Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Thank you for your interest in a Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in Tübingen!

The training and support of our junior researchers with the goal of leading research is important to us. This is why we offer you a wide range of research and further education opportunities, including the Graduate Academy of the University of Tübingen and solid support for individual doctoral candidates, but also in several doctoral programmes.

Here you will find all information about the doctoral process at our faculty. We will be happy to help you with any further questions.

At the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, you can complete your doctorate in the following subjects:

  • Historical and Cultural Anthropology
  • Education Science (Empirische Bildungsforschung)
  • Education (Erziehungswissenschaft)
  • Political Science
  • Psychology (please contact us for the requirements for this subject)
  • Quantitative Data Science
  • Sociology
  • Sports Science
  • Economics
  • Subject didactics in one of the subjects listed above

If no university degree is available in the doctoral subject, equivalent achievements must be demonstrated using this checklist. Subsequent achievements will be determined by the doctoral committee.

Steps to a Doctorate

Here you can find out more about the next steps in the doctoral procedure.

General information on acceptance as a doctoral candidate, admission to the doctoral procedure upon submission of the dissertation and the regulations for publication of the dissertation can be found in the Information sheet for doctorates.

The Doctoral Students Council has compiled further useful information on doctoral studies Flyer.

[PLEASE NOTE: The following pages also contain forms. To fill them out on your PC, save them first or open them with Adobe Acrobat.
See also the download button on the right side for all the forms and informations concerning doctorates].

1. Acceptance as a doctoral candidate

Before you can be accepted as a doctoral candidate, you will need the consent of at least one professor - even better is two professors - who are prepared to supervise you. The best way to proceed is to write an outline of the topic you would like to work on and talk to a professor in the subject.

With this approval, you can submit the Application for Acceptance as a Doctoral Candidate, along with the Additional Information. Please turn it in with certified copies of your university degree certificates and transcripts of records (Bachelor and Master) or by showing the originals to the Dean’s Office. This application must include your supervisor’s signature.

[Please note: At least one of the supervisors must be an active professor in the Faculty. Supervisors who are not members of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences must be approved by the doctoral degree committee. To get approval, please submit a written request to the doctoral degree committee with an explanatory statement and the requested supervisor’s contact information. The approval of your first supervisor should be included in your written request.]

The doctoral student and supervisors should also complete a Doctoral Agreement. If possible, please submit your Application for Acceptance as a Doctoral Student together with a copy of this doctoral agreement to the Dean’s Office or submit the doctoral agreement soon after the application. If you have already completed a doctoral agreement in the context of a doctoral program in our Faculty, this can be used instead. In this case, please submit a copy of this doctoral agreement.

In the doctoral agreement, supervisor and doctoral student state in which intervals talks with the supervisor will take place. For the documentation of these talks, you can use the Interview Guide for doctoral students. A documentation of the talks is highly recommended. In the Code of Conduct for the Doctoral Phase at the University of Tübingen, the university summarizes the most important aspects of a good support situation.

If German or English is not your native language and you plan to write your thesis in English, please bring also a certificate of the knowledge of the English language (level C1).

The requirement for a successful doctorate is adherence to the Guidelines for Ensuring Good Academic Practice. Please read these carefully, and if you have any questions, contact your supervisor. You can find additional guidelines, documents and information here.

If you are planning to pursue a publication-based or publication-oriented doctorate, then even at the beginning of your doctorate you should make sure to conclude such publication contracts with journals that will enable you to avoid later problems in publishing your dissertation (see handout).

Since March 30, 2018, PhD students have to enroll according to § 38 (5) of the Landeshochschulgesetz (LHG) after they have been accepted as a PhD student at the faculty. Doctoral students who can prove an employment contract with the University of Tübingen for at least 50% of the scope of a full-time position may be exempted from the matriculation requirement. A declaration of exemption from compulsory enrollment and a copy of the current employment contract are required for this purpose.

For enrollment as well as for exemption from compulsory enrollment, it helps to have a copy of the Additional Information ready, as this data will be needed again in the Student Administration Office. Enrollment comes with student benefits and allows you to use university facilities. You are required to be enrolled until you pass the oral examination. Further information and the necessary forms can be found here:

2. Admission to the doctoral qualification process

When you have finished your dissertation, you submit it together with the Application for Admission to the Doctoral Qualification Process and the Declarations on the Application for Admission to the Doctoral Qualification Process to the Dean’s Office. The application includes all the information you need about the number of copies and the other documents to submit for admission to the qualification process.  If you have written a publication-oriented or -based dissertation, please be sure to also attach the Supplementary Declaration to the Application for Admission to the Doctoral Procedure for Publication-oriented or -based Dissertations.

3. Oral Examination

After the dissertation has been reviewed and accepted by the Faculty, a date will be agreed on with the examiners and you will submit the Registration for the Oral Examination. Together with the registration, you will need to submit an abstract of your dissertation. For all the Information needed concerning the oral examination you should read the Information Sheet for the Oral Examination.

If the deadline of two weeks between the end of the display period an the oral examination cannot be complied with, please also reach in the form  Application for a shortened disputation deadline.

Participation as an audience member in oral examinations/disputations is only possible for members of the faculty. Eventually an online variant will be offered. For more details and the dates of upcoming disputations at the WiSo Faculty, please click on the following link: Oral examinations 


Due to the current situation with Corona, it is possible to conduct an online examination via video chat.  Information on the procedure for online exams can be found in the following information sheet concerning online oral exams.

4. Publishing of the Dissertation

You can find information on publication in the Guidelines for publication of doctoral thesis and in the Guidelines for the publication of publication based or oriented doctoral theses and theses in which collaboration has taken place.

Before publishing your dissertation, you must receive permission to publish from the Dean’s Office.
For this, you will need to provide the title page (template for title page for the dissertation) according to the template from the Dean’s Office for approval. The approved title page must then be included in the copies submitted. The first page of the title page template can also be used when submitting the dissertation for the Admission to the Doctoral Qualification Process (see point 2). If the title of the dissertation was changed, e.g. when publishing with a publishing house, then the title page must include the (old) title of the submitted dissertation and not the new title.

Together with the title page, you must submit the Declaration concerning Differences to the Submitted Dissertation and, if they were added for the publication, also the Foreword, Preface, Acknowledgements, etc.
After submitting these documents (preferably via email), you can receive permission to publish. Please start the publishing process only after having received the permission to publish.

Ombudsperson for doctoral candidates

The ombudsperson assists doctoral students in conflicts during their doctoral project. All concerns are treated confidentially and from a neutral perspective.

Ombudsperson is the Dean: dekanspam prevention@wiso.uni-tuebingen.de

Deputy Ombudsperson is the Vice Dean for Research prodekan.forschungspam prevention@wiso.uni-tuebingen.de

The rules of the family-friendly university also apply to doctoral students, see under audit
and the Faculty's Equality Commission see WiSo Commission.