The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences awards the doctoral degree Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Sciences (Ph.D., in German: Doktor der Naturwissenschaften, doctor rerum naturalium, Dr. rer. nat.) based on a written and published doctoral thesis (dissertation) and an oral examination (disputation / thesis defense).
The doctorate can be achieved in a graduate program or in the form of an individual doctorate. All doctoral candidates are recommended to become members of the Graduate School of the respective department or the Graduate school for Teacher Education.
In order to do a doctorate at the University of Cologne in the mathematical and natural science subjects, you must first register the doctoral project with the faculty. Only then can you enroll as a doctoral student.
For questions concerning the doctorate, please contact the doctoral office of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. It is part of the Dean's Office and works closely with the graduate schools of the departments of the Faculty, the Graduate School for Teacher Education and the Albertus Magnus Graduate Center (AMC).
Registration and Admission as Doctoral Student (PhD)
Registration and Admission as a Doctoral Student (PhD student)
For admission as a doctoral student, you need to register at the doctoral office of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Please proceed as follows:
4.After you have deposited all documents and completed the Docfile registration assistant, please inform the doctoral office by email that you are applying for admission as a doctoral student. Please indicateyour department in the subject line.
- Register in Docfile
- Download the form "Application for admission as a doctoral student“. Fill the form completely and sign it. The form must also be signed by your supervisor(s), and the graduate school of the respective department (or the Graduiertenschule für LehrerInnenbildung).
- In Docfile please upload PDF files of:
- Application for admission as a doctoral student (completely filled and with all signatures)
- University entrance qualification / High school leaving certificate (as a single PDF-file)
- Certificates, diplomas and transcripts of all study degrees (e.g. Bachelor and Master, Diploma etc.). Please deposit a separate PDF file for each degree, i.e. one PDF file with the certificate, transcript and transcript of the master's degree, another PDF file for the bachelor's degree, etc.
- Certificate of study progress (if possible)
- Curriculum Vitae (including the date of the University entrance qualification/High school leaving certificate, recommended)
- If applicable: a cooperation agreement (in the case of cooperation with other universities, universities of applied sciences, industry, foreign research institutions, etc.) )if applicable: a supervision agreement with your supervisor and second supervisor (only needed, if you will not become a member of the department's graduate school)
- After you have deposited all documents and completed the Docfile registration assistant, please inform the doctoral office by email that you are applying for admission as a doctoral student. Please indicateyour department in the subject line
If the admission requirements are fulfilled according the § 4 of the doctoral regulation, you will receive an admission (or a conditional admission) as a doctoral student of the Faculty. If applicable, you will be asked to provide the originals or certified copies of certificates and diplomas.
While Working on your Doctoral Thesis Project
While working on their doctoral project, doctoral students take advantage of further training opportunities at the University of Cologne.
As members of the graduate school of the respective department and the ZFL, doctoral students are regularly invited to attend general and subject-specific professional education courses. Among others, the graduate schools offer their members a subject-specific course on good scientific practice.
Doctoral students who are not members of a graduate school must provide proof of participation in a course on good scientific practice as well.
Doctoral students who have been granted conditional admission by the Faculty first enroll as pre-doctoral students at the Students Office / International Office of the University of Cologne. They must provide the requested evidence and, if applicable, the required academic achievements within the set deadline. They will then be admitted as a doctoral student by the Faculty, and only then enroll as regular doctoral students at the University of Cologne.
Doctoral students regularly update their data in Docfile. They are obliged to notify the doctoral office of any significant changes, for example, in supervision or membership of the graduate school, as well as of any interruption or cancellation of the doctoral project.
Doctoral Thesis and Defense
For the doctorate submit your doctoral thesis (dissertation) and then defend it in the disputation. After acceptance of the dissertation and passing the disputation, you will receive the doctoral certificate.
Publications and manuscripts with a significant own contribution can be included in the dissertation. The form and content of the dissertation should be discussed at an early stage with the supervising committee (for members of the graduate school) or with the first and second supervisors (for non-members of the graduate school). In the case of doctoral theses in the field of physics, the approval of the supervision committee / the first and second supervisors is required for the inclusion of publications, manuscripts and other published content. See § 7 of the doctoral regulations of 12.3.2020.
You need to apply for admission to the doctoral examination. Please apply early enough, at the latest two weeks before submission of the dissertation:
- Update and complete your information in Docfile and upload any missing documents (e.g. university entrance qualification, Bachelor's and Master's certificates, diplomas, any cooperation agreement)
- Use the form "Application for admission to doctoral examinations". It must be completed in full and signed by you, your supervisor and the graduate school of the department. Upload File the form and other documents specified in the form (CV, proof of enrolment, etc.) as PDF files in Docfile.
- Send the Application for Admission (Doctoral Examination) by e-mail or by post to the Doctoral Office. Plaese specify your Department or your graduate school in the subject.
The doctoral office will inform you about the admission to the doctorate.
Submission of the dissertation: Upload the dissertation and the signed Declaration for Admission as PDF files in Docfile. Please note: Send both PDF-files to the doctoral office and to the reviewers. During the COVID-19 pandemic there is no need to submit bound copies.
The disputation will only take place after receipt of the reviewers reports and after acceptance (or provisional acceptance) of the dissertation. Please coordinate the date of the disputation with the examination board in advance. Use the Form for Scheduling / Terminbogen" and send it to the doctoral office well in advance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, disputation (thesis defense meetings) are held as a video conference. It is not allowed to record the video conference. Guest can be admitted. A classical thesis defense meeting can only be held if a video conference is not possible and if all participants agree. The chair of the thesis defense committee decides whether the defense if held in form of a meeting; if so, the chair informs the doctoral degree office, she/he is responsible for compliance with the rules of hygiene, and the public has to be excluded.
After acceptance of the dissertation and passing the disputation you will receive your doctoral certificate.
If the dissertation has been provisionally accepted, you will receive a notification of necessary changes in the presentation and style of the dissertation. You will receive the doctoral certificate as soon as you have incorporated these changes (i.e. the dissertation is ready for printing), which is proven by the revision form.
Please note that the confirmation or certificate can be handed out at the earliest 2 weeks after the disputation.
Publication of the Doctoral Thesis and Doctoral Degree
The publication of the dissertation must take place within one year after the disputation. For this purpose, the consent to publication by the supervisor is required. Please also note the information of the University and City Library (USB) regarding publication in KUPS. Upon reasoned request, the publication deadline can be extended.
The doctoral diploma will be handed over after publication of the dissertation. It will be handed over personally. It is possible to authorize another person to receive the certificate. With the delivery of the diploma you are entitled to hold the PhD degree (German: Dr. rer. nat.).
If there is an important reason that prevents the publication of the dissertation, you can apply for permission to temporarily hold the doctoral degree (§13 paragraph 3 of the doctoral regulations of 12.3.2020). If the doctoral committee agrees, you will receive a diploma valid for a limited period of 2 years with the permission to temporarily hold the doctoral degree. You are obliged to publish the dissertation before the expiry date of the temporary permission.
Dissertations are accepted by the University Library exclusively by mail.