Process of Doctoral Studies

Procedure of the doctorate at the Doctoral Centre SGW

Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to complete a doctorate with us. If you have any questions, please do not hestitate to contact Katalin Raddatz. You can find all of the mentioned documents here.


Before doctorate


Do you have an idea for a dissertation topic in the social sciences, health sciences or economics? Are you interested in doing a doctorate at a university of applied sciences in Saxony-Anhalt? Sandra Dietzel will gladly give you an individual consultation! You can also get advice on doctoral studies at the Doctoral Center at the other three cooperating universities: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Merseburg University of Applied SciencesMagdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences 


Read the Doctoral Center's doctoral regulations. It forms the legal basis for the doctoral studies and describes, among other things, the rights and duties of doctoral students.

Search for a supervisor

Look for a supervisor among the professors of the Doctoral Center SGW who would like to supervise the topic. It is best to make an appointment with the potential supervisor to present the topic, the preliminary research question and the relevance. 


Write an exposé that outlines your research project. If your supervisor does not specify otherwise, use the Exposé Handout as a guide. Revise your draft together with your supervisor. Also conclude a supervision agreement with your supervisor. 



Complete the acceptance application and the survey form for the doctoral statistics and enclose the supervision agreement, the exposé and the other required documents (see Documents). The application is sent by postal mailing and digitally to the contact person at the university where your supervisor is located. If the (first) supervisor is located at Harz University of Applied Sciences, please send the documents to Katalin Raddatz

Hochschule Harz, z.H. Katalin Raddatz, Friedrichstraße 57-59, 38855 Wernigerode, Germany

If your first supervisor is at another university, please inform yourself here: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Harz University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences


Examination of your documents

Your documents will be checked for completeness before the meeting of the Doctoral Committee in which your acceptance as a doctoral student will be decided. We will contact you if any documents are still needed. 

Acceptance at the Doctoral Center

The Doctoral Committee decides on your acceptance as a doctoral student at the Doctoral Center. If necessary, you will be admitted with conditions which you should fulfill in the course of your doctoral studies. You will be informed about the decision by postal mailing.

During doctorate


After acceptance, you can enroll at the university where the first supervisor is located, if desired.


Writing your dissertation

You write your dissertation on the basis of the exposé. Basically, you have the choice to write a monograph or to write a cumulative dissertation. A monograph is a coherent scientific work (equivalent to a book). To write a cumulative dissertation means that you publish three closely related scientific papers in journals and write an introducing and concluding text for them ("Manteltext"). Consider with your supervisor which model is a better fit for your dissertation project.

On average, a doctorate takes four to five years to complete. After more than five years, the doctoral committee decides if you can continue with the doctorate. You may be enrolled for ten semesters; after that, the Enrollment Office will need a letter from the dissertation committee and your supervisor to continue enrollment.

Continue to meet regularly with your supervisor during this phase and report on your progress. Attend at least two seminars and events related to your doctorate (be aware that the seminars/events need to fulfil certain criteria to be accepted), and adhere to the principles of good scientific practice in your research and writing.

Initiate the doctoral process

When your dissertation is completed, submit an application to the doctoral committee together with your dissertation in printed and digital form to initiate the doctoral process. You can propose reviewers for your dissertation - one of the reviewing persons must be a member of the Doctoral Center and fit to your discipline. The other person will be external. Please note that your supervisor is not allowed to review your thesis. The Doctoral Center hereby follows a recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities to ensure the independence of the reviewers.



The doctoral committee decides whether to initiate the doctoral procedure. If the procedure is initiated, the committee appoints a doctoral panel for your doctoral procedure and appoints the reviewers of your thesis.

Completion of the doctorate


The reviewers then have eight weeks to assess your dissertation. If the assessments including a proposal for the evaluation are available, the appointed doctoral panel can inspect the thesis and the reviews for two weeks. After that, the doctoral committee decides on the acceptance of the dissertation on the basis of the expert opinions. In exceptional cases, you may need to make additions or changes to your dissertation before it can be accepted; the doctoral committee will then set a deadline for you to do so.


No later than three months after acceptance of the dissertation, you will defend it orally before the doctoral panel. In addition to other professors, your supervisor(s) and the reviewers sit in the committee. Before the defense (disputation) you will give a presentation of max. 30 minutes; afterwards you will be examined for 60-90 minutes. The content of the disputation is as follows: "The disputation discusses the content of the dissertation, includes the expert opinions and also covers related problems of the subject and adjacent areas of other subjects as well as the state of research in them" (Doctoral Regulations §17, para.7).

Directly after the disputation, the overall grade will be given (for dissertation and disputation). This is the end of the doctoral procedure.

Publication of the dissertation

You should publish your dissertation within two years after the disputation. For this purpose, you will have to implement any conditions imposed on you by the doctoral panel after the disputation. The chairperson of the doctoral committee approves the publication-ready version before publication.

Awarding the doctoral degree

As soon as the dissertation is published, you will receive your doctoral degree certificate. From that point on, you may use your doctoral degree. Congratulations!

Katalin Raddatz

Speaker of Promoting Early Career Researchers
Tel +49 3943 659 892 Fax +49 3943 659 109 -109
Room 2.004, Haus 2, Wernigerode