Doctoral Studies Process
Please note that this outlines the typical course of doctoral studies!
Start Phase – about two years:
Since you generally conduct your doctoral studies at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering within the framework of the a "Assistenzpromotion," the doctoral process begins with signing an empoyment contract and being hired at one of the Faculty's chairs. If the head of the chair showed their willingness to act as the scientific supervisor of your doctoral process, you can also enroll in the Center for Doctoral Studies, CDS for short. You can find more information on this here.
Within the first two years of the doctoral process you must submit an application for assessment of eligiblity for admission to the Faculty's Office for Doctoral Studies. T o do so you must submit a supervision agreement signed by you and your supervisor and, if necessary, recommendations for additional requirement courses. The Dean's Office reviews the prerequisites and the possible additional requirement courses and your application is then approved by the faculty council.
Please note that the application must be received by the Faculty's Office for Doctoral Studies no later than three weeks before the respective faculty council meeting. The receipt stamp is considered the date of submission. You can find the dates of their meetings here.
As soon as your application for assessment of eligibility for admission has been accepted, you can enroll as a doctoral candidate in the Registrar's Office. However this is not required to complee your doctoral studies at RWTH:
Main Phase – about three years:
While you are working on your docotrate, your supervisor will regularly advise you. If you still have to complete additional requirements for admission, you will be notified in writing by the Faculty. You have three semesters to complete the additional requirements.
As soon as the additional requirements have been fulfilled and you have completed your dissertation, you must submit an application for admission to the doctoral examination. You can find the necessary forms and attachments here. The Faculty Council is responsible for deciding if you can be admitted to the doctoral examination and thus begin the doctoral studies process. Please note that the application must be received by the Faculty's Office for Doctoral Studies no later than three weeks before the respective faculty council meeting. The receipt stamp is considered the date of submission. You can find the dates of their meetings here.
Final Phase – about one year:
Once the last review has been submitted, there is a 14-day period, during which the dissertation and comments can be read the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering's professors, and a two day objection period.
In order for us to extend the correct written invitation to the oral examination, we need at least ten days in advance. This means that the oral examination will be held no earlier than 26 days after the last review and comments have been submitted.
Starting the day of your oral examination, you have one year to submit the mandatory copies of your dissertation. You can find the various possibilities for publishing your work in the doctoral studies regulation, Section 17. It is also possible that you may need to make changes to your dissertation. Please discuss these changes with your supervisor. If there is change to the doctoral title, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Office for Doctoral Studies will inform you in writing.
The doctoral certificate cannot be issued until the mandatory dissertation copies and a confirmation from the supervisor have been submitted. If you need an English transcript, please submit the request when submitting your mandatory copies to the Doctoral Studies Office.
Once you have received the certificate, you can officially call yourself a "doctor."