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Doctoral Regulations of TU Berlin

Please note that this is an unoffical translation of the doctoral regulations of 23. October (AMBl. TU 6/2008, S. 106ff), last altered by the amendments of 13. January 2010 (AMBl. TU 3/2011, S. 34) and 15. January 2014 (AMBl. TU 2/2014, S.24ff).

In case of inconsistency between the German and the English version the German version of the agreement prevails.

Unofficial translation of the doctoral regulations (PDF, 200,3 KB)

§ 1 Overview and Basics

(1)These regulations governing the conferral of doctorates apply to the following university degrees: Doctor of Engineering Sciences (Dr.-Ing.), Doctor of Science (Dr. rer. nat.), Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil.), and Doctor of Economic Sciences (Dr. rer. oec.) at the Technische Universität Berlin. The responsibilities of the faculties for the awarding of doctor’s degrees are laid down in Appendix 1.

(2) The faculties may present proposals to the Senate for awarding a degree according to section 1 honoris causa (h.c.), as well as for honouring outstanding achievements.

(3) The degrees cited in sub-paragraph 1 shall be awarded only once for a special field.

§ 2 Objective and Content of the Doctorate

(1) The doctoral process establishes the qualification that the doctoral candidate has the capability of achieving an independent contribution to scientific research and development. This capability is demonstrated through the acceptance of a written dissertation and a successful scientific defense. 

(2) The dissertation is a scientific treatise written by the doctoral candidate that advances the scientific state-of-the-art in a research area. The focus of the dissertation depends on the doctoral title: for Dr.-Ing. the focus is in an engineering science, for Dr. rer. nat. the focus is in a mathematical or natural science, for Dr. phil. the focus is in the humanities or the social sciences, and for Dr. rer. oec. the focus is in economics or business administration. The dissertation shall be written in German or English. With the approval of the faculty council it may also be written in another language. In any case an abstract of the dissertation must be written in both German and English. A professor or junior professor must represent the field of dissertation in the faculty/school. A prior partial or complete publication of the dissertation is permitted.

(3) The dissertation as a scientific treatise can consist of separate pieces of work published or submitted for publication (kumulative Dissertation or dissertation by publication). Such work must follow an internal logic which has to be coherently demonstrated by a joint introduction and concluding discussion. Further details regarding the type and number of contributions are determined by the faculties.

(4) Prepublication of scientific results which are part of the dissertation or contributions that constitute a cumulative dissertation can be co-authored. In cases of co-authored pieces the applicant has to demonstrate that she or he has substantially contributed to the concept, content and methodology of the piece.

(5) In the scientific defense, the doctoral candidate should present the methodical approach and the scientific results of the dissertation and thereby demonstrate that he or she is capable of carefully structuring and evaluating the problems and findings of the dissertation in the subject of discourse.

§ 3 Admission Requirements

(1) In order to be admitted as doctoral candidate, an applicant must have successfully completed a Master’s Degree of a university or university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or a comparable scientific degree (Diplom, Magister, or Staatsexamen).

The aforementioned scientific university studies have to be successfully completed in an engineering field for the degree of Dr.-Ing., in mathematics or a natural science for a degree of Dr. rer. nat., in the fields of the humanities or social sciences for a degree of Dr. phil., and in economics or business science for a degree of Dr. rer. oec. If the doctoral degree does not match previous university studies, the faculty council may require additional coursework and examinations.

(2) Academically outstanding candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree can be directly admitted to a doctoral degree based on a qualification procedure. They are not required to obtain a further degree according to sentence 1.

Academic excellence is determined by

1.    the successful completion of at least one and up to three admission exams in the subject area of the proposed doctoral research and related fields and one publication in a relevant publication with academic quality assurance. As a rule, the candidates should generally be the first author of the publication or 

2.    the successful completion of the entry phase of a graduate school or a comparable program. The entry phase must have a minimum duration of two semesters, be recognized by the faculty and be completed by at least one exam.

