Types of Doctorates

Ways of gaining your doctorate

A Cotutelle procedure/Co-tutelle/Cotutelle de thése or bi-national doctoral procedure is a doctoral degree supervised by two supervisors at universities from two countries. It offers the possibility to obtain a doctoral degree from two universities on the basis of an international cooperation agreement. The cooperation contract is agreed upon individually for each doctoral candidate. The dissertation is submitted to both universities at the same time.

A cotutelle procedure should be considered if

  • the doctoral candidate is aiming for an international orientation in his/her further career;
  • the doctoral topic has an international research component in both countries;
  • the doctoral topic is in the research interest of the foreign university or the partner institution is of particular added value for the topic;
  • there is a willingness to spend a longer period of time or several longer periods of time at the partner university.

Co­tu­tel­le pro­ce­du­re

Doctoral candidates normally decide to write an individual doctorate or monograph. This involves an academic research project, which the candidate has selected and prepared himself or herself, and the project is overseen by a supervisor from the relevant faculty.


Doctoral studies are described as cooperative doctorates if they are performed in conjunction with universities of applied sciences, which do not have their own right to award doctorates, and other universities. The statutory provisions regulating this are found in Section 24 (3) of the Hesse Higher Education Act. A “cooperative PhD” means that the formal doctoral studies take place at the University of Kassel, a professor at the University of Kassel supervises the doctorate and a professor at a university of applied sciences normally acts as the second supervisor and second examiner in the official doctoral procedure.

The University of Kassel works particularly closely with Fulda University of Applied Sciences. You can find more information on the website of Fulda University of Applied Sciences at:  https://www2005.hs-fulda.de/index.php?id=12831

The thesis may also consist of a collection of several academic publications instead of a monograph. It must also present the latest research results, taking into consideration the individual’s research work. These articles must be published in specialist journals in advance or have been accepted for publication. At the end, a summarising outline of the topics that have been treated must be presented together with a text that categorises the research work in a thematic and methodical context.

Please check the specific regulations for cumulative dissertations in the Special Regulations for Doctoral Studies at the University of Kassel.



Alongside the opportunity of writing an individual doctorate, the University of Kassel also offers structured doctoral programmes. A team of supervisors support you during your doctorate and you participate in courses that often have an interdisciplinary focus. You can find a summary of the doctoral programmes available at the University of Kassel here.