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FAQ – doctoral regulations

Answers to the most common questions.

The new doctoral regulations took effect on 1 April 2016. Here we summarize the salient questions and provide the answers.

  • Dissertation agreement with the supervisor: Must be concluded before being admitted to doctoral degree studies. In it, you will agree on a degree studies schedule and an individualized eligibility program totaling a minimum of nine credit points.
  • Conflicts are to be mediated by three university-level ombudspersons nominated by DoKUS, the doctoral students advocacy group, plus one optional ombudsperson per faculty.
  • For GRADUS doctoral students, the dissertation agreement is replaced by the doctorate agreement. This gives you more time to pass the training modules, since it is no longer required to complete them within the first 18 months.

The catalog of at least nine eligibility measures that doctoral students will have to complete successfully has not been published yet. We will lobby for a catalog that contains meaningful eligibility measures. Conceivably, these could include: publishing a paper, taking part in a conference or summer school, taking of specialized courses or docoral student-level key skills.

  • If you applied for doctoral studies after April 1, 2016, the new 2016 doctoral regulations will apply to you automatically.
  • Had you been accepted for doctoral studies under the 2011 doctoral regulations in force until now, you can complete your doctoral studies up until March 31, 2024 as provided for by the previous regulation. You have the option of applying to the Doctoral Committee to let you switch to the new PhD program regulations, but you will not be able to change back once you do.
  • If the 2008 doctoral regulations still apply to you, you may accordingly complete the degree up until September 30, 2019 or change over to the new version of the rules. This applies to you in case you were admitted to the doctoral regulations before October 1, 2011 or if you have applied to the Doctoral Committee to take the exam under the terms of the 2008 doctoral regulations.

This is a decision you must make.

  • Speaking for the new doctoral regulations is that it dispenses with the enrollment period limit for doctoral students and instead provides for concluding a dissertation agreement with the supervisor that expressly contains a time and work schedule. It also confers the right to define eligibility measures.
  • Please note: If you are close to finishing your doctoral degree studies and still have not applied for acceptance as a doctoral student, the new doctoral studies regulations apply to you automatically. In other words, you are obliged to complete successfully the eligibility measures that are required by the end of your doctoral studies.
  • If you are doing your doctoral degree under the 2011 doctoral regulations, you can make an informal but irrevocable application to the Doctoral Committee to change to the new doctoral regulations. There is no time limit on applying. You may file the request even after the catalogs with the new eligibility measures have been completed.



Benjamin Maschler

Chairman, deputy Senate Representative


DoKUS Executive