitled The main PhD procedure – after submitting your thesis up to your PhD viva.
- As soon as I have received notification that my thesis has been accepted from the PhD office, I need to contact my supervisor or the responsible dean’s office in order to organise a date for my PhD viva.
- I need to find out whether I need any legalisation or an apostille for my PhD certificate in order to start work abroad or when I return to my home country.
The PhD viva should last 90 minutes and no longer than two hours. The thesis must be defended in front of the PhD examination committee. This will also focus on selected problems in the topic and related subjects in other fields as well as the current state of research in these fields.
You will find more detailed information in the leaflet entitled “The main PhD procedure – after submitting your thesis up to your PhD viva”.
Before the PhD certificate can be handed out to you, your doctoral thesis must be made available to the academic community. Publication must take place within two years of your PhD viva. To do so, the following steps are necessary:
Approval for printing
- I need to submit a summary of my thesis in German and one in English to my supervisor. Neither version may be longer than one page.
- I need to ask my supervisor to send the official approval for printing and the summaries to the PhD office via the dean’s office / rector’s office.
- I checked the criteria for creating the title page of my dissertation.
There are several options that you can choose for publication
- Book and online publication via Kassel University Press
- Publication on the KOBRA online server at the University of Kassel Library
Book publication via a publishing company
Online publication via a publishing company
Submitting printed copies to the library
You can find more detailed information about the publication options in the Leaflet on publication.
Special rules for a cumulative thesis
If you are submitting a cumulative thesis, you must follow the rules with regard to publication that are mentioned in the special regulations for PhDs at the University of Kassel in the relevant faculty.
As soon as the PhD office has received evidence of publication, the PhD certificate can be issued.
Please note: You may not use your PhD title until you have received your certificate. This is not permissible during the time between your PhD viva and receiving your PhD certificate.