Can I transfer my doctorate 1

Please note that changes may occur due to the current situation. You will find these continuously updated on the website PhDs

This page answers questions about the different phases of a doctorate procedure for,, Here you can find information about

Overview of FAQs

Acceptance as a PhD student


You have the M1, a supervisor and a doctoral project

To do

Completed application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate, submit it to the doctoral office / send it to the doctoral office, submit documents: Copy of the M1 certificate and supervision agreement. For external doctoral procedures (additionally): form for external applicants


Once you have been accepted as a doctoral candidate, your doctoral project is official. Acceptance will only take place once the ethics committee has approved the application. Your fully completed application will be forwarded by the doctoral office to the ethics committee. Once accepted, you will be a member of the University's Graduate Academy.

How do I find a topic for my doctoral thesis?

via speculative application to a qualified member of the faculty (with detailed documents including letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and certificates, preferably in a pdf file), at the doctoral exchange (see announcements on the homepage) or via the homepage (under vacant doctoral positions).

When do I have to register my doctoral thesis?

Immediately upon starting the research work. You can find detailed information on this here

What do I have to pay attention to before applying for acceptance?

Independent control of the documents for completeness - incomplete applications will not be processed and returned, knowledge of the applicable doctoral regulations.

Who do I have to contact during the preparation of the doctoral thesis?

The most important point of contact in the entire doctoral process is the main supervisor who has qualified as a doctoral supervisor (the doctoral supervisor). With him / her you enter into the contract on the supervisory relationship. Another member of the research group often acts as an additional supervisor.

What is an ethics vote?

The ethics committee must approve all scientific work in biomedical and clinical research (see also leaflet on the doctoral procedure in the download area).

Do I have to be enrolled to do a doctorate?

Since March 30, 2018, after acceptance as a doctoral candidate by the faculty, you have to enroll in the Student Administration Office of the University of Tübingen, see Section 38, Paragraph 5, Clause 1, first half of the State University Act. You can find specific information on the website of the student secretariat

Can I do my doctorate in Tübingen if I have studied at another university?

According to § 3 (1) of the doctoral degree regulations: “The applicant should have studied at least two semesters at the Medical Faculty of the University of Tübingen or have worked in the Medical Faculty of Tübingen for at least one year. At the applicant's request, the doctoral committee can allow exceptions in justified cases before the start of the doctoral procedure. "

If your supervisor does not work full-time at the MFT, we ask you to submit a suggestion for an additional supervisor who will form a support team with the main supervisor.

Please enclose a declaration of consent from the main supervisor with the application.

If you are accepted as a doctoral candidate, the following condition applies: During the doctoral period and at least every 6 months, supervisory discussions with the supervisory team must take place and be documented (preferably in the faculty's doctoral logbook. A total of at least three such interviews must be proven when applying for admission to the doctorate from the beginning of the doctoral period, when the data acquisition is completed and before the dissertation is submitted.

Admission to the doctoral procedure

Requirement / to-do

requirement: Independently developed and created dissertation thesis, approval of the doctoral supervisor for the submission of the document, attendance of an event on good scientific practice

To do: Submission of an application for admission to the doctoral procedure with the currently requested documents (see application for admission). For information on the plagiarism check, see below.

Remarks: After completion of the dissertation, the actual doctoral procedure (the examination procedure) begins with the admission. Please note that only complete applications can be processed.

How many copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the doctoral office for assessment (with the application for admission to the doctoral procedure)?

A total of three copies have to be prepared. Please hand in two copies in a sturdy clip binder in the doctoral office. You can give a third copy directly to your supervisor (doctoral supervisor).

Do I have to submit the application for admission in person to the doctoral office?

No, you can also send the complete approval documents by post or ask someone to hand them over. Please note that incomplete documents will be returned to you unprocessed.

When and how is the plagiarism check carried out?

