Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions about your Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about your doctoral degree at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences:

What are the prerequisites for being accepted as a doctoral student?

The prerequisite is, on the one hand, an academic degree according to § 3 of the doctoral regulations in the doctoral subject. If you do not have a degree in the doctoral subject, but in a related subject, it will be checked whether you can be accepted and if so, which conditions still have to be fulfilled. On the other hand, you need the supervisory approval of at least one active professor in the doctoral subject at the WiSo faculty. You will find the professors and their research areas here.

Acceptance as a doctoral student, employment as a research assistant, enrollment - isn't it all the same?

No. Only when you are accepted as a doctoral student at the faculty, you have the confirmation that you meet the requirements to do a doctorate here. Applying for admission as a doctoral student is the first step in being hired as a research assistant through budgetary funds. Admission as a doctoral student is also a prerequisite for enrollment as a doctoral student. Information and forms for acceptance can be found on this homepage under "1. Admission as doctoral student". Please submit all documents to the doctoral office of the faculty in the dean's office, address can be found on the homepage. Here it will be checked, among other things, whether the requirements for a doctorate in the doctoral subject of your choice are met and whether supervision by at least one professor of the faculty is guaranteed. If this is the case, a certificate of acceptance will be issued.

However, accepted doctoral candidates do not necessarily have to be employed at the university. External doctorates are also possible. Employment as a research assistant via budgetary funds should only be made once you have been accepted as a doctoral student. It is handled by the personnel office of the institute or department and goes from there to the personnel department of the central administration. An important document is the doctoral agreement (the form for this can also be found under "1. Admission as a doctoral candidate"), since the time limit of the position is usually based on the start and end of the doctorate as stated in the doctoral agreement.

An exception to this rule is the hiring for externally funded projects, where a decision on a doctorate may only be made at a later point in time. In this case, of course, acceptance as a doctoral candidate can only be applied for once this has been clarified.

Enrollment as a doctoral student takes place via the Student Secretariat and can also take place at any time during the semester. The prerequisite for this is that you have been accepted as a doctoral student at the faculty and can present the acceptance certificate at the time of enrollment. All information about enrollment is available here:https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/920

I have a non-German degree and would like to do my dissertation in Germany. Where can I find help?

Foreign degrees are examined if you apply to be accepted as a doctoral student. You can also ask the International Affairs Department in advance whether your degree is recognised in Germany.

Why is the doctoral agreement important?

The doctoral agreement is made between the doctoral student and his or her supervisors at the beginning of the doctorate. Regular supervision interviews are documented in the "Interview Guide for Doctoral Students". Good and regular supervision is of great importance for the success of the doctorate. If you are hired as a research assistant, the start and end dates of the doctorate specified in the doctoral agreement will be used to limit the duration of the employment contract.

Are there application deadlines for summer or winter semesters?

No, the application for admission as a doctoral candidate or admission to the doctoral qualification process can be made at any time (although holidays and staff schedules may result in a processing delay).

Is there any help finding a supervisor?

Unfortunately, there is no help from the doctoral institution here.  Each doctoral student is responsible for finding a suitable supervisor. An already prepared exposé can be helpful.

I would like to apply for a supervisor (reviewer, examiner) who does not belong to the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. What should I do?

At least one of the supervisors or reviewers must be an active professor of the faculty in the doctoral subject, and two of the three examiners in the defense must meet these criteria. Two supervisors from our faculty are the rule. External second supervisors and reviewers should only be applied for if no second supervisor suitable for the doctoral topic can be found at the faculty.  External supervisors and reviewers are applied for in writing to the doctoral committee (for address see Dean's Office) with a plausible justification and the contact details of the desired supervisor/reviewer.

Supervisors and reviewers can only be persons with habilitation or habilitation equivalence. If the desired supervisor is a member of a foreign university, he/she must be authorized to supervise and review doctoral theses at that university. In cases of doubt, the doctoral committee decides.

I intend to write a publication-based dissertation. What should I pay attention to?

Publication-based dissertations are carried out in close contact with the supervisors. General guidelines are laid down in the doctoral regulations § 6. Further general and specific criteria for the individual doctoral subjects are laid down in the Guide to Doctoral Degrees. It makes sense to pay attention to the design of publication contracts with journals right from the start, since the doctoral procedure only ends with the publication of the dissertation and journal contracts often contain clauses that make publication of the dissertation more difficult or delayed.