At least one of the exams mentioned in sentence 2, No. 1 will not be conducted by the supervisor. The admission exam verifies that the applicant has the required scientific and methodical abilities in the intended field of doctoral studies. The attendance of courses prior to the exam is not required. The faculty council may determine specific rules for the content, from and implementation of the admission exam. An unsuccessful admission exam cannot be repeated at the same or another faculty of the Technische Universität Berlin. 

(3) If an applicant has completed a Diplom degree at a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) with one of the qualifications “with distinction”, “very good”, or “good”, the scientific ability to conduct doctoral studies must be proven. Such proof is given through passing (at least one, up to three) admission exams in the subject area of the doctoral studies and related fields according to subparagraph 2, after the candidate has applied for admission as doctoral candidate in accordance with § 4. The admission examination verifies that the applicant has the required scientific abilities in the field of the intended doctoral studies.

(4) If the applicant has conducted and completed university studies abroad, the faculty council is entitled to accept the equality of the university degree with a German university degree under consideration of an expertise that should be obtained from the presidial committee of the Technische Universität Berlin. In the event that the faculty council does not accept the equality, additional studies and examinations may be required or the application declined.

(5) The additional qualifications that have been required in subparagraphs 2 to 4, and the proof required in sub-paragraph 2, must be submitted prior to the application for beginning the doctoral process.

(6) The faculty council must decline admission as doctoral candidate if the thesis or similar work of the applicant has already been negatively evaluated within the scope of a doctoral procedure at a scientific university.

§ 4 Application as Doctoral Candidate

(1) The applicant must announce in writing the intention to apply as doctoral candidate at the selected faculty at the earliest possible time. The application must contain a description of the envisioned subject of dissertation, a work plan, as well as the documentation in accordance with § 5, sub-paragraph 1, sentence 3, nos. 1-3 ; candidates that have completed a Diplom degree at a university of applied science (Fachhochschule) must attach their Diplom thesis, as well as any possible additional scientific theses. If the thesis of the applicant is supervised by a professor or junior professor of the faculty, or by a junior research group leader, his or her supervisor must provide a letter of acceptance. Furthermore, the candidate and her or his supervisor or supervisors shall conclude a supervision agreement according to the relevant provisions of Technische Universität Berlin. The aforementioned provisions will be passed by the committee which oversees the doctoral regulations of Technische University Berlin. The dean examines the application and informs the applicant of either acceptance and possible conditions, or a denial in writing according to sub-paragraph 3. 

(2) In the case of an acceptance of his/her application the applicant is entitled to reasonable support of his or her thesis by the faculty within the scope of the available materials and personnel. There is no entitlement to a place of employment in the university. If the advisor has declared his consent, he or she is obligated to consult the applicant unless he or she can substantiate important reasons for the termination of the advisor role to the faculty council.

(3) The faculty council may reject the application only if: 

1.    the field or research topic of the intended dissertation is not covered by a full-time professor in the faculty; 

2.    the thesis seems not to be practicable within the scope of the materials and personnel that are available or by the subject;

3.    the requirements stated in § 3 are not met.

This rejection must be substantiated in writing to the applicant. §11, sub-paragraph 4, sentence 1 applies, accordingly.

(4) With the acceptance of the application the doctoral applicant becomes a doctoral candidate. Unless employed by the Technische Universität Berlin the doctoral candidate is required to register as student at the Technische Universität Berlin in accordance with § 25, sub-paragraph 2 BerlHG (Higher Education Act of Berlin).

§ 5 Admission to the Doctoral Procedure

(1) The application for admission to the doctoral procedure must be directed in writing to the proper faculty. The application is also permissible if the intention to become a doctoral candidate has not been registered in accordance with § 4, sub-paragraph 1, or if the faculty council has rejected the application.

The application for admission to the doctoral procedure must include:

1.    a declaration that the current regulations governing the conferral of doctorates at the Technische Universität Berlin is known;

2.    documentation as required in § 3;

3.    a curriculum vitae in tabular form;

4.    four printed copies of the dissertation and an electronic version in a pdf file. Provided that more than two evaluators will evaluate the thesis, the appropriate amount of copies must be provided.