In order to have the dissertation checked for text adoption ("plagiarism check" - mandatory since May 12, 2016), you must send an electronic version of the paper to the doctoral office by email when or after submitting the dissertation in paper form. The plagiarism check is only carried out after all necessary approval documents have been received. On the application for approval, you certify that this version corresponds to the font submitted in the clip folder. You also affirm here that you are aware that the use of third-party sources that have not been identified represents an attempt at deception.

We check your writing (personal data will be removed by us beforehand) with the plagiarism finder "PlagScan" for text and data matches. In the pdf report that we receive as a result, all points are marked for which matches with other sources were found; these sources are also given. You and your supervisor will receive the report by e-mail with the request to check it for harmlessness (that is: are all transfers correctly marked?). You both sign a declaration of no objection and submit it by post or in person to the doctoral office during consultation hours. Only then will your dissertation be assessed.

If the report gives indications of incorrectly quoted acquisitions, submit an informal letter to the doctoral office with the consent of your supervisor and request that the script be revised. We then need these in duplicate (loose sheets) or, in the case of minor revisions, the pages to be replaced. A new plagiarism check is then no longer planned.

Can the dissertation also be written in English?

Yes, the dissertation can be written in both German and English. In the case of English work, a German summary must also be added.

What is a sturdy clip binder / clip binder?

Is available in specialist office shops under this term (see "Klemmbinder" on the Internet at Wikipedia).

In which format do I submit the dissertation for assessment to the doctoral office?

The following format is recommended: DIN A4, printed on one side, line spacing: 1.5 lines, bibliography on one line, font size: Arial or Times New Roman 12, legends can be printed on one line and in smaller font, the distance to all margins should be 3 cm.

Please note that the final print version will be reduced to DIN A 5. It is therefore advisable to first choose a correspondingly large font (12 pt) and not to design the images too small so that the pages remain legible after being reduced to DIN A5 and the page design can thus be retained. Apart from the print format, the deposit copies that you submit to the university library at the end of the doctoral procedure must match the version of the dissertation submitted for assessment. When designing figures and tables, please note that the number of colored pages can significantly increase printing costs.

Are there regulations for the structure of the dissertation?

Yes. You will find information in the leaflet "Best practice".

What are the requirements for a cumulative dissertation?

In exceptional cases, independently written publications or manuscripts accepted for publication can also be included in the dissertation.
Before submitting an application, you must submit an application to the doctoral committee. This contains:

- a cover letter (signed by the supervisor and doctoral student)

- Curriculum vitae with details of the degrees

- List of publications (published or accepted for publication (otherwise: submit classic dissertation))

- the publications as pdf

- a declaration of the authors' contributions to the publications (declaration of personal contribution)

Further important information can be found in the "Best practice" leaflet. If your application is accepted, you have to give a summary introduction and discussion. The co-authors of your publications must also give their consent.


Requirement / to-do

requirement: Registration documents complete

To do: In the review phase (usually 4-6 months) you can do nothing but wait for the message from the doctoral office, which will inform you of the result (or preliminary result in the form of recommendations for revision by an expert). Questions about the status of an ongoing review process are not answered,

Remarks: The assessment is usually carried out by the main supervisor and a second assessor appointed by the faculty. The main supervisor has the option of suggesting an independent second reviewer. Proposals will not be accepted by the doctoral student. See below for information on makeover recommendations.

How long does the review process take?

The review process takes at least 4-6 months.

How do I get information on the status of my doctoral procedure?

The doctoral office cannot give you any information about ongoing procedures, but we recommend an active exchange with your supervisor.

What are the main reasons for recommending changes to the dissertation?

Before the appraisal

  • Declaration on personal contribution is not informative enough to assess which parts of the dissertation were written by the doctoral student on his own responsibility (see suggested formulation on the homepage)
  • Dissertation does not meet the minimum standards of the faculty (scope, format, etc.)
  • Sources are not adequately specified (often occurs when the data of the dissertation are published - all images and texts must be cited in the dissertation).

During the appraisal

  • Unclear designation of the figures / tables
  • Incorrect statistics
  • Citation errors (for information see leaflet)
  • Missing, important literature on the topic
  • Scope of approx. 50 pages not fulfilled
  • When will the next event on good scientific practice take place?

comment: If changes are necessary, you will be informed by the doctoral office. The review process will only be resumed once the revised document is available.

