Doctoral thesis agreement and Coursework

You can find a detailed guideline for the Doctoral thesis agreement here.


Doctoral candidate, supervisor/s and the university sign an agreement comprising the following points:

  • all participants' rights and obligations,
  • detailed description of the doctoral thesis project,
  • time schedule and specification of financial aspects,
  • extent of supervision (frequency of feedback meetings),
  • requirements that have to be fulfilled.

The doctoral thesis agreement is concluded after a positive presentation at the faculty. The progress of the doctoral thesis project is documented in yearly annexes to the agreement.

Besides writing their thesis doctoral candidates have to earn at least 24 study credits - ECTS - (e.g. through seminars, lectures etc.). The doctoral candidate and the supervisor specify within the doctoral thesis agreement how these credits will be achieved. Doctoral candidates are also encouraged to take part in courses teaching transferable skills as well as obtaining other scientific qualifications (e.g. through presentations at conferences). 
Courses should be chosen as to best suit a doctoral candidate's research project and their intended professional career.

The courses can be found in the online course directory (Study Programmes 36 to 47). Usually, only courses from these areas are accepted. In well-grounded cases courses from the master level can be attended as well. In addition, most Directors of the Doctoral Study Programmes accept external achievements such as conference presentations, summer school participation, etc.

Usually, doctoral candidates establish an individual training plan together with their supervisor and note this in the doctoral thesis agreement. Generally, the doctoral candidates should first present their research project in the public presentation and only after the approval of the topic start the training component.

You need to submit the signed theses agreement to the SSC (


Annual Progress Reports

Doctoral candidates have to submit a progress report every year to the SSC via e-mail ( once they have passed the public presentation. The reports may be send throughout the year.

Further information can be found here.

Info Annual Progress Report

For all changes concerning the topic, the supervisor and/or the language of the thesis you must send us the form "Registration of the doctoral thesis topic and announcement the supervisor(s) (SL / D11)".

Prüfungspass (list of courses)

If there are changes to your doctoral thesis agreement, these must be documented in the annual progress reports and will be noted by the DSPL.

It is strongly recommended to submit the "Prüfungspass" (list of courses and the transcript of records) to the SSC as soon as all courses have been completed (electronically at Although you may apply the "Prüfungspass" until the end of your studies, you are not allowed to register for the defense until you have fulfilled all requirements (this includes the approved "Prüfungspass").

Recognition or Acceptance?

I passed the external course BEFORE I was admitted for the current doctoral study. -> I need the RECOGNITION.

I passed the external course DURING my current doctoral study. -> The ACCEPTANCE is enough. 

Acceptance of external courses

The external courses/credentials, which are anchored in the thesis agreement and which were completed during the current doctoral study, can be accepted (e.g. participation in a conference).

Send the application form and the certificate via email to the SSC (

Processings can take up to four weeks from the date of submission. Afterwards you can recall it via U:Space.

Course recognition (Anerkennung) for Doctoral Programme

It is necessary to apply for course recognition whenever a grade needs to be transferred from one study programme to another. The official ruling states that courses must come from "internationally recognised post-secondary education institutions", i.e. universities and colleges, including universities of applied science (FHs) and university colleges of teacher education (PHs). Any courses that you want to get recognised need to fit into the curriculum that you want to use them for. More specifically, they need to be similar in content and format to the courses/modules you want to replace.
According to the Universities Act 2002 (§ 78) applicable courses may be recognised.


Submission process

After counselling with the directorate of studies, submit the application for course recognition, the list of courses for recognition and the certificate at the StudienServiceCenter ( After the application is processed (may take up to two months - see § 78, Abs. 10 UG 2002), you are going to reviece a notification e-mail (to unet address).