5.    details as to what extent the dissertation or parts of it have already been published, plus a list of these publications and a copy, if applicable. In the case of co-authored publications a list with names and the demonstration of the own contribution according to § 2 subparagraph 4;

6.    a statutory declaration to the effect that the dissertation has been drawn up independently, that aids and sources have be specified and, in cases of co-authored pieces, that the demonstration of the own contribution is correct;

7.    a declaration as to whether, earlier, or simultaneously, an application for admission as doctoral candidate in accordance with § 4 or a doctoral procedure has been applied for at another university or faculty. If applicable, complete details should be provided about its outcome (see also § 7, subparagraph 4, sentence 3).

(2) The doctoral applicant may propose the evaluator of the dissertation,
whose selection must be justified, in writing, as attachment to 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; after that they will be handed over to the University Archive.

§ 6 Commencement of the Doctoral Procedure

(1) The dean of the faculty will examine the application for the doctoral procedure and determine whether all required conditions are met. If so, the application to the doctoral procedure will be presented immediately to the faculty council for consultation and decision. In the case of denial by the faculty council it will be processed in accordance with § 11, sub-paragraph 4.

(2) The members of the faculty council, as well as the professors and junior professors that are members of the faculty are entitled to inspect the submitted documents.

(3) If the faculty council endorses the application for admission to the doctoral procedure, it will nominate a doctoral committee. This committee consists of a chairman and at least two evaluators, one of whom should not be a member of the Technische Universität Berlin. One of the evaluators can also be a co-author of results or publications which are part of the thesis. In duly justified cases two evaluators can be co-authors if at least one further evaluator is named.

 

(4) The chairman and one evaluator of the doctoral committee must be professors or junior professors of the faculty. In duly justified cases the faculty may decide that non-regular (außerplanmäßig) professors whose main occupation and employment is at the Technische Universität Berlin can be treated equally to full professors regarding the evaluation of doctoral theses. Provided that a professor has been appointed as advisor in accordance with § 4, sub-paragraph 1, he or she will also satisfy the requirements of sentence 1, even after retirement or acting as an emeritus professor. The additional evaluators may also be professors with leave of absence or retired professors, outside lecturers, or extraordinary professors or honorary professors of the faculty. Evaluators may also be professors of another faculty of the Technische Universität Berlin or of another university. In justified cases an evaluator may also be chosen from the circle of other scientists with advanced degrees (Ph.D.).

(5) The dean of the faculty will inform the doctoral candidate of the opening of the doctoral procedure and composition of the doctoral committee.

(6) If the faculty council rejects the application of admission to the doctoral procedure, the dean will immediately inform the applicant. The rejection will be substantiated in writing by the faculty council and supplied with an instruction about the right to appeal. The dean will also inform the presidial committee of the Technische Universität Berlin.

§ 7 Evaluation of the Dissertation

(1) The evaluators will individually and independently judge whether the submitted dissertation may be accepted as a worthy doctoral performance. They will produce written assessments with one of the following qualifications:

very good,

good,

satisfactory,

acceptable, or

not acceptable. 

Before completing their assessments, the evaluators will inform the doctoral candidate about any objections in order to give him/her the opportunity to amend or slightly modify the dissertation.

(2) The assessments of the evaluator should not be presented later than three months after the opening of the doctoral procedure or after submission of an amended version to the dean of the faculty. Copies of the assessments will be submitted to the chairman of the doctoral committee by the dean. Any delay must be explained to the chairman of the doctoral committee.

(3) Provided that the majority of evaluators assess the dissertation positively the chairman of the doctoral committee will propose to the dean the continuation of the doctoral procedure.

(4) Provided that the majority of evaluators assess the dissertation negatively, the dissertation is rejected and the doctoral procedure will be suspended. The dean of the faculty will issue to the doctoral applicant a written notification about the suspension of the doctoral procedure (corresponding with § § 11, sub-paragraph 4, sentence 1). A rejected dissertation must not be presented as a doctoral thesis at another faculty of the Technische Universität Berlin.

