At TU Berlin, the general doctoral regulations in the version of 2021 (new) apply for all doctorates (see below and right). For previously registered doctoral projects, doctoral students of all faculties have the right to choose between the general doctoral regulations of 2014 and the newly valid ones for a transitional period of two years. Faculties II and III have adopted their own doctoral regulations in 2020, which differ slightly in details from the general version (cf. links in the box on the right). These are currently binding for all newly started doctorates in these two faculties. For previously registered doctoral projects, doctoral students of Faculties II and III have the right to choose between the currently valid special regulations and the general doctoral regulations in the 2014 version.
Please note that the text below is an inofficial translation of the General Doctoral Regulations.
(1) 1These regulations governing the conferral of doctorates apply to the following university degrees: Dr.-Ing. (Doctor of Engineering Sciences), Dr. rer. nat. (Doctor of Science), Dr. phil. (Doctor of Philosophy), and Dr. rer. oec. (Doctor of Economic Sciences) at Technische Universität Berlin. 2The responsibilities of the faculties for the awarding of these doctoral degrees are set out in Appendix 1.
(2) The Faculties may present proposals to the Academic Senate for awarding one of the doctoral degrees in subsection 1 honoris causa (h.c.) in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.
(3) The doctoral degrees cited in subsection 1 may be awarded only once per academic chair.
(1) 1The doctoral process establishes that the doctoral candidate has the capacity to make an independent contribution to scientific research and development. 2This is demonstrated through the acceptance of a written dissertation and a successful scientific defense.
(2) 1The dissertation is a scientific treatise written by the doctoral candidate that advances the scientific state of the art in a research area. 2The focus of the dissertation depends on the doctoral degree: for Dr.-Ing., the focus is on an engineering science, for Dr. rer. nat., it is on a mathematical or natural science, for Dr. phil., the humanities or the social sciences, and for Dr. rer. oec., economics or business administration. 3The dissertation shall be written in German or English. 4With the approval of the faculty board, it may also be written in another language. 5An abstract of the dissertation must be provided in both German and English, irrespective of which language the dissertation is written in. 6The subject area must be represented by a full professor, university lecturer, junior professor, junior research group leader, or a full-time extraordinary professor within the faculty.
(3) 1The dissertation as a scientific treatise can consist of separate published papers or papers submitted for publication (kumulative Dissertation or dissertation by publication). 2Such work must follow an internal logic which has to be coherently demonstrated by an overall introduction and concluding discussion. 3Further details regarding the type and number of contributions are determined by the faculties.
(4) 1Prepublication of scientific findings which constitute part of the dissertation or a cumulative dissertation is also possible on the basis of co-authorship. 2In cases of co-authored work, the applicant has to demonstrate which substantial contribution to the concept, content or methodology of the work they have made.
(5) In the scientific defense, the doctoral candidate should present the methodological approach and the scientific conclusions of the dissertation and thereby demonstrate their ability to assess the problems and findings of the dissertation and understand their significance within the relevant discipline.
(1) 1In order to be admitted as doctoral candidate, an applicant must have successfully completed a master’s degree at a university or university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or a comparable degree (Diplom, Magister, or Staatsexamen). The aforementioned university degrees have to be successfully completed in an engineering field for a Dr.-Ing., in mathematics or a natural science for a Dr. rer. nat., in the fields of the humanities or social sciences for a Dr. phil., and in economics or business science for a Dr. rer. oec. 2If a university degree was acquired in a subject area which does not correspond to the doctoral degree, the faculty board may require additional coursework and examinations.
(2) 1Academically outstanding candidates with a bachelor’s degree can be directly admitted to a doctoral degree on the basis of a qualification procedure. They are not required to obtain a further degree as defined in subsection 1 above. 2Academic aptitude is determined by
3At least one of the admission exams referred to in sentence 2, no. 1 may not be conducted by the supervisor. 4The admission exam verifies that the applicant has the required scientific and methodical abilities in the intended field of doctoral studies. 5The attendance of courses prior to the exam is not required. 6The faculty board may determine specific rules for the content, form and conducting of the admission exam. 7A failed admission exam cannot be repeated at the same or another faculty of Technische Universität Berlin.
