Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ


FAQ Habilitation

What documents do I have to submit to the Dean's Office?

The following must be submitted together with the official application:

  • Subject, in which the applicant wishes to attain the Habilitation, and if applicable, Venia Legendi
  • Tabular resume
  • Diplom and doctoral certificates (notarized copy or submission of the original)
  • Proof of academic work after the doctoral degree
  • Dissertation
  • List of publications and lectures, and if applicable, list of patents
  • Habilitation paper in German or English, four bound copies as well as an electronic PDF version sent via email
  • An affadavit from the applicant, stating whether they have already attempted to acquire the Habilitation and what the results of these attempts were, including, if applicable, the time, the university, the faculty, and topic of the Habilitation paper
  • An affadavit confirming that the applicant independently wrote the Habilitation paper and named all individuals who helped
  • An affadavit stating that the publication of the Habilitation paper does not violate any existing trade secrets of third parties
  • A written statement confirming that the applicant was made aware of and adhered to the principles of ensuring good academic practice at RWTH Aachen.
  • A recommendation letter from the subject representative that they support the Habilitation
  • Recommendation for two external and one internal reviewers

After the Habiitation paper has been on display for the required period and the reviews have been received, the Dean's Office will request the candidate to submit the following information:

  • Topic for a class related to a course of study as well as a date and room
  • Three possible presentation topics for the Habilitation colloquium including preferred topic
  • A good conduct certificate of document type O issued by the Federal Central Criminal Register or a statement from the RWTH Department of Human Resources confirming this was submitted at the time of hire

Who can serve as a reader/reviewer?

The readers must fulfill the following requirements:

  • The reader must be a professor, honorary professor, or adjunct professor.
  • At least two of the readers must work at another German or foreign university or an external research institution.
  • At least one reader must belong to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

Retired professors may also serve as readers.

How long does the whole process take?

You should plan for the entire process, from the time of application to begin the Habilitation process to receiving the certificate, to take one year. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering makes every effort, however, to complete the process as quickly as possible.

The first step of the process – introduction of the candidate and the Habilitation topic to the Dean's Office – takes place prior to the rest of the process and before the candidate writes the Habilitation paper.

What title do I receive upon completion of the Habilitation?

After successfully completing the Habilitation process, the applicant is allowed to include "habilitatus" when using their doctor title – Dr. habil. The applicant ceases to use "habilitatus" once they have received the Venia Legendi and thus acquired the right to use the title "Privatdozentin“ or "Privatdozent."

How many deposit copies of my Habilitation paper must I submit?

In contrast to the doctoral studies process, you are not required to submit any deposit copies of your Habilitation paper.

What rights and obligations do I have after the Habilitation?

You are required to hold a course amounting to 2 SWS during one semester of an academic year.

It is possible to postpone this teaching obligation for up to two years. You must submit a special request to the Faculty Council. If you teach at another university during this time, you can postpone your teaching obligation for up to five years.

Privatdozents are required to inform the Dean's Office if they accept a professorship at another university or receive a new Habilitation from another Faculty or university.

When does the Venia Legendi expire?

  • The Privatdozent submits a written waiver
  • The Privatdozent is appointed a professorship at another university
  • The Privatdozent completes a new Habilitation in another Faculty or at another university
  • The Privatdozent has not completed the teaching requirement within two years without an important reason, except if they have already turned 66 years old
  • A court ruling takes effect, removing or relieving the Privatdozent of their position
  • If the teaching qualification is recalled or revoked