(5) Provided that exactly half of the experts evaluate the dissertation negatively, the faculty council, in consultation with the doctoral committee and the doctoral candidate, will nominate another evaluator who should be professor of another university. The majority of evaluators will then decide on the continuation or suspension of the doctoral procedure.

§ 8 Scientific Defense

(1) Provided that the doctoral procedure is continued the dean will arrange with the doctoral committee and the doctoral candidate the date of the scientific defense. For this, the dean will invite the following:

a)    members of the doctoral committee, additional evaluators and the doctoral candidate;

b)    members of the faculty council, professors, junior professors, external lecturers, extraordinary professors or honorary professors and the scientific employees with an advanced degree (PhD) who are members of the faculty, and the presidial committee; 

c)    upon a justified proposal by the doctoral candidate or members of the faculty council: additional scientists who do not have to be members of the Technische Universität Berlin, at least 14 days prior to the scheduled date.

The dissertation is displayed in the faculty administration for review by the persons mentioned in sentence 2 for at least a period of 14 days prior to the scientific defense. Members of the doctoral committee, professors, and members of the faculty committee will have access to the evaluations in accordance with § 7. The dean may grant access to the evaluations to the persons cited under sentence 2, letter c).

(2) The scientific defense is public and held in German or English; the chairman of the doctoral committee may permit exceptions provided that all members of the doctoral committee agree with the decision. The presence of all members of the doctoral committee is required during the entire defense. A simultaneous defense with several doctoral candidates is not permitted.

(3) The scientific defense consists of a talk of normally 30 minutes given by the doctoral candidate about the dissertation and a subsequent discussion with the evaluators about the subject area of the dissertation. Thereafter, with the consent of the doctoral committee’s chairman, the audience may direct questions to the doctoral candidate on the subject of the dissertation. This discussion normally lasts one hour. The scientific defense lasts at least 90 minutes, but should not exceed 120 minutes.

(4) Immediately after the scientific defense the doctoral committee will decide in a non-public meeting whether the doctoral candidate has passed the scientific debate with the mark:

very good,

good,

satisfactory or

acceptable,

or whether the doctorate cannot be awarded due to the results of the scientific debate. Additionally, the doctoral committee aggregates the decisions of the evaluators into a joint decision of:

very good,

good,

satisfactory or

acceptable.

On the basis of the joint decisions about the dissertation and the scientific debate the doctoral committee will decide whether the doctoral procedure has altogether been passed with either:

distinction (or summa cum laude),

very good (or magna cum laude),

good (or cum laude), or

passed (or rite)

The overall decision “passed with distinction” should only be awarded if all evaluators assessed the dissertation as “very good” without qualifications and the scientific defense has been assessed with “very good” without qualification by all members of the doctoral committee.

(5) A written record should be prepared about the scientific defense that must contain at least the following information:

- Place, date and period of the scientific defense;

- Name of doctoral applicant;

- Title of dissertation;

- Members of the doctoral committee;

- Assessment of the dissertation;

- Decision of the scientific debate;

- Overall decision;

- Remarks concerning the publication;

- Attendance list.

The record will be signed by the chairman of the doctoral committee and by the evaluators.

(6) The chairman of the doctoral committee immediately informs the doctoral candidate of the result and issues a preliminary certificate. Slight or stylistic modifications of the dissertation may be agreed between the doctoral candidate and the doctoral committee. The dean will be informed of the overall result of the doctorate and advises the faculty council in the public part of the next council meeting about the doctorate without announcing the mark.

(7) If the doctorate cannot be executed according to the results of the scientific defense it may be repeated once within the next 12 months, and only if the doctoral candidate has applied for a repetition within one month after notification of the results.

(8) If the doctoral candidate has not applied for a repetition of a failed scientific defense, or if the doctoral candidate has not passed the repeated scientific defense, the doctoral procedure will be suspended. The doctoral applicant will be advised accordingly. §11, sub-paragraph 4 will apply for giving a decision.