What language requirements do I need as a foreign PhD student?

The dissertation can be written in English or German. For either language the language level C1 is required. A certificate of the language level of the dissertation language of non-German doctoral candidates must be submitted to the doctoral office in the Dean's Office at the latest by the end of the first doctoral year.

As a doctoral student, do I have to enrol at the Student Affairs Office?

As of March 2018, the State University Act provides for the enrolment of all doctoral students who have just started their doctoral studies. Only doctoral students who are employed at the University of Tübingen can apply to be exempted from the matriculation requirement. Students are obliged to matriculate until they submit their dissertation.

What are the time constraints to write a dissertation?

The doctoral regulations stipulate in § 4 (8) that the dissertation will be submitted within five years of the application for admission to doctoral studies. It is possible to apply for an extension of the doctoral period. This may be necessary, for example, if you are gainfully employed or start a family.

I can't finish my dissertation in five years. How can I apply for an extension of the PhD period?

In the download area you can download a form to apply for an extension of the doctoral period. This should contain a plausible reason for the extension. The student should have had a discussion with the supervisor beforehand, and by signing the application the supervisor confirms his or her agreement to the extension and his or her willingness to provide further supervision.

Are there format specifications for dissertation submission?

There are no concrete guidelines. We recommend a DinA4 soft weave with a font that is easy to read for the experts. For the title page, the first page of the title page, which is required for the publication of the dissertation, can be used as a template. The template for the title page can be found on the homepage (Point 4: Publishing of the dissertation).

What deadlines must be observed when setting the disputation date?

In principle, the date of the defense should only be set after the expert opinions have been received. Planned defense dates should be communicated to the dean's office as soon as possible so that the meeting of the deadlines can be supervised. The display period after receipt of the reports is 14 days (Doctoral degree regulations § 11 (2) 2)). The doctoral degree committee has stated more precisely a period of at least ten working days, i.e. generally two weeks, with public holidays extending the period. This period cannot be shortened.

The period between the end of the display and the defense provided for by the doctoral regulations is at least two weeks.

My disputation date should take place before the end of the period of 2 weeks between the end of the display and the defense as stipulated by the doctoral regulations. What do I have to do?

A shortening of this period, between the end of the display and the defense, can be requested with the appropriate downloaded form in the dean's office. However, a shortening of the display period is not possible.

Are there format specifications for the dissertation at publication?

There are no concrete guidelines. A DinA5 binding with printing on both sides is recommended. In the case of electronic publications, three copies must be submitted; in the case of published publications, four copies must be submitted.  They must contain the double-page title page confirmed by the printing permit.

What are the prerequisites for dissertation publication?

One prerequisite is the successful defense. Another is the permission to print, which is applied for in the Dean's office with the form  Declaration concerning Differences to the Submitted Dissertation and other documents.

I may not meet the publication deadline of 2 years from the date of disputation. What can I do?

If it is foreseeable that the dissertation will not be published two years after the defense, an informal extension of the publication deadline can be applied for. This application should be exceptional and well-founded.

Can I get a PhD certificate in English?

The doctoral certificate is written in German according to § 19 of the doctoral regulations. An English translation can be provided upon request.

Is it possible to do a doctorate at the WiSo Faculty with a foreign university using a Cotutelle agreement?

In principle, this possibility exists. However, it is not recommended for the following reasons: A cotutelle contract must be negotiated with each partner university together with the legal department. This is a very laborious and time-consuming procedure because foreign universities in particular often have quite different doctoral procedures for which a rapprochement must be found. Once the contract has been signed by the Dean, the supervisor and, if necessary, other persons from both universities, as well as the doctoral supervisor and the doctoral student, all steps in the doctoral procedure must be repeatedly coordinated with the partner university. Experience with the few cotutelle cases carried out to date has shown that the benefit of being able to use the title of both universities after completion of the procedure is out of all proportion to the expenditure - both for the doctoral student and the administration.

A much simpler solution is recommended here: at our faculty, in addition to the supervision by a professor of the faculty, it is possible to apply to the doctoral committee for supervision and assessment by an external professor - also of a foreign university. Then the international character is ensured without having to painstakingly coordinate different procedures.