Doctoral Studies Process


Note: In person pick-up preferred for doctoral diplomas

Due to recent events (loss in the mail), we recommend picking up your doctoral diploma from the Doctoral Studies Office in person or authorizing someone to pick it up for you.


The individual steps of the doctoral studies process are fixed in the fifth version of Faculty of Medicine examination regulation from Nevember 7, 2017, originally adopted in January 8, 2008. Below is a summary:

1. Submitting the Application for Admission to Doctoral Studies

After completing your dissertation and consulting with your supervisor, you submit an application for admission to doctoral studies to the chair of the RWTH Aachen Faculty of Medicine's examination board. An information sheet about admission to doctoral studies provides information about the application format and required documents.

2. Beginning the Doctoral Studies Process

Once the Dean's Office has your complete application, the doctoral studies process begins. You will receive a written notice about the process beginning. This letter will also include the names of both of your reviewers and the chair. Both of your readers be will sent a letting requesting a graded evaluation. Reviewers have two months.

3. Submitting Dissertation to the Faculty

Once the required evaluations have been received by the Dean's Office, your dissertation must be on display there for two weeks (during the lecture period) or four weeks (during the lecture-free period). Due to the number of doctoral dissertations the Faculty organizes this once a week.

After your dissertation has been on display, the coordinator for the oral defense dates will receive a written notification and arrange a defense date with you and the members of the Doctoral Studies Commission.

4. Oral Exam/Defense

You will be informed of the schedule date at least five days in advance. The examination documents are sent to the chairs of the Doctoral Studies Commission. The Doctoral Studies Office is not responsible for setting a date and inviting guests.

The chair of the Doctoral Studies Commission has your examination documents. You must publish your dissertation no later than one year after your defense. You can find the guidelines for publishing your disseration in the information sheet about printing mandatory copies

Please make note of the changed cover page (see example 9) of the information page about admission to doctoral studies.

5. Doctoral Diploma

If the published copies submitted to the Dean's Office and University Library fulfill the the Faculty of Medicine's requirements, your diploma will be issued. The doctoral studies process ends with your receipt of the diploma.


Recently, doctoral diplomas have gone missing in the mail. Because we can only issue a copy should the original diploma be lost, we strongly recommend picking up your doctoral diploma in person from the Doctoral Studies Office or having someone pick it up for you.