Obtaining your Dr. rer. nat. Degree in Nine Steps

The Doctoral Thesis Regulations (Promotionsordnung) summarizes the rules and regulations for every graduation, and should be consulted if you are in doubt.

Here we summarize the most important steps you need to take:

1. Acceptance by the supervisor

First of all, you have to find a scientist, typically a professor, who agrees to supervise your thesis. For more details, please read § 8 of the Doctoral Theses Regulations.

2. Recognition of your final degrees

The following documents need to be supplied in order to assess final degrees completed abroad:

  • a translated and certified copy of your final degree (Master, Magister, Diploma, etc.),
  • your curriculum vitae, including an outline of your course of studies at high school and university
  • a compilation (transcript) of lectures, courses and seminars,
  • a detailed list of experimental work done in advanced lab courses,
  • a copy of your master thesis and, if written in a language other than German or English, a short summary of your thesis in English
  • a statement by the prospective supervisor of your dissertation at Mainz on your scientific qualifications and an evaluation of your thesis to determine if it is comparable to a good German diploma or master thesis
  • Proof of adequate knowledge of the German or English language, see enrollment regulations § 7
  • Validation / Assessment of previous foreign education for studying at JGU, issued by Internatioanl Office - Incoming
  • PhD program application form.

The documents are to be sent to (Department 08 - Physics, Mathematics und Computer Science | Dean's Office | Staudingerweg 7 | 55128 Mainz | 5th Floor, West Wing | Telefon:  +49 6131-39-24467), who is responsible for organizing examinations in Physics and Meteorology.

The information above is also summarized in the information leaflet, available in German and English.

The committee in charge will consider the documents and submit them to the Dean of the faculty who will decide on admission. It also may pose conditions on acceptance, such as the completion of additional classes at Mainz.

3. Doctoral thesis as an enrolled doctoral candidate

If you wish to accomplish your doctoral thesis as an enrolled doctoral candidate, please read this information carefully.

4. Notification of admission

If your application is accepted by the Dean of the faculty, a notification of admission will be sent to you by Ms. Marion Müller.

The admission may be granted with the condition that additional requirements, such as the successful completion of missing courses, have been met.

Please keep the notification of admission as you will have to file it after the completion of the thesis, along with the submission of the request for obtaining the conferral of the doctorate.

5. Required tutoring

Please bear in mind that while working on your thesis, you are required to be available for the supervision of compulsory classes for at least three semesters. A certificate of accomplished tutoring activities (list of tutored courses) must be filed along with the thesis.

6. Filing your thesis

Theses are to be filed along with the submission of the request for obtaining the conferral of the doctorate. All documents are to be handed in at Marion Müller's office.

Both of the following forms have to be submitted at the same time:

7. Public display and assessment of thesis

The deadline for public display will be set after all evaluations have been sent to the dean’s office. Presently, the public display period is two weeks during the lecture period or four weeks during semester breaks.

8. Thesis defense

The public display period should be used to find agreement with the examination committee on a date for the thesis defense. Please keep in mind that the defense has to take place within six months of the end of the display period. (see §23 of the Doctoral Studies Regulations).

9. Obligatory thesis copies

Obligatory copies have to be handed in to the appropriate office (“Dissertationsannahmestelle”) at the University Library. All necessary information on filing these copies can be found here (only German).

The library office will certify the filing. This certificate has to be sent to Marion Müller.

After completing these steps, you will be conferred your doctorate – you can now officially call yourself “Dr.rer.nat.”!