Cotutelle de thèse (Binational doctorates)

No matter whether you are seeking an individual doctorate or would like to be part of a structured doctoral program: under certain circumstances a Cotutelle De Thèse may be advisable. You will spend a substantial amount of time at a partnering university abroad, where your second advisor supervises your thesis. In the end you will defend your dissertation before a committee from both universities.

For whom is this way of earning a doctorate especially suitable?

You should consider Cotutelle de thèse if:

  • The main focus of your studies and research is strongly connected with another country.
  • You are engaged in an academic dialogue with both countries and would like to continue doing so.
  • You are familiar with the language and culture of the other country and you could imagine having a career in both countries involved.
  • You are striving for an international career.

The special characteristics of Cotutelle-de-thèse procedures

  • Your dissertation is being supervised by one advisor from each country.
  • Each "cotutelle de thèse" is based on an agreement between both universities that is individualized to meet your needs and that meets the legal conditions of both universities. These conditions may differ substantially, so you should make sure to allow enough time for the preparation of a "cotutelle de thèse.
  • The dissertation is generally composed in one of the two national languages and complemented by a summary in the other language.
  • A "cotutelle" dissertation is defended orally in one of the national languages. An oral summary in the respective other language is generally expected.
  • Both partner universities put together a board of examiners, which is composed of scholars from both countries. At the end of the dissertation process, the degree is conferred jointly by both universities (joint degree), or two separate national degrees are conferred, referencing the cotutelle procedure (double degree).
  • For further information, please see the pages of the Konferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Hochschulen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, HRK (the Rectors’ Conference).

All doctoral procedures are overseen and advised by one of the University's seven faculties. The specific admission and registration requirements and further requirements are described in the faculty's regulations for a doctoral degree or the structured doctoral programs. For questions on procedures, please contact the Dean's Office in the faculty that is relevant to you!