Completing Your Doctoral Studies
Administrative Support and Responsibilities
- The examination/doctoral offices (Prüfungs-/Promotionsbüros) of the departments in which you are enrolled in as doctoral students are responsible for the completion of your doctoral degree (submission of the dissertation and its defense [Disputation]). The examination office (Prüfungsbüro) of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities is responsible for most FSGS doctoral students. FSGS management will be happy to advise you on any questions regarding graduation, but legally binding information can only be obtained from the examination/doctoral offices (Prüfungs-/Promotionsbüros).
- The FSGS Office is responsible for the completion of the Literary Studies doctoral program at FSGS. After successfully defending your dissertation, you will receive the Program Certificate and the Transcript of Records. This requires that you have completed the FSGS curriculum in its entirety.
- Further support during the final phase is available from DRS, HGS,or TU, which offer targeted courses for doctoral students in the final phase.
Submission of the Dissertation
The dissertation is submitted to the department (Fachbereich) through the appropriate doctoral or examination office (Promotions- oder Prüfungsbüro). The formalities (number of copies, affidavit, etc.) are regulated in the doctoral regulations (Promotionsordnungen).
Selection of the Reviewers (Gutachter*innen) / the Commission
The composition of the commission is regulated in the respective doctoral regulations (Promotionsordnungen). Usually, the commission consists of 5 members:
- the two reviewers
- at least two other university lecturers
- one academic staff member with a doctorate
The following should be noted:
Only full-time, emeritus, or retired university professors of Freie Universität Berlin may serve as chair and vice-chair of the commission.
- At least one reviewer must hold a full-time professorship in the department.
- At least one reviewer must belong to the field of the dissertation.
- the committee should not include more than one university teacher who has been dismissed or retired.
It is important that you discuss the composition of the committee in advance with your first supervisor.
Your proposal for the composition of the commission will be submitted together with the dissertation. A date for the defense of your dissertation (Disputation) does not have to be set at this time.
As soon as the doctoral committee (Promotionsausschuss) has confirmed the commission, you and all members of the commission will be informed in writing (usually by e-mail). After the commission is confirmed, you will send or hand over your dissertation to the members of the commission.
Review of the Dissertation and Display Period (Auslagefrist)
The reviewers are entitled to a ten-week review period. As soon as the reviews have been received, they will be made available to all members of the commission and to you.
Once both reviews have been received, a display period begins during which your dissertation and the proposed grades are made available for viewing to all university lecturers and doctoral members of the department. The display period is two weeks during the lecture period and four weeks during the non-lecture period. It is imperative that you adhere to the display period.
Dissertation Defense (Disputation)
In order to prepare for the dissertation defense (Disputation), you should definitely talk to your supervisors. It is also advisable to attend dissertation defense training courses offered by the DRS / HRS / BUA / TU.
The FSGS is happy to support you: you can use the seminar room for your defense. Glasses, water and juice are provided by the office.
A dissertation defense (Disputation) usually lasts 60–90 minutes and consists of a presentation, in which you present and explain the results of the dissertation and their significance in a larger scholarly context, and the debate in which you defend your dissertation against criticism and answer questions from the commission members. The debate must last at least thirty minutes and can last no longer than sixty minutes.
Following the defense, the commission will determine the grade for the dissertation defense and the overall grade.
The dissertation defense is open to the university public unless you object. The objection must be submitted no later than the submission of your dissertation.
After receipt of the disputation protocol, you will receive an interim certificate from the examination/dissertation office (Prüfungs-/Promotionsbüro) stating that you have successfully completed your dissertation process.
Please note that at this point you have not yet been awarded the title of doctor. You are also not allowed to use the title “Dr. des.”
Publication of the Dissertation
After completion of the doctoral process, you must publish your dissertation. The publication must take place within two years after the dissertation defense. This deadline can be extended by the doctoral committee (Promotionsausschuss) upon request.
The version of the text that you want to publish must be approved by the reviewers and the chair of the doctoral committee. You must submit a statement on the printed version from your reviewers to the doctoral committee. You will then receive written approval from the doctoral committee.
The number of printed and deposit copies is regulated in the doctoral regulations.
You prove that you have fulfilled your publication obligation by submitting a number of deposit copies specified by the doctoral regulations to the Dissertations Department at the University Library (Hochschulschriftenstelle) of Freie Universität Berlin.
If you need advice on printing subsidies/royalties, please contact FSGS management.
When you submit the confirmation from the Dissertations Department at the University Library (Hochschulschriftenstelle) that you have received the deposit copies to the examination office (Prüfungsbüro), you will receive your doctoral certificate. Together with the certificate, the academic degree of Doctor of Philosophy will be conferred on you at the same time.
Feedback to the Office
Please inform the FSGS office about the submission of the dissertation, the date of the dissertation defense (Disputation) and the result. After publication, we ask that you please send us a copy of the published dissertation; we will display the copies in our showcase in the Philological Library.