§ 9 Publication of the Dissertation

(1) Before the doctorate can be awarded to the candidate after successfully passing the scientific defense, the dissertation must be disclosed to the scientific public in a reasonable manner by reproduction and distribution within twelve months after the scientific defense. In duly justified cases and on application to the faculty, this period might be extended.

(2) Disclosure of the dissertation in a reasonable manner to the scientific public will be deemed as fulfilled if the author provides the university library free of charge with the copy of the thesis which has been approved by the doctoral committee for the purpose of dissemination. The university library determines if the provided copy fulfills the relevant requirements. The copy can be provided in the following forms: 

1.    one bound and durable copy and an electronic version, whose data format and data carrier must conform to the requirements of the university library, or

2.    fifteen bound and durable copies in letterpress, or

3.    in the case of monographs three copies, if a commercial publisher agrees to carry out the distribution and commits itself by a contract that the book will be available on the market for four years and is designated as a dissertation, stating the Technische Universität Berlin as the place of dissertation.

(3) The copies provided to the university library have to include a title page according to the requirements of the university. A sample of the title page is available at the university library.

(4) Furthermore, the candidate has to transfer electronically the abstract according to § 2, subparagraph 2, sentence 5 for the purpose to disseminate it through bibliographic databases.

§ 10 Awarding the Doctorate

(1) The dean awards the doctorate by surrendering the doctoral diploma as soon as the doctoral candidate has prepared the documentation in accordance with § 9 and submitted it to the university library.

(2) The diploma contains the subject, the overall decision of the doctoral procedure, the date of the scientific defense, and the dated signatures of the president and the dean, as well as the seal of the Technische Universität Berlin.

(3) With the provision of the doctoral diploma the doctoral candidate is entitled to hold the respectively awarded degree.

(4) The faculty administration maintains a file to keep a record of submitted doctoral applications and awarded doctorates.

§ 11 Withdrawal of the Doctoral Application, Suspension of the Doctoral Procedure

(1) The faculty can only comply with a doctoral candidate’s request for withdrawal of the doctoral application as long as no written evaluation has been submitted.

(2) Provided that the doctoral candidate fails or rejects to comply with a request that has been sent to him/her by the dean with respect to the doctoral procedure, without an accepted remedy from the faculty committee, or if the doctoral candidate fails to submit the revised version of a dissertation without such a reason within a period of twelve months after a positively assessed scientific defense, the doctoral procedure will be suspended through a written declaration of the faculty council. 2The same also applies if, after a written opinion from an evaluator has been submitted, the doctoral candidate advises that he or she does not wish to continue the doctoral procedure.

(3) If it is determined, prior to awarding the doctoral diploma, that the doctoral candidate has made scientific misrepresentations, the faculty council will decide, upon giving the opportunity to the doctoral candidate to comment on the accusations, whether the doctoral procedure should be continued. If there are doubts concerning the arguments or the accusations the procedure will be suspended until clarification.

(4) The dean must issue, substantiate and provide the notifications with an instruction about the right to an appeal in writing. The presidial committee is to be notified.

§ 12 Joint Doctoral Procedure with Foreign Educational Institutions

(1) In order to foster international cooperation the faculty may carry out a joint doctoral procedure with foreign universities or comparable educational institutions.

(2) The scope of the joint doctoral procedure should be stipulated ad hoc in a contractual provision whereby the regulations governing the conferral of doctorates will apply for the joint doctoral procedure. Any deviation from these doctoral regulations may be incorporated within the contractual provision in terms according to the subsequent rules.

(3) It must be ensured that in such country in which the university or comparable educational institution has its seat, and with which the contractual provision is to be concluded, the acquired degree can be held.

(4) The submission of a dissertation and an oral doctoral performance (defense) is required for the joint doctorate. In the event of drafting the dissertation and/or the undertaking of the oral doctoral performance in the national language of the foreign university/comparable educational institution, or other than the German language, a written abstract or summary must be furnished in the German language. A significant part of the elaboration of the dissertation must be carried out at the Technische Universität Berlin.

(5) Besides the chairman of the doctoral committee, each university or comparable educational institution should employ the same number of evaluators to assess the joint doctorate.

