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Step by step

Application for Acceptance

Once you have received a confirmation of supervision for your dissertation project, you and your supervisor need to conclude a doctoral supervision agreement.  Before beginning to work on your dissertation, you should apply for acceptance as a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Engineering as soon as possible in order to secure your legal status as a doctoral candidate.

The application for admission as a doctoral candidate has to be initially done via the online system Docata. Please consider that you need to first activate your UniAccount for Docata.

For any further information regarding the activation of your UniAccount, please refer to the Wiki page for application for admission as a doctoral candidate. Once your UniAccount is activated, you may log into Docata with it.

After completing your online application for admission as a doctoral student in Docata, you need to print it, sign it, and submit it to the doctoral examination committee of your faculty, together with all other required documents. It is necessary that you submit your application on time, as it must be ensured whether you fulfil the general entry requirements.

After receiving acceptance by the faculty, you must register/ matriculate as a doctoral student by submitting the certificate of acceptance from the Faculty of Engineering and the application form for registration/ matriculation at the Student Registration Office (German Doctoral Candidates) or at the International Admissions and Services (IAS) (international doctoral candidates).


Submitting your thesis

Send an application to open the doctoral examination procedure in accordance with § 7 of the doctoral degree regulations of the Faculty of Engineering addressed to the dean of the Faculty of Engineering; Prof. Dr. Hannah Bast. Please submit 5 copies of your thesis and attach the additional documents mentioned on the application form. You may refer to the Forms & Downloads of this website in order to download all the forms as PDF files.


Completing your PhD, submission and presentation of thesis

  1.  Your case will be discussed in the next meeting of the Ph.D. committee. This meeting will take place on the same day as a meeting of the Faculty Council during the lecture periods, i.e. once a month. During lecture breaks, the dean will coordinate further meetings once a month.

    The Ph.D. committee will define your Ph.D. examination committee (reviewers, chairperson and further examiners). You should however submit a proposal of the composition of the examination committee. This proposal should be coordinated beforehand with the prospective members, and ideally by your supervisor. If the proposal comprises external members (not members of the Faculty of Engineering), your supervisor will be asked to defend the proposal at the Ph.D. committee meeting or to submit convincing arguments in written form. Otherwise, the PhD committee may not be able to take a decision.

  2. Only after the PhD committee has agreed to your examination committee, the reviewers will be asked to evaluate your thesis. The reviewers then have 2 months to write their reports.

  3. Once the reports have reached Ms. Baghi, your documents will circulate among the professors of the Faculty of Engineering for 2 weeks, respectively 3 weeks during lecture breaks. Only after completion of the circulation, the defense can take place. 

  4. You will then be notified that the defense can take place.  Please coordinate a date for the defense and inform Ms. Baghi. 

  5. The defense is open to members (students and faculty members) of the University. The examination committee will receive the invitation for the defense, approximately 14 days before the defense. The defense lasts approx. 90 minutes and starts with a talk of approx. 20 minutes.  

  6. You will be notified of your final grade immediately after the defense.

  7. You are required to publish your PhD thesis within one year after the defense.
  8. After publishing your thesis, you will receive two authorized copies of your degree certificate. You will receive the original certificate at the graduation ceremony held every January and July.


Please note:


  • In view of the times allocated for the various steps above, if you fix a date for your Ph.D. defense with a prospective examination committee which has not yet been approved by the Ph.D. committee, this will be at your own risk. The PhD committee will not be influenced by seemingly accomplished facts.

  • From the point of view of the dean’s secretariat, there is no possibility of any kind to speed up the process, such as decisions regarding the initiations of the examination procedure before the case is officially discussed in the meeting of the PhD committee. In view of its growing duties, the dean’s secretariat is not able to consider special requests.

  • Therefore, it is your duty to organize your Ph.D. examination process well in advance subject to these boundary conditions.

Publication of a PhD thesis

You are required to publish your thesis within one year after the defence.

Please note that it is now possible to use the seal of the University of Freiburg on the title page of your theses. You may as well find the title page of a thesis with the seal on the following page:

You can find here information regarding the electronic publication of your thesis on freidok.