Oral examination (see also information sheet on the disputation)

Requirement / to-do

requirement: End of the assessment (availability of the reports, end of the display period)

To do: You will receive an email from the doctoral office that the assessment of your dissertation has been completed. You contact your doctoral supervisor and discuss how you can organize the disputation. Points to be observed are: How is the second examiner (usually the second examiner) contacted, date and place of the disputation, public announcement.

comment: After the disputation has been passed, the doctoral office receives the examination protocol from the main supervisor.

Who has to take an oral exam?

All doctoral candidates must take an oral doctoral examination. The state examination can no longer be recognized for this. This is based on the amendments to the State University Act of April 2014, according to which all doctoral procedures include an oral examination in which the dissertation is part of the subject of the examination. Doctoral students who registered their doctoral thesis before 07/30/2014 and who submitted their application for admission to the doctoral procedure and all the required documents in full by 07/29/2016 can choose whether they choose a Rigorosum or a disputation as the form of examination.

What should you watch out for in the oral examination as a disputation?

The disputation is the public defense of the dissertation. In the case of the written performance “summa cum laude” and in the doctoral procedure for a doctorate in human sciences (, Three examiners are appointed to the disputation and the performance is graded. In all other cases, two examiners are present and it is graded with “passed” or “failed”.

What should you watch out for in the oral exam as a Rigorosum?

The Rigorosum is an oral examination in two subjects, one of which is the doctoral subject, the other subject can be chosen from a list of subjects available in the doctoral office. In addition, you will be examined for your dissertation. This examination is not open to the public; the participants are the two examiners appointed by the dean and the examinee. It is rated as “passed” or “failed”. The exam is passed if it has been passed in both subjects. If the exam is passed, the overall grade of the doctorate corresponds to that of the written performance.

When can I take the oral exam?

After the display period has expired, you will receive an email from the doctoral office, which will inform you about the end of the assessment of your work and ask you to organize the disputation within the next 6 weeks. You should then contact your supervisor immediately to organize the exam. You could ask your supervisor in advance to let you know as soon as he or she finds out that your dissertation is on display.

How is the disputation organized?

The organization of the disputation (date and location) is organized by the doctoral candidate himself. It is recommended to work with the supervisor of the dissertation to determine a suitable framework (e.g. an institute seminar). The disputation must take place in Tübingen.

Who takes care of the logistic?

The doctoral student in coordination with the supervisor and second reviewer.

Who will test me

As a rule, the supervisor and second reviewer are asked to take the exam. If you have scheduling problems or the like, please contact your supervisor or the doctoral office so that another examiner can be appointed.

As soon as the date, location and examiner have been selected, please inform the doctoral office 2-3 weeks before the examination date by email. From there, the official appointment of the examiners and an invitation to all participants take place. The examiner who works full-time at the faculty is appointed as the chairman of the examination.

How do I find out who the second reviewer is?

At the latest when the display is made, your supervisor will know who your second reviewer is. You are also welcome to find out about this after the display period after sending an email to the doctoral office.

How can I see the reviews of my dissertation?

You can view the reviews of your dissertation after consultation with the doctoral office. Viewing is only possible on site. Unfortunately, we cannot send you the reports. You are welcome to take notes during the review - copying is not possible either.

The exam is public - what does that mean?

Interested parties can appear for the examination, as many as the given framework (i.e. the space) allows. The disputation is to be announced e.g. via a notice in the institute. During the examination, only the examiners have the right to ask questions. The result of the test will be communicated to you in camera.

How does the disputation look like?

First, present your dissertation, for example as a Powerpoint presentation. This lecture should not last longer than 30 minutes. The examiners will then ask you questions about the dissertation, also for a maximum of 30 minutes. Then the examiners withdraw for discussion. You will then be informed of the result to the exclusion of the audience.

What should I pay attention to when presenting the dissertation?

