Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Beginning and completing the doctoral examination process

On July 11th 2018 the new doctoral regulations were published. Doctoral students who have already been admitted but who have not applied to begin the doctoral examination process yet have to declare in written form within one year beginning with the date of publication of the new regulations if they wish to be examined under the regulations of 2018 or the regulations they were admitted with. Please use the official form for the declaration: Erklärung zum Wechsel der Promotionsordnung.



Add a title page as per the PhD Regulations (Appendix 3, only available in German) and a declaration of independent work to your doctor’s thesis and have it hard bound (no ring binding). Submit at least five copies (the Institutes might decide that you have to submit more than five copies).

Application to begin the doctoral examination process


Submit the application to begin the Doctoral Examination Process to the Doctoral Office in your subject and with your specialisation, as required.
Additionally, please send a pdf-file of your thesis to the Doctoral Office. Include all of the documents named in section 6 of the PhD regulations separately.

Upon submitting this application, doctoral candidates who have already been admitted to the doctoral examination process but who have not yet applied to begin the process must choose whether they wish to be examined under the new or old PhD regulations. Use this declaration.

Doctoral examination process


Your application to begin the doctoral examination process will be checked in form by the Doctoral Office and in content by the department and Doctoral Degrees Committee. If all requirements are met, the Doctoral Degrees Committee will commence the doctoral examination process. Reviewers are commissioned and the Doctoral Degrees Committee is deployed. The reviewers are members of the Doctoral Degrees Committee.

The reviewers are asked to deliver their reports within two months.
Once all reviewer reports have been submitted and checked by the Doctoral Degrees Committee, they are made available for faculty professors to view for a period of two weeks within the Institute.

You can arrange a date for your defence in consultation with your supervisor and the chairperson of your committee in advance. We suggest to plan with at least three months from the commencement to the defence.

With a notice of two weeks, you will be invited to defend your thesis.

You will be able to read the reviewer reports two weeks before your defence.

After the defence you will receive an interim certificate, but are not yet entitled to use the title of doctor.

The doctoral examination process generally lasts for three to nine months.

Conditions will sometimes be put in place at the defence, or you may be required to correct shortcomings in the thesis. These must be completed before you can publish your thesis. The chair of your Doctoral Degrees Committee confirms in writing in the doctoral file that the conditions have been met.




You must submit deposit copies of your thesis to the University Library thesis department within a year of completing your defence.

You should provide the Doctoral Office with confirmation from the University Library and a declaration that the published thesis matches your submitted thesis. Your PhD certificate will then be printed.

It generally takes three to four weeks to issue the certificate (signatures, seal).

You are only entitled to use the title of doctor once you have been issued your PhD certificate. Berlin university regulations do not recognise the title of doctor designatus.