(6) The doctoral documents are kept at the university or comparable educational institution where the oral doctoral performance is to be furnished; the other university or comparable educational institution will also receive a copy.

(7) A bilingual doctoral diploma, referring to the joint doctoral procedure and indication of the doctoral degree to be held in the respective country, from the university or comparable educational institution at which the oral doctoral performance has been produced, will be awarded and signed and sealed from both universities or comparable educational institutions.

§ 13 Honorary Doctorates

(1) At the request of a faculty the Technische Universität Berlin may award, by decision of the Academic Senate, the following academic degrees for honoring outstanding economic merit pertaining to one of its functions: “Honorary Doctor of Engineering Sciences” (Dr.-Ing. E. h.), “Honorary Doctor of Natural Sciences” (Dr. rer. nat. h. c.), “Honorary Doctor of Philosophy” (Dr. phil. h. c.) and “Honorary Doctor of Economics” (Dr. rer. oec. h. c.). The person to be honoured should not be an active member of the Technische Universität Berlin.

(2) The resolutions of the faculty council require two readings. Both votes are secret.

(3) The Academic Senate must also decide on the honorary doctorate. Details are governed by the regulations of the Academic Senate.

(4) An additional conferral of the academic honorary degree according to sub-paragraph 1 is only possible if a previous conferral has been made by another university or for other reasons.

(5) The honorary doctorate is awarded by handing over the certificate that has been signed by the president and the dean and received the seal of the Technische Universität Berlin in which the merits of the doctorate should be emphasised.

(6) All German-speaking universities will be notified by the presidial committee of the Technische Universität Berlin about the conferral.

§ 14 Revocation of a Doctoral Degree

(1) The revocation of academic degrees occurs pursuant to § 1 in accordance with the statutory provisions.

(2) The committee of the Technische Universität Berlin notifies about the revocation all German-speaking universities and the members of the Senate of Berlin who are responsible for universities. 

(3) The aforementioned provisions apply correspondingly to the revocation of honorary degrees.

§ 15 Transitional Arrangements

Doctoral procedures that have been commenced prior to the enactment of this regulation will be concluded in accordance with the regulations that have been in effect so far. Applicants that have 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, conclude their doctorate in accordance with the regulations that were valid for them upon application.

The choice should be made irrevocably with the application when commencing the doctoral procedure.

§ 16 Effectiveness

(1) This regulation will come into effect the day after publication in the Official Information Bulletin (OIB) of the Technische Universität Berlin – Berlin Institute of Technology.

(2) Except in the field of activity of § 15, the regulations for the conferring of the degree “Doctor of Engineering Science” in its revised version of 31 March 1996 (OIB UAT No. 91996), last amendment on 29 November 2000 (OIB UAT 2001 page 113), the regulations for the conferring of the degree “Doctor of Natural Sciences” at the Technische Universität Berlin, 8 October 1993 (OIB UAT No. 2 dated 28 February 1994), last amendment on 29 November 2000 (OIB UAT 2001 page 111), the regulations for the conferring of the degree ”Doctor of Philosophy” in its revised version of 9 July 1996 (OIB UAT No. 6 of 2 September 1996), last amendment on 14 June 2000 (OIB UAT 2001, page 115), and the regulations of the faculties of economy and management, as well as computer sciences at the Technische Universität Berlin for the conferral of the degree “Doctor of Economic Sciences” dated 11 May and 29 June 1988 (OIB UAT page 141), last amendment on 22 May 2002 (OIB UAT 2002, page 82), will step out of force.

Annex to the Doctoral Regulations of the Technische Universität Berlin

Responsibilities of the faculties for the awarding of doctoral degrees: 

The degree “Doctor of Engineering Sciences” is awarded by the faculties II, III, IV, V, VI and VII. 

The degree “Doctor of Natural Sciences” is awarded by the faculties I, II, III, I V, V, VI and VII. 

The degree “Doctor of Philosophy” is awarded by the faculties I, V und VI. 

The degree “Doctor of Economic Sciences” is awarded by the faculties VI and VII.

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