Doctoral Studies Procedures
We only process applications for admission ELECTRONICALLY.
Application documents in paper form will neither be requested nor accepted!
Pre-Review of the admission requirements necessary?
In the following cases, please make sure you meet the admission requirements before you apply for a doctoral studies program:
- Master's degree wasn't obtained in physics
- Master's degree was obtained outside of Germany
- Master's degree was obtained at an university of applied sciences (=Fachhochschule)
Please note in these cases the following information sheet:
Send questions and applications for review of admission requirements to Irmgard Flick
admission to doctoral procedures
We only process applications for admission electronically!
Application documents in paper form will neither be requested nor accepted!
The application for admission to doctoral studies must be submitted to the subject doctoral committee PHYSICS before starting the doctoral project.
The following application documents must be prepared in electronic form for the online application for admission to doctoral procedures and submitted compulsorily as part of the online application:
- Copies of your degree certificates (e.g. bachelor’s and master’s degree): certificate of academic degree, transcript of records, diploma supplement (if issued and already available)
- If your degree certificates are issued in another language than German or English, please submit a certified translation (in German or English) of your degree certificates.
- Completed and fully signed supervision agreement: Please use this form only.
- Completed and fully research project outline: Please use this form only.
- Copy of certificate of higher education entrance eligibility (secondary school leaving certificate: dt. Abitur/Reifezeugnis)
- Copy of identification document (e.g. ID card, passport, visa)
- Curriculum vitae and if available, publication list
- Only for candidates with a Master's degree outside Germany: Copy of the title of the Master's thesis and abstract of the Master's thesis
- Only if applicable: Statement attesting that you have previously applied for a doctorate at another higher education institution, in another faculty of Universität Hamburg or in another department of the MIN Faculty of Universität Hamburg (including details on the application).
The online application is done through Docata-MIN and includes two sections:
- Register in Docata-MIN: Create user account and set password
- Log in to Docata-MIN with the login data of the user account and fill in the online application for admission to doctoral procedures.
- Complete the first section of the online application and download the PDF application file "Application for admission to doctoral procedures": tick the applicable declarations in the PDF application file and sign the "Application for admission to doctoral procedure"s by yourself and having it signed by the other persons/entities listed in the application. Scanned and electronic signatures are allowed.
Log in to Docata-MIN and complete the second section of the online application: upload the fully signed Application for admission to doctoral procedures and the remaining application documents (see above) in ONE PDF file (max. size 30 MB) to Docata-MIN and submit via Docata-MIN.
Please note: Only complete applications can be processed. If application documents of the mandatory documents listed above are missing or signatures are missing, the application cannot be submitted to the Subject Doctoral Committee PHYSICS. In such a case you will be informed by us and you will have to repeat the online application (section 1 and/or section 2)! To avoid this, we ask you to submit the above-mentioned application documents completely and signed within the online application.
In the FAQ for the online application for admission to doctoral procedures linked here, you will find all information about the application process with screenshots for all sections. Please make sure to read them before you start the online application process.
As soon as the Subject Doctoral Committee PHYSICS has decided on your application for admission, we will inform you about the decision. In case of admission, you will receive an official letter of admission. Please use this letter to enroll at Campus Center afterwards.
At Universität Hamburg doctoral students must be enrolled for the duration of their doctoral studies in accordance with the Hamburg Higher Education Act (Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz, HmbHG) (Section 70 subsection 5) and the MIN Doctoral Degree Regulations.
If the Physics Subject Doctoral Committee accepts your admission application, use your acceptance letter to enroll. Please do this by the end of the semester following the beginning of your doctoral studies.
Request an extension
If you need to prolong your doctoral project, please use exclusively the following form
Please note that you must hold your disputation within the admission period.
