Opening of the examination process

What does "open the examination process" mean? 

The opening of the examination process covers the submission of your thesis in the office of the Doctoral Board and designation of the Examination Committee and the reviewers by the Doctoral Board.


If you want to request the opening of your examination process you have to hand in several documents to the staff of the Office of the Doctoral Board

According to § 12 of the Regulations and in due consideration of the transitional regulations you have to hand in the following documents (Please note the deadlines for the meetings of the Doctoral Board):

  1. Request to open the examination process for a doctoral degree
  2. Certified copy of the Agreement of Supervision  (or simple copy if presenting the originals)
  3. 4 copies of the thesis and a digital version
  4. 10 copies of the abstract of the thesis, with author and title
  5. CV (signed and with information about scientific activities)
  6. List of publications (published or accepted) and/or other scientific results with evaluations, reports, reviews
  7. Certified copy of the diploma/master degree and supplement (or simple copy if presenting the originals) according to § 8
  8. a declaration that the thesis has not previously been submitted to any other university and that it has been prepared independently and exclusively with the specified resources
  9. Documentation of teaching experience
  10. Documentation of participation in the doctoral seminar
  11. Doctoral student immatriculation document (not student-ID)
  12. Police clearance certificate („Polizeiliches Führungszeugnis“), if the applicant has not been registered as a student for more than 3 months or is not an employee in public or ecclesiastic services
  13. Generally understandable summary in German for non experts (with author, institute, title of the thesis – max. 1 page)
  14. cotutelle: cooperation-contract of a joint doctoral procedure between the University of Potsdam and the foreign university approved of the Faculty Board.

The Doctoral Board usually opens the examination process on its next meeting after the submission of the complete bundle of documents. The members determine as well the reviewers and the examination committee.


What does happen after the opening of the examination process?

  • First, the copies of the thesis will be sent to the reviewers. They have to read and evaluate them during the following eight weeks. 
  • If all reviewers opt for acception of the thesis the chairman of the examination committee is asked to find a date for the defense. At the same time the you, as doctoral student, will receive a letter with the information that the thesis has been accepted ans that the chairman is in charge to find a date for the defense.
  • Please look at § 14 of the Regulations for details of the defense.


Publication-based thesis

You have a publication-based thesis if the dissertation is not in the form of a monograph but comprises predomintly submitted manuscripts and/or scientific publications.

The specific guidelines for each discipline of the faculty: 


Chemistry (application of the general guidelines of the faculty)

Computational Science (application of the general guidelines of the faculty)

Nutritional Science


Geoecology (application of the general guidelines of the faculty)

Geoscience (application of the general guidelines of the faculty)