Doctoral examination

The examination procedure consists of the submission of an independent academic work in the form of

  • a dissertation and
  • an oral doctoral examination (disputation).


Application for admission to the examination procedure

Requirement for admission to the examination procedure is the submission of the following documents:

  • The submission of the dissertation (§ 9 para. 1) in three copies as well as a file in a format specified by the doctoral committee (usually a searchable pdf-file).
  • A dated and signed informal application for admission to the examination procedure,
    • with the following confirmation pursuant to § 2 para. 3 no. 3 of the doctoral regulations:
      "In accordance with § 2 para. 3 no. 3 of the doctoral regulations, I hereby affirm that the dissertation has been written in compliance with the current rules of good scientific practice issued by the DFG, in particular, that it has been written independently without unauthorised assistance and without the use of sources and writings other than those listed in the bibliography of the dissertation, and that any content taken”cited” completely or partly from the literature was marked as such. I agree that the work may be sent and stored anonymously in electronic form for the purpose of a plagiarism check."
    • and with a statement on the additional discipline group of the oral examination (law, administrative science, economics as well as social sciences and history).
  • Proof of participation in the courses offered by Speyer University in accordance with § 2 para. 3 no. 1 doctoral regulations. Proof is usually provided by a corresponding confirmation from the supervisor.


Assessment of the dissertation

The dissertation is evaluated by the first reviewer (supervisor of the dissertation) and the second reviewer.

Both reviews are made available for four weeks together with the dissertation for inspection by the eligable members of the university who are entitled to participate in doctoral  procedures (§ 11 Para. 2 doctoral regulations).


Oral examination (disputation)

The oral examination may take place after the expiry of the four-week period of notice. The doctoral candidate shall be invited to this examination with a notice period of at least three weeks (§ 13 para. 2 doctoral regulations).

The oral examination, which lasts for 60 to 90 minutes, takes the form of a disputation. It aims to show whether the dissertation is an independent piece of work of the doctoral candidate. At the beginning of the disputation, the candidate presents the basic theses of his/her dissertation for a maximum of 15 minutes.

The theses must be submitted in a thesis paper at least ten days before the examination.

The disputation shall extend beyond the doctoral candidate's dissertation to references of the work to another discipline from a different group of disciplines than that of the dissertation.

The three examiners are usually the two examiners of the dissertation as well as another examiner to be named by the candidate when the examination is scheduled. When making this choice, it should be noted that at least one of the three examiners must belong to a discipline group other than the one in which the dissertation was written.