Submit the dissertation
composition of examination commission
For every doctoral procedure there is an individual doctoral examination commission that has to consist predominantly of university teachers and, according to the rule or order (german) § 7 (PDF), is usually composed as follows:
- a chair who must be a university teacher and a member of the Subject Doctoral Committee PHYSICS (PDF)
- the dissertation supervisor = first assessor of the dissertation
- the second assessor of the dissertation
- two more persons, authorized to supervise doctoral procedures
Members of the examination commission should represent a broad subject spectrum. If possible, members should not all come from the same institute. A balanced commission should include at least one experimental and one theoretical physicist.
Dissertation evaluators have six weeks to submit their reports.
how to apply
We only process applications to open the doctorate proceedings (i.e. submission of the dissertation for evaluation) electronically!
Application documents in paper form (except 1 printed examination copy of the dissertation) are neihter requested nor accepted!
The following application documents must be prepared in electronic form for the online application to open the doctorate proceedings and submitted compulsorily as part of the online application:
- Dissertation as a PDF file with signed declaration on oath - please be sure to observe the requirements regarding form of dissertation listed below
- Current enrollment certificate (= semester certificate)
- Current curriculum vitae incl. publication list
- Only if not already submitted during the application process for admission to doctoral procedures: Copy of identification document (e.g. ID card, passport, visa)
- Please note: If you have changed your name after admission to doctoral procedures (e.g. due to marriage) and have not yet reported the name change to us (at the Doctoral Office), attach the relevant proof of the name change (e.g. marriage certificate) to the rest of the application documents.
- Only if applicable: Proof of interruptions of your doctorate
The online application is done through Docata-MIN and includes two sections:
- Log in to Docata-MIN with the login data of your user account (see FAQ for further information) and fill in the online application to open the doctorate proceedings.
- Complete the first section of the online application and download the PDF application file "Application to open the doctorate proceedings": tick the applicable declarations in the PDF application file and sign it by yourself and having it signed by the other persons/entities listed in the application. Scanned and electronic signatures are allowed.
Log in to Docata-MIN and complete the second section of the online application: upload the fully signed "Application to open the doctorate proceedings" and the remaining application documents (see above) in ONE PDF file (max. size 10 MB) to Docata-MIN and submit via Docata-MIN.
Please also submit ONE printed examination copy of the dissertation to the doctoral studies office for archiving purposes - either by post or by dropping it in the big, red letterbox at Jungiusstraße 9, ground floor left. No further paper copies of the dissertation are to be submitted to the doctoral studies office.
Please note: Only complete applications can be processed.
If application documents of the mandatory documents listed above are missing or signatures are missing, the application cannot be submitted to the Subject Doctoral Committee PHYSICS. In such a case you will be informed by us and you will have to repeat the online application (section 1 and/or section 2)!
In the FAQ for the online application to open the doctorate proceedings linked here, you will find all information about the application process with screenshots for all sections. Please make sure to read them before you start the online application process.
form of dissertation
Please note: If the submitted examination copy of dissertation does not correspond to the prescribed form, it will not be accepted by the Doctoral Studies Office, but will be returned for revision:
- print on both sides
- 80 g/m2 paper
- DIN-A4 paper
- bound (not spiral)
- mandatory parts:
- Language of dissertation: English or German (if another language than these two will be used, please submit an informal request to the PHYSICS Subject Doctoral Committee)
- Beyond that, there are no more rules about font size or type, margins, structure, or other layout conventions.
planning the oral defense
Time schedule based on the regulations in the MIN Doctoral Degree Regulations and the decision of the Subject Doctoral Committee PHYSICS, 18th meeting on 30.04.2014:
- The evaluators have 6 weeks to submit their reports from date of assignment.
- After receipt of all reports, the entire examination committee decides on the basis of the reports on the acceptance or rejection of the dissertation, the determination of the dissertation grade as well as on the admission of the doctoral candidate to the oral defense.
According to experience, this vote and decision takes about 1 week.
- Only after all reports have been submitted and the subsequent positive decision on the acceptance of the dissertation and admission to the oral defense, the Doctoral Studies Office is authorized to send the invitation to the disputation.
The invitation period should not be less than 2 weeks.
Doctoral candidates should allow a reasonable time for processing the application for the opening of the examination procedure as well as for all mentioned subsequent work steps.