(3) 1An applicant completing a Diplom degree at a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) with an overall grade of “with distinction,” “very good,” or “good,” is required to further demonstrate their academic aptitude to pursue a doctorate. 2Such proof is provided by the applicant passing at least one and up to three admission exams in the subject area of their intended doctorate and related fields as per subsection 2. Admission exams are to be taken after the candidate has applied for admission as doctoral candidate in accordance with Section 4. The admission examination verifies that the applicant has the required academic skills in the field of their intended doctorate.
(4) If the applicant has completed university studies abroad, the faculty board may accept the equivalence of the university degree with a German university degree as per subsection 1 under consideration of an expert evaluation to be obtained from the relevant department at Technische Universität Berlin.
(5) The additional required qualifications referred to in subsections 1 to 4 must be submitted prior to the application to commence the doctoral procedure.
(6) The faculty board must decline admission as doctoral candidate if the applicant’s thesis or similar work has already been failed in the context of a doctoral procedure at a research university.
(1) 1The applicant must declare in writing their intent to pursue a doctorate at the selected faculty at the earliest possible date. 2The application must contain a description of the intended subject of the dissertation, a work plan, as well as the documentation referred to in Section 5 (1), sentence 3, nos. 1-3; candidates that have completed a Diplom degree at a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) must attach their Diplom thesis, as well as any possible additional scientific theses. 3The thesis is to be supervised by a full professor, university lecturer, junior professor, junior research group leader with a doctorate or full-time extraordinary professor in the faculty, whose agreement must be submitted along with the application. 4The dean assesses the application and informs the applicant of either acceptance and possible conditions, or a denial in writing in accordance with subsection 3. 5Furthermore, the applicant and their supervisor or supervisors shall conclude a supervision agreement in accordance with the current regulations of Technische Universität Berlin. 6The aforementioned provisions are passed by the committee which oversees the doctoral regulations of Technische University Berlin.
(2) 1In the case of acceptance, the applicant is entitled to reasonable support for completing their thesis from the faculty, within the scope of the available materials and personnel. 2There is no entitlement to a workplace at the University. 3Once the supervisor has declared their consent, they are obliged to supervise the applicant unless they can substantiate important reasons for terminating their supervisory role to the faculty board.
(3) 1The faculty board may reject the application only if:
2This rejection must be substantiated in writing to the applicant. Section 11 (4) sentence 1 BerlHG applies accordingly.
(4) 1With the acceptance of the application, the doctoral applicant becomes a doctoral candidate. 2Unless employed by Technische Universität Berlin, the doctoral candidate is required to register as a student at Technische Universität Berlin in accordance with Section 25 (2) BerlHG.
(5) The faculty board may, for good reason, decide to revoke its agreement to the application of intent.
(1) 1The application for admission to the doctoral procedure must be directed in writing to the proper faculty. 2Application for admission is also permissible if the intent to pursue a doctorate has not been previously registered in accordance with Section 4 (1), or if the faculty board has rejected an applicant’s registration. 3The application for admission to the doctoral procedure must include:
(2) The doctoral applicant may propose the reviewer of the dissertation, whose selection must be justified in writing and submitted together with the application to the doctoral procedure.
(3) The application to the doctoral procedure and all submitted documents will remain with the faculty for up to ten years; thereafter they will be stored in the University Archive.
(1) 1The dean of the faculty will examine the application for the doctoral procedure and determine whether all required conditions are met. 2If so, the application to the doctoral procedure will be presented immediately to the faculty board for consultation and decision.
(2) The members of the faculty board as well as other professors and junior professors who are members of the faculty are entitled to inspect the submitted documents.
(3) 1If the faculty board approves the application for admission to the doctoral procedure, it will appoint a doctoral committee. 2This committee consists of a chairperson and at least two reviewers, one of whom should not be a member of Technische Universität Berlin. 3If one or more of the reviewers is also a co-author of findings or publications which are part of the thesis, at least the same number of reviewers must participate who have not had or do not have a cooperative scientific relationship with the doctoral candidate.
