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Doctoral Procedure

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We welcome all students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in management, economics and social sciences. To make sure that you receive support and advice for the challenging endeavour of completing a doctorate at CGS successfully, we want students to find first an academic supervisor that is a member of the Faculty even if you have been admitted to the PhD Programme in Economics or hold a scholarship. The next step is admission to doctoral studies and enrolment in the doctoral study programme. During the first year of your doctoral studies a supervision agreement documented in a contract between the doctoral student and supervisors. After having completed your doctoral study programme, you start working on your dissertation. The dissertation is submitted to be reviewed by at least two reviewers. The doctoral procedure continues with an oral exam (defens). Finally, the dissertation has to be made publicly available, i.e. published.

The CGS offers an annual Welcome Event for new doctoral students of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne in the first week of each winter semester. The event provides information on everything concerning the doctoral procedure.

Finding an academic supervisor

We want our doctoral students to receive support and academic advice during their doctorate. Hence, we require doctoral students to get in touch with a potential supervisor that is a member of the Faculty and to agree on a letter of consent before admission to doctoral studies.

Admission to Doctoral Studies

To be admitted to doctoral studies at CGS, you have to provide several documents and forms. You will find a list of necessary document and forms in the Downloads section (“Admission Documents”); please also note Section 4 of the Doctoral Regulations. Your application documents have to be handed in electronically via docfile. The Central Doctoral Office checks and reviews your documents, the Doctoral Committee decides concerning admission. If you have an international degree, please note the information provided by International Office of the University of Cologne.

Enrolment as Doctoral Student

After you have received admission to doctoral studies, you need to enrol as a doctoral student at the University of Cologne and decide on the specific doctoral study programme (PhD Programme in Economics, Doctoral Study Programme in Management, Doctoral Study Programme in Economics or Doctoral Study Programme in Social Sciences).

Please note: You have to enrol as student at the University of Cologne (and not at CGS), hence student application is organised via the University Registration Office (Studierendensekretariat). International students must enrol at the International Office. Please consult these webpages for further information regarding the enrolment process.

Doctoral Study Programmes and Courses

Each doctoral student is required to accumulate a minimum of 30 ECTS (more ECTS may be required in particular programmes). Here you find an overview of the study programme and a list of doctoral courses, for the PhD Programme in Economics please see the corresponding pages. If you are unsure which courses may suit your needs, please do not hesitate to consult your main supervisor.

Supervision Agreement

During the first year of your doctoral studies, you will discuss the supervision of your academic work with your main supervisor and a second supervisor that is fixed in a supervision contract signed by all parties. It comprises a time and work plan and determines the rights and obligations of all parties. It hast to be sent to the Central Doctoral Office within the first twelve months of admission.


Your dissertation may be cumulative consisting of several papers or a monograph. One of the papers should be a single-author paper. (Please note: it does not necessarily have to be published.)

Dissertation Submission

Upon completing your dissertation, you must hand in the “Application for PhD examination“ essentially stating that you are ready for the final steps, i.e. that you have finished your doctoral study programme and completed your dissertation to be submitted for review.

Downloads (

The documents have to be handed in to the Central Doctoral Office to Mrs. Mundorf.

Defens (oral exam)

The defens involves defending the scientific findings of your dissertation in front of three professors and to discuss it in a broader context.

  • Oral examinations can be held at any time.
  • Reports and registration for the defens must be received 4 weeks in advance (deadline).

Award of Degree (Dr. rer. pol.)

Doctoral students are awarded their degree during a public ceremony. Parents, partners, friends and colleagues are welcome guests at doctoral ceremonies.
Please note: You must have published your work to be entitled to bear the title Dr. rer. pol.