Due to the above-mentioned deadlines, we strongly recommend planning at least 10 weeks between the submission of the dissertation and the date of oral defense.
If an earlier date for oral defense is planned, the doctoral candidate is responsible for arranging an earlier submission of the reports with the evaluators as well as asking the examination committee for a timely vote on the acceptance of the dissertation and admission to the oral defense.
The Doctoral Studies Office will not send any reminders to the evaluators before the 6 weeks have expired.
The binding registration of the oral defense by submitting the form "Registration for the Oral Defense" to the Doctoral Studies Office can only be made AFTER receipt of the dissertation grade. Registrations submitted before this date will be returned.
For further information on the registration for oral defense, please refer to the next section "Register for the oral defense".
Register for the oral defense
The date and place of the oral defense as well as the form in which it is conducted must be agreed by the doctoral candidate in agreement with the members of the examination committee. The oral defense should take place within 2 months of the last submitted evaluation.
Please submit the following signed form by e-mail AFTER you have received the dissertation grade and no later than 2.5 weeks before the oral defense takes place:
Registrations submitted before receipt of the dissertation grade will be returned by the Doctoral Studies Office.
The regulations for oral defenses in this instruction sheet must be observed.
For oral defenses in presence (i.e. partially-digital or in full presence), the protection and hygiene measures defined at the Universität Hamburg apply: these can be found in the instructions of the Executive University Board and in the FAQ of the Universität Hamburg.
If the doctoral candidate, in agreement with the examination committee, wants to change the mode of conduct of the already scheduled oral defense, it is mandatory to send a new signed form "Registration for the Oral Defense" (PDF) by email to the Doctoral Studies Office Physics.
Publication & doctoral degree certificate
After having registered officially the disputation, the doctoral student receives from the Doctoral Studes Office the "docket for the publication of the dissertation", which documents the fulfillment of publication requirement:
1. Permission to publish your dissertation
- If you wish to publish your dissertation without changes, that is, in the version in which it was graded:
→ please confirm this with your own signature on the docket.
- If you want to make changes to the final, graded version of your dissertation:
→ please let the docket sign by the person that was named for it by the examination commission at the oral defense. He/She must approve the dissertation in the modified version for publication.
If you carry out your doctorate under the MIN Doctoral Degree Regulations (2018), please note that you are only allowed to make substantive changes to the final, graded version of your dissertation.
Once the dissertation has been authorized for publication, you can initiate publication procedures.
2. Publication at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg (= Stabi)
- The doctoral student can decide for himself or herself in which form he or she wants to publish the thesis at Stabi. The mandatory number of print copies that have to be submitted to Stabi depends on form of publication:
form of publication print copies that have to be submitted to Stabi as E-dissertation 2 as print medium 35 as cumulative dissertation 6 in a commercial or non-commercial publishing house 6
- the faculty doctoral committee recommends publication as e-dissertation (contact: https://www.sub.uni-hamburg.de/service/publizieren/dissertationen/e-dissertationen-der-uhh.html)
- Stabi send automatically a confirmation about effected publication to doctoral studies office and doctoral student by email (usually 2-3 days after successful publication)
3. Submission of printed copy to the departmental library
- Irrespective of publication at the Stabi, 1 printed copy must always be submitted to the departmental library.
- Please complete the following form online before submitting your thesis to department library: Dissmasterformular
- After the docket has been signed by staff of departmental library, please send the fully signed docket to us by email.
4. Submission of complete docket to the Doctoral Studies Office
- NEW: Since December 2021, no copy of thesis intended for publication must be submitted to the Doctoral Studies Office any more.
- After submitting the completed docket to doctoral studies office and after receipt of the confirmation by Stabi, the Doctoral Studies Office is entitled to hand over the doctoral degree certificate.
- The doctoral degree certificate will usually be handed over within three months as of receipt of notification about the fulfillment of publication requirements (= submission of complete docket). The doctoral student will be informed automatically as soon as the certificate is ready for collection.
