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Doctoral Procedure

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Doctoral Models

The Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences offers a variety of options for doctoral studies. In addition to the traditional individual doctorate at a chair of the university, students also have the option to apply for a scholarship or for an integrated graduate program (in Economics).

Admission to Doctoral Studies

As soon as you have received the consent of your academic supervisor or the admission letter from the graduate school, the application for admission to doctoral studies should be filed promptly. Please approach Mrs. Mundorf with the completed “Admission Form for Doctoral Studies according to §4 of the Doctoral Regulations” (see in the section "Admission Documents") and all necessary documents that need to be handed in. The substantive admission requirements are detailed in Section 4 of the Doctoral Regulations. Without admission to doctoral studies, you cannot enroll as a doctoral student. Admission, in particular of international graduates or the holders of degrees other than those offered by the WiSo Faculty is subject to the decision of the Doctoral Committee. In planning your schedule, please note that the Committee as a rule convenes only once per semester. If you have an international degree, please note the information of the Akademischen Auslandsamt der Universität zu Köln.

Enrollment as Doctoral Student

After you have received the admission to doctoral studies, you must  enroll as a doctoral student at the University of Cologne with the beginning of your doctoral studies. German students must enrol at the Studierendensekretariat. International students must enrol at the International Office.  Please consult these webpages for further information regarding the enrollment process.

Doctoral Program and Courses

According to the WiSo Faculty's 2008 Doctoral Regulations, each doctoral student is required to accumulate a minimum of 5 doctoral courses, at least three of which are in the area “interdisciplinary methods and theories” (“Fachübergreifende Methoden und Theorien”) of the CGS. According to the WiSo Faculty's 2015 Doctoral Regulations, each doctoral student is required to accumulate a minimum of 30 credit points, of which no more than 12 are allowed to be gained in research seminars or doctorate colloquiums. Scholarship holders of the CGS must accumulate a minimum of 30 ECTS in doctoral courses. These courses have to be graded. Attaining ECTS by participation in Research Seminars is not possible for scholarship holders. Exceptions are given to graduates from the M.Sc. Economic Research who do not have to attend any further courses. Please submit a schedule of your courses during the second week of your first semester to your mentor/supervisor to be approved. Your courses should be passed predominantly at 1.7 or better. The CGS requires you to finish your course work within the first year of your studies. If you are unsure which courses to take, please consult your supervisor first and then the CGS office.

Evaluation after 1st Year (for Scholarship Holders)

There will be an evaluation after your first year in the program. Continuation of your scholarship depends on a positive evaluation. The procedure is as follows:

  • You will provide a short proposal delineating your dissertation topic, your planned research and potential articles as well as a planned stay abroad until August 15, of the first year.
  • You will have to present your work in a research seminar of your assigned field until September 30. The supervisor, the potential second supervisor and representatives of the respective area should be present during your talk.
  • Your supervisor will be asked for a short statement regarding your proposal, presentation, and your progress in the first year. If necessary, in addition, one Board member will judge your progress.
  • The Board will decide on continuation of your scholarship

Annual Report (for Scholarship Holders)

Students have to submit an annual report listing their publications (including submitted papers), research stays, conferences, etc. to the CGS Office.


Your dissertation may be cumulative or a monograph. In the case of a cumulative dissertation at least two articles should typically be submitted to a journal. Your dissertation should include at least three papers and an introduction. If you study accooding to the WiSo Faculty's 2015 Doctoral Regulations and your dissertation does not include at least one single-author paper, your supervisor should submit a special advisory opinion delineating the amount of your own work/research.

Submission of Dissertation

Upon completion of your dissertation, you must personally hand in your doctoral examination request at the Dean’s Office using the prescribed form sheet. Mrs. Mundorf is the responsible contact.


The disputation, the oral examination, conduces to the defense of the scientific results of your dissertation in front of three professors. The disputation starts with a short presentation of 15 minutes about your most important findings. The following discussion will relate to the presentation and the objective and methodical fundamentals of the dissertation.

Award of Degree (Dr. rer. pol)

After passing the examination, doctoral students are awarded their degree on the occasion of a public ceremony, whereupon they vow to the Dean that they will prove themselves worthy of the doctorate at all times. Parents, friends and colleagues are welcome guests at doctoral ceremonies.