(4) 1The chair of the doctoral committee must be a full-time professor, university lecturer, junior professor, or a junior research group leader with a doctorate in the faculty. (4) 2At least one reviewer must be a full-time professor, university lecturer, junior professor, or a junior research group leader with a doctorate in the faculty. 3In duly justified cases, the faculty may decide that extraordinary (außerplanmäßig) professors whose main occupation and employment is at Technische Universität Berlin may be treated as full professors regarding the evaluation of doctoral theses. 4A person appointed from the group defined in sentence 2 as supervisor in accordance with Section 4 (1) will also continue to fulfill the requirements stated in sentence 2 after retirement, as an emeritus professor, or if they change to another university. In such cases, they will continue to be one of the reviewers who is a member of TU Berlin. 5In accordance with subsection 3 sentence 2 professors at another university or a comparable academic institution from Germany or abroad may also be appointed as reviewers; this includes professors at other universities who are retired or have been released from their duties. 6Professors at the same or another faculty at Technische Universität Berlin or another university or a comparable academic institution in Germany or abroad may also be appointed as reviewers; this includes professors who are retired or have been released from their duties. 7In duly justified cases, post-doctoral scholars from Germany or abroad who are not professors may also serve as external or additional reviewers. 8The faculty board can also appoint reviewers to only evaluate the dissertation. 9These reviewers may not have a cooperative relationship with the doctoral candidate or be members of the doctoral committee. 10Their evaluation must be taken into consideration by the doctoral committee. 11Section 6 (4) sentences 4 to 7 and Section 7 (1 and 2) apply accordingly.
(5) The dean of the faculty will issue the doctoral applicant a written notification informing them of the commencement of the doctoral procedure as well as the members of the doctoral committee and the names of any additional reviewers as per Section 6 (4) sentence 8.
(6) 1The dean will immediately inform the applicant if the faculty board rejects their application for admission to the doctoral procedure. 2The rejection must be substantiated in writing and issued with an instruction concerning the right to appeal. 3The rejection must be issued by the dean. 4The dean is required to inform the Executive Board.
(1) 1The reviewers will individually and independently judge whether the submitted dissertation fulfills the requirements of a doctorate. 2In the case of pre-publications, they must do so under consideration of the details regarding significant contributions stated in Section 2 (4) sentence 2. 3They will produce written assessments with one of the following classifications:
(2) 1Assessments should not be submitted later than three months after the commencement of the doctoral procedure or after submission of an amended version to the dean of the faculty. 2Copies of the assessments will be submitted to the chair of the doctoral committee by the dean. 3Any delays must be justified to the chair of the doctoral committee.
(3) Should the majority of reviewers assess the dissertation positively, the chair of the doctoral committee will propose the continuation of the doctoral procedure to the dean.
(4) 1Should the majority of reviewers assess the dissertation negatively, the dissertation is rejected and the doctoral procedure discontinued. 2The dean of the faculty will issue the doctoral candidate a written notification informing them of the suspension of the doctoral procedure (as per Section 11 (4) sentence 1). 3A rejected dissertation may not be presented as a doctoral thesis at another faculty of Technische Universität Berlin.
(5) 1In the event that exactly half of the reviewers assess the dissertation negatively, the faculty board, in consultation with the doctoral committee and the doctoral candidate, will nominate an additional reviewer, who should be a professor of another university.
2The continuation or suspension of the doctoral procedure will then be decided on majority basis.
(1) 1If the doctoral procedure is continued, the dean will arrange with the doctoral committee and the doctoral candidate a date for the scientific defense. 2The dean will invite the following persons to attend at least 14 days prior to the scheduled date:
3The dissertation is displayed for review by the persons referred to in sentence 2 for a period of at least 14 days prior to the scientific defense. 4Members of the doctoral committee, full professors, and members of the faculty board will have access to the evaluations in accordance with Section 7. 5The dean may grant access to the evaluations to the persons cited under sentence 2, letter c). 6The respective faculty board may also grant access to the evaluations to the doctoral candidate before the scientific defense.