We recommend that you consult with the supervisor in advance about the focus he or she can expect. Basically, you should present the main content and results. In any case, it is recommended to inspect the reports. You can do this by making an appointment by email in the doctoral office.

Does the assessment of the exam have any impact on my overall grade?

Your disputation will only be graded and included in the overall evaluation if your written doctoral performance has been assessed with “summa cum laude”, or if you are doing your doctorate in the process of Doctor of Human Sciences ( In all other cases, it is checked for “passed” or “failed”. Your doctoral procedure can only be terminated if the exam has been passed.

Can I repeat the exam?

If you fail the oral exam, you can repeat it once after 12 months at the latest. If it is not passed a second time, the doctoral procedure is deemed to have ended unsuccessfully.


Requirement / to-do

requirement: M3 exam passed (proof in the form of a certified certificate), approval for printing received from the doctoral office

To do: As a rule, you publish your dissertation ionline in accordance with the rules of the applicable doctoral regulations.

How does the online publication work?

Publication takes place by submitting an electronic version, which must completely correspond to the submitted dissertation and whose data format and data carrier must comply with the requirements of the University Library of Tübingen. Information on the exact procedure and advice can be found on the website of the university library. With the approval for printing you will receive a form on which your supervisor has to confirm his / her consent to electronic publication. You hand this in at the university library in the course of publication.

If the supervisor does not agree to the electronic publication, we expect them to submit a reasoned request (in letter form) for publication in printed copies.

In which format must the deposit copies be printed?

Print format DIN A 5, printed on both sides, title page also on the cover, soft cover, 80g paper.

Do the deposit copies have to be printed in color?

If the work has been submitted for assessment in color, it must also be printed in color in the final version, as otherwise the legibility, especially of the images, is no longer guaranteed as in the assessed version.

Does the curriculum vitae have to be published when the deposit copies are printed?

The publication of the résumé is voluntary. If you have your curriculum vitae printed, please include the date of the 2nd or 3rd state examination or the dental examination to the exact day (DD / MM / YY).

Can spelling or formatting errors be corrected in the deposit copies after the assessment?

Yes. For further changes you need the approval of the doctoral supervisor. In such cases, you must first contact the doctoral office.

Do deposit copies have to be submitted to the Dean's Office after the dissertation has been finally printed?

The deposit copies are handed in to the dissertation office in the main building of the university library, Wilhelmstraße 32, 72074 Tübingen (for opening times, see the university library's website). The Dean's Office does not require any deposit copies; however, it is customary to send a printed copy to the first and second reporter.

What happens to the copies of my dissertation submitted in the clip folder for assessment?

The copies of the dissertation submitted for assessment will be disposed of in a data-protected manner.

Receipt of the certificate


Submission of the deposit copies and publication via the university library - the doctoral office receives relevant information from the university library.

When will my certificate be issued?

The certificate will be issued as soon as we have been informed by the university library that the publication has taken place. The exhibition usually lasts 2 - 4 weeks.

How do I get the certificate?

Please come to the doctoral office to pick up the certificate during office hours (or, if you have previously agreed by email). You can also ask someone with a power of attorney to receive the document. In exceptional cases, you can email us to ask you to send the certificate.

Lost certificate - will a replacement certificate be issued?

Original certificates can no longer be issued. After submitting a copy of the certificate and an affidavit that the certificate has been lost, a replacement certificate can be issued. If the original certificate is found, the replacement certificate must be returned to the Dean's Office.

Can the doctoral certificate also be issued in English?

Further questions

What are the main changes between the old and the new doctoral regulations?

  • a plagiarism check of the dissertation for admission to the doctorate is mandatory
  • Attending an event on good scientific practice is compulsory
  • the grading procedure for dissertations has been changed
  • the display period has been shortened to 2 weeks

Where can I find information on events on subject-specific and interdisciplinary qualification opportunities as part of the doctorate?

As soon as you are accepted as a doctoral candidate in the faculty, you are automatically a member of the Faculty's Graduate Academy. Information and current announcements can be found on the website and on ILIAS.