Dissertation publication period:
According to MIN doctoral degree regulations, the dissertation must be published within one year following completion of doctoral studies. If the dissertation cannot be published within this period, the chair of the subject doctoral committee can extend the deadline upon request.
Cumulative and interdisciplinary dissertations
You may submit a cumulative dissertation consisting of individual papers that, taken together, are comparable to a dissertation pursuant to Section 7 subsection 2a (Section 7 subsection 2 MIN-PromO).
The Subject Doctoral Committee decides upon interdisciplinary dissertations. Assessments must adequately represent all subjects involved. If the Subject Doctoral Committee does not deem itself responsible, the Faculty Doctoral Committee can decide.
Structured doctoral program (graduate schools), doctoral fundings, and career development
Notify us of your membership in a structured doctoral program (graduate school)
- Membership in a structured doctoral program/graduate school is reported when applying for admission to a doctorate via Docata
- In case your membership in a graduate school or a doctoral program starts after being admissioned please email the form "Notification in case of a change of individual doctoral study into a structured doctoral study" (PDF) to the doctoral studies office.
Some of the structured doctoral programs in physics
- PIER-Helmholtz Graduate School (PHGS)
- CUI Graduate School
- Quantum Universe Research School (QURS)
- IMPRS for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics
- Lothar Collatz School for Computing in Science
- SFB 925 Light induced dynamics and control of correlated quantum systems
- SFB 986 Tailor-Made Multi-Scale Materials Systems - M3
- GrK 2536 NANOHYBRID
- MIN Graduate School (MINGS)
Fund your doctoral studies
The Individual Development Plan (IDP) from MINGZ helps you take your individual professional development into your own hands and make the transition to your later career easier.
Cancellation of the doctorate / termination of supervision relationship
Cancellation of the Doctorate
Should you want to cancel your doctorate, please fill out as soon as possible the
sign it and get the signatures of all (co-) supervisors. In the case of co-supervisors, they can simply sign next to or below the supervisor's signature.
Please mail the complete form then to promotionen"AT"physik.uni-hamburg.de.
Termination of Supervision Relationship
If for compelling reasons a (co-) supervisor or a doctoral study chooses to terminate the supervisory relationship during the doctorate, then he or she must inform the doctoral committee chair without undue delay of the reasons therefor.
Please fill out, sign and let sign the
and mail it then to promotionen"AT"physik.uni-hamburg.de.
After the agreement ends, the doctoral candidate can look for a new supervisor. The PHYSICS Subject Doctoral Committee helps doctoral candidates with their search.
Information on exmatriculation can be found on the Campus Center website.
However, there may be overlaps or delays in exmatriculation, as completed doctorates are not regularly transmitted to the Campus Center. If, after your successful oral defense, you receive a request to re-enroll for the upcoming semester, you can consider this request as irrelevant. Then you will also be exmatriculated to the end of the semester in which you complete your doctorate (i.e. 31.03. or 30.09).
Good scientific practice
Follow the guidelines for good scientific practice published by the conference of physics departments (Konferenz der Fachbereiche Physik, KFP) and outlined in the Universität Hamburg bylaws and the guidelines of the German Research Foundation (DFG) when writing your dissertation.
- KFP: Good scientific practice for scientific qualification reports and theses in physics (PDF)
- DFG: Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice / Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis (PDF)
- UHH: Bylaws for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct at Universität Hamburg (PDF)
Upon the suggestion of several professors in the department, the extended departmental board can request that the Subject Doctoral Committee initiate procedures to award an honorary doctorate.
The Subject Doctoral Committee receives three assessments and appoints an honorary doctorate commission pursuant to Section 8 to review the conditions for awarding an honorary doctorate. Two of these assessments should be prepared by external assessors.
The honorary doctorate commission forwards a draft resolution to the faculty council. The awarding of an honorary doctorate requires a three-fourths majority of faculty council members with voting rights. Conferral takes place when a certificate listing the recipient’s accomplishments is handed over.