(2) 1The scientific defense is open to the University public; the chair of the examination board should, upon application from the candidate, admit non-members of Technische Universität to the scientific defense. 2The scientific defense is usually held in German or English; the chair of the doctoral committee may permit exceptions provided that all members of the doctoral committee are in agreement. 3The presence of the doctoral candidate as well as all members of the doctoral committee is required during the entire defense. 4In duly justified cases external reviewers may take part in the defense via video and audio transmission with the agreement of the doctoral candidate and other members of the doctoral committee as well as the dean. 5This then counts as being present. 6If the candidate or a member of the doctoral committee is unable to attend the scientific defense in person as a consequence of circumstances beyond their control, the chair of the committee may, with the agreement of the dean, agree to their participation via video and audio transmission. 7This then counts as the person being present. 8Should the entire doctoral committee be unable to attend the scientific defense in person due to circumstances beyond their control, the chair of the committee may, with the agreement of the candidate and other members of the committee as well as the dean, agree to the scientific defense being conducted by video and audio transmission in the form of an online conference. 9If participants only attend via video and audio transmission or if the entire defense is conducted in virtual format, this is only possible if the requisite technical and data privacy requirements are provided and if the principle of oral examination, the presence of the University public and the principle of collegiality regarding the discussion and awarding of grades by the doctoral committee can be guaranteed.
(3) 1The scientific defense consists of a talk on the dissertation lasting normally 30 minutes given by the doctoral candidate and a subsequent discussion with the reviewers regarding the subject area of the dissertation. 2Thereafter, with the consent of the doctoral committee chair, the audience may direct questions to the doctoral candidate on the subject of the dissertation. 3This discussion normally lasts one hour. 4The scientific defense lasts at least 90 minutes but should not exceed 120 minutes.
(4) 1Immediately after the scientific defense, the doctoral committee will decide in a non-public meeting whether the doctoral candidate has passed the scientific defense with the classification:
2Additionally, the doctoral committee aggregates the decisions of the reviewers into a joint decision of very good, good, satisfactory, or acceptable. 3If the doctoral candidate has passed the scientific defense, the doctoral committee will decide on the basis of the joint decisions concerning the dissertation and scientific defense whether the doctoral procedure has been passed overall with either:
4The overall decision “passed with distinction” may only be awarded if all reviewers assessed the dissertation as “very good,” without qualification, and the scientific defense has been assessed as “very good” without qualification by all members of the doctoral committee.
(5) 1A written record should be prepared regarding the scientific defense, containing (at least) the following information:
2This record is to be signed by the members of the doctoral committee present.
(6) 1The chair of the doctoral committee immediately informs the doctoral candidate of the result and issues a preliminary certificate. Minor or stylistic modifications to the dissertation may be agreed between the doctoral candidate and the doctoral committee. 2The dean will be informed of the overall result of the doctorate and will advise the faculty board thereof.
(7) 1If the candidate does not pass the scientific defense as per subsection 4, they may within eight weeks of being informed thereof request a repeat of the defense. 2The repeat of the scientific defense takes place within 12 months of the publication of the assessment. 3The above subsections apply accordingly. 4If the doctoral candidate has initiated the reconsideration procedure within this same period in accordance with Section 8b, this suspends the deadline for requesting a repeat of the scientific defense until the reconsideration procedure is concluded; in this case, the repeat of the scientific defense must be requested no later than two weeks after the conclusion of the reconsideration procedure. 5The doctoral procedure will be discontinued if the doctoral candidate does not request a repeat of the scientific defense or if they do not pass the repeated scientific defense. 6The doctoral candidate is to be informed of the discontinuation of the doctoral procedure as per Section 11 (4).
1In accordance with Section 29 of the Administrative Procedure Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz - VwVfg), inspection of files is possible during the ongoing doctoral procedure. 2Furthermore, inspection of files is also possible within one year following the end of the procedure. 3The doctoral candidate must submit a request to the dean.
(1) 1The doctoral candidate may appeal against the evaluations of the individual reviewers according to Section 7 (1), as well as against the evaluation of the scientific defense by the doctoral committee according to Section 8 (4), after the overall evaluation has been announced, to have the evaluations revised and amended. 2The original evaluations may not be changed to the disadvantage of the doctoral candidate.
(2) 1The doctoral candidate must submit the request for the reconsideration procedure to the dean within eight weeks of the announcement of the overall evaluation. 2The request for reconsideration must include an explanation regarding which specific evaluations the candidate is appealing.
(3)1The dean forwards the appeal to the chair of the doctoral committee. 2The reviewers affected by the appeal or - in the case of an appeal against the evaluation of the scientific defense, the doctoral committee - reconsider their evaluation, taking into account the arguments presented in the request for the appeal, and provide a statement in writing. 3The doctoral committee re-evaluates the doctoral work while considering this statement and documents the result of the reconsideration procedure in writing. 4This summary must be presented to the dean within three months of the start of the reconsideration procedure.
