Doctoral Studies Procedures
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
Register for doctoral procedure
Register for doctoral studies no later than three months after beginning the doctoral project by submitting the following documents to the Physics Doctoral Studies Office:
- online registration for doctoral studies (via Docata) including all required signatures
- Supervision Agreement (PDF)
- research outline (PDF)
- curriculum vitae
- list of publications
- academic transcripts and diplomas (bachelor’s and master’s)—certified copies or uncertified copies along with original documents
- certificate of higher entrance education eligibility (secondary school leaving certificate: Abitur/Reifezeugnis)—uncertified copy
- copy of your personal ID or passport
- only for candidates with master certificate out of Germany: copy of title and English abstract of master thesis
The Physics Subject Doctoral Committee will decide on your application promptly. You will receive an acceptance letter in writing.
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
The following rules apply to extending admission deadlines
If you need to prolong your doctoral project, please use the form
Please note that you must hold your disputation within the admission period.
Send questions and extension requests to Irmgard Flick
Submit the dissertation
Submit the following with your dissertation to the Physics Doctoral Studies Office:
- The "Application for the opening of the doctorate proceedings" (generated in Docata)
- current CV including a list of publications
- 1 print copy of your dissertation - please be sure to observe the requirements regarding form of dissertation listed below
- copy of your ID
- copy of your current matriculation certificate
- copy of your higher education eligibility (=secondary school leaving certificate: f.ex. high school diploma)
composition of examination commission
For every doctoral procedure there is an individual doctoral examination commission.
This consists predominantly of university teachers (Section 8 subsection 2 MIN-PromO) and is usually composed as follows:
- a chair who must be a university teacher and a member of the Physics Subject Doctoral Committee (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.
Important: Dissertation evaluators have six weeks to submit their reports.
Exceptional case: if the second assessor of the dissertation cannot participate in the oral defense. In this case, another person authorized to supervise doctoral procedures will be assigned.
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.
Register for the oral defense
After the assessment has been submitted, the examination commission decides whether to accept or reject the dissertation and admit the doctoral candidate to the oral defense. It also grades the dissertation.
In agreement with the doctoral candidate, the commission schedules the oral defense, which should take place within 2 months of the last submitted assessment.
There are about 10 weeks between submitting and defending the dissertation. The oral defense is scheduled after the exam commission grades your dissertation. (Hence the date for the oral exam suggested by the student in Docata is not final)
To schedule your oral defense use the
- Form "Registration for the Oral Defense" (PDF) (submission via email is sufficient)
The invitation period begins with the invitation to defend your dissertation (posted on the proper bulletin boards) and ends when the oral defense begins. The invitation period should last for at least 14 days.
Resolution of the 18th session of the Subject Doctoral Committee, 30.04.2014
Publication & doctoral degree certificate
Immediately after the disputation, the doctoral student receives from the chair of the examination commission the "docket for the publication of the dissertation", which documents the fulfillment of publication requirement:
1. Permission to publish your dissertation
For doctorates under the 2010 doctoral degree regulations:
- If you wish to publish your dissertation without changes, that is, in the version in which it was graded, you need:
→ confirmation in the form of signatures.
- If you make changes to the final, graded version of your dissertation:
→ consent/confirmation in the form of a signature from the examination commission member named by the examination commission.
For doctorates under the 2018 doctoral degree regulations:
- If you wish to publish your dissertation without changes, that is, in the version in which it was graded you need:
→ you need confirmation in the form of signatures.
- If you make substantive changes to the final, graded version of your dissertation you need:
→ to submit an informal application to the chair of the examination commission (please submit in the doctoral studies office);
→ consent/confirmation in the form of a signature from the examination commission member named by the examination commission.
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 in which form he wants to publish. 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/open-access-publizieren/e-dissertationen-der-uhh.html)
- After successful publication, Stabi will automatically send a confirmation about effected publication to doctoral studies office
3. Submission of deposit copy to the department library
- Irrespective of publication at the Stabi, 1 printed copy must always be submitted to the department library.
- Please complete the following form online before submitting your dissertation to department library: Dissmasterformular aus.
4. Submission of deposit copy and docket to the doctoral studies office
- If you've made changes to the final, graded version of your dissertation (see point 1.), 1 printed copy must always be submitted to the doctoral studies office.
- After submitting the completed docket to doctoral studies office and after receipt of the postal confirmation of Stabi, the staff of the doctoral studies office are entitled to hand over the doctorate degree certificate.
- The doctoral degree certificate should be handed over within three months as of notification about the fulfillment of publication requirements. The doctoral student will be informed automatically as soon as the certificate is ready for collection.
Dissertation publication period:
The publication of the dissertation has to be accomplished within one year following completion of doctoral studies. The doctoral committee can authorize an extension of the period of publication on informal request by the doctoral student with statement of reasons. The request has to be sent to the doctoral studies office.
Ending the supervision agreement prematurely / Cancellation of the doctorate
If for compelling reasons a supervisor chooses to terminate the supervisory relationship during the course of dissertation work, then he or she must inform the doctoral committee chair without undue delay of the reasons therefor.
After the agreement ends, the doctoral candidate can look for a new supervisor. The PHYSICS Subject Doctoral Committee helps doctoral candidates with their search (Section 6 subsection 9 MIN-PromO).
Fill out and submit the
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)
- KFP: Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis bei wissenschaftlichen Qualifikationsarbeiten in der Physik, german (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)
- UHH: Satzung zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis und zur Vermeidung wissenschaftlichen Fehlverhaltens an der Universität Hamburg (PDF)
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.
Doctoral programs, graduate schools, and research training groups
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
- Doctoral funding at Universität Hamburg
- Guide to doctoral funding
- especially: Doctoral scholarships at Universität Hamburg
Notify us of your membership in a doctoral program, graduate school, or research training group
- Please use Docata to register
- In case your membership in a graduate school or a doctoral program starts after being admissioned please hand in the form "Notification in case of a change of individual doctoral study into a structured doctoral study" (PDF) at the doctoral studies office.
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.