(4) The dean informs the doctoral candidate of the result of the reconsideration procedure in writing.
(1) 1Before the doctorate can be awarded to the candidate after passing the scientific defense, the dissertation must be made accessible to the scientific public in an appropriate manner through duplication and dissemination within twelve months following the scientific defense. 2This period may be extended in duly justified cases and on application to the faculty.
(2) 1A dissertation is deemed to have been made accessible to the scientific public in an appropriate manner if the author provides the University Library free of charge a copy of the thesis in the version approved by the doctoral committee for the purpose of dissemination. 2The University Library determines if the copy provided fulfills the relevant requirements. 3The dissertation can be submitted in the following formats:
(3) 1The copies provided to the University Library must include a dissertation title page according to the requirements of the University. 2A sample of the title page is available at the University Library.
(4) Furthermore, the candidate has to transfer the abstract electronically as per Section 2 (2), sentence 5 to the University Library for the purpose of its dissemination via bibliographic databases.
(1) The dean completes the doctorate procedure by presenting the doctoral certificate as soon as the doctoral candidate has fulfilled the criteria specified in Section 9.
(2) The bilingual certificate (German/English) states the subject, the overall assessment of the doctoral procedure, the date of the scientific defense, and bears the dated signatures of the president and the dean, as well as the seal of Technische Universität Berlin.
(3) The awarding of the doctoral certificate entitles the doctoral candidate to use the respectively awarded title.
(4) The faculty administration maintains a file of submitted doctoral applications and awarded doctorates.
(1) The faculty can only comply with a doctoral candidate’s request for withdrawal of the doctoral application if no written evaluation has been submitted.
(2) 1Should the doctoral candidate fail or refuse to comply with a request from the dean with respect to the doctoral procedure without providing acceptable reason to the faculty board, or if the doctoral candidate fails to submit the revised version of a dissertation in the prescribed format without providing good reason within a period of twelve months after a positively assessed scientific defense, the doctoral procedure will be discontinued by decision of the faculty board. 2The same also applies if, after a written opinion from a reviewer has been submitted, the doctoral candidate states that they do not wish to continue the doctoral procedure.
(3) 1If it is determined prior to awarding the doctoral certificate that the doctoral candidate has deliberately made scientific misrepresentations, the faculty board will decide, upon providing the doctoral candidate opportunity to comment on these accusations, whether the doctoral procedure should be continued. 2If there are doubts concerning the validity of the accusations, the procedure will be suspended until clarification.
(4) 1The dean must issue, substantiate and provide the notifications including an instruction concerning the right to an appeal in writing. 2The Executive Board is to be notified.
(1) In order to foster international cooperation, the faculty may conduct a joint doctoral procedure with foreign universities or comparable educational institutions.
(2) 1The framework for the joint doctoral procedure shall be established on an individual basis in a contractual agreement stipulating that the provisions of these doctoral regulations apply to the joint doctoral procedure. 2Any deviation from these doctoral regulations may be incorporated within the contractual provision in accordance with the following provisions.
(3) It must be ensured that the acquired degree can be held in the country where the foreign university or comparable educational institution with which the contract is to be concluded is located.
(4) 1The submission of a dissertation and a scientific defense is required for the joint doctorate. 2In the event that the dissertation and/or the scientific defense are completed in the national language of the foreign university/comparable educational institution, or a language other than German, a written abstract and/or summary must be provided in German. 3A significant part of the work on the dissertation must be completed at Technische Universität Berlin.
(5) Apart from the chair of the doctoral committee, each university or comparable educational institution should employ the same number of reviewers to assess the joint doctorate.
(6) The doctoral documents are retained by the university or comparable educational institution where the oral defense takes place; the other university or comparable educational institution will also receive a copy.
(7) A bilingual doctoral certificate referring to the joint doctoral procedure and stating the doctoral degree to be held in the respective country will be issued by the university or comparable educational institution where the scientific defense took place, and signed and sealed by both universities or comparable educational institutions.
(1) 1At the request of a faculty, Technische Universität Berlin may award, by decision of the Academic Senate, the following academic degrees in recognition of outstanding academic merit pertaining to one of its functions: Dr.-Ing. E. h. (Honorary Doctor of Engineering Sciences), Dr. rer. nat. h. c. (Honorary Doctor of Natural Sciences), Dr. phil. h. c. (Honorary Doctor of Philosophy) and Dr. rer. oec. h. c. (Honorary Doctor of Economics). 2The recipients may not be a member of Technische Universität Berlin.
(2) 1The resolutions of the faculty board require two readings. 2Both ballots are secret.
(3) 1The Academic Senate must also decide on the awarding of an honorary doctorate. 2Details regarding this are governed by the regulations of the Academic Senate.
(4) An additional conferral of an academic honorary degree according to subsection 1 is only possible if a previous conferral was made by another university and for other reasons.
(5) The honorary doctorate is awarded by presenting the certificate, which is signed by the president and the dean, bears the seal of Technische Universität Berlin and states the merits of the doctorate holder.
(6) All German-speaking universities will be notified of the conferral of the degree by the Executive Board of Technische Universität Berlin.
(1) A doctoral degree awarded by TU Berlin can be withdrawn if
(2) 1If the faculty board determines that sufficient grounds for suspicion exist pursuant to subsection 1, it shall appoint a doctoral committee in accordance with Section 6 (3) and begin the revocation procedure. 2The doctoral supervisor cannot be a member of this committee.
(3) 1The doctoral committee reviews whether the grounds for revocation of the doctoral degree as stated in subection 1 are met and submits a recommendation with a detailed explanation to the TU Berlin Executive Board. 2The doctoral candidate is to be given the opportunity to comment. 3A written record must be kept if this is done orally.
(4) 1The TU Berlin Executive Board takes a decision based on the recommendation of the doctoral committee. 2The holder of the doctorate is to be informed of this decision in writing. 3The decision must be substantiated and issued with an instruction concerning the right to appeal. 4The decision to revoke the doctoral degree includes the requirement to return the doctoral certificate to TU Berlin and the withdrawal and destruction of any copies as well as revocation of the right to use the title of doctor.
(5) 1A revocation procedure is not initiated if the doctoral degree was awarded 20 years or more prior. 2The initiation of a revocation procedure posthumously is excluded.
(1) An honorary doctorate awarded by TU Berlin can be withdrawn if
(2) 1If the faculty board determines that sufficient grounds for suspicion exist pursuant to subsection 1, it advises in two readings whether the requirements for revocation of the honorary doctorate as stated in subsection 1 have been met. 2The holder of the honorary doctorate is to be given the opportunity to comment. 3A written record must be kept if this is done orally. 4Voting on possible revocation is conducted in secret. The result of the vote is sent to the Academic Senate for a final decision.
(3) 1The TU Berlin Executive Board takes a decision based on the recommendations of the faculty board and Academic Senate. 2The holder of the honorary doctorate is to be informed of this decision in writing. 3The decision must be substantiated and issued with an instruction concerning the right to appeal. 4The decision to revoke the honorary doctorate includes the requirement to return the certificate to TU Berlin and the withdrawal and destruction of any copies as well as revocation of the right to use the title of honorary doctor.
(4) All German-speaking universities will be notified of the revocation of the degree by the Executive Board of Technische Universität Berlin.
(5) 1A revocation procedure is not initiated if the honorary doctorate was awarded 20 years or more prior. 2The initiation of a revocation procedure posthumously is excluded.
1Doctoral procedures that were commenced prior to the enactment of these regulations will be concluded in accordance with the regulations that have thus far been in effect. 2Applicants who had already applied for acceptance as doctoral candidates at the time of the enactment of this regulation may, within a period of two years after the enactment, complete their doctorate in accordance with the regulations which were in effect at the time of their application. 3The choice should be made irrevocably with the application when commencing the doctoral procedure.
(1) This bylaw takes effect the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of Technische Universität Berlin.
(2) The doctoral regulations of 23 October 2006 (TU Official Gazette 6/2008, p.106 et seqq.) last amended by the version of 15 January 2014 (TU Official Gazette 2/2014, p. 24 et seqq.) apply exclusively until completion of the procedure in accordance with Section 15 (2) and no longer apply thereafter.
Responsibilities of the faculties for the awarding of doctoral degrees: