The Colloquium / Doctoral Exam

The Colloquium is a scientific debate about the subject of the dissertation and relating fields. It will last at least 60 minutes and 120 minutes at most including a scientific lecture of about 20 minutes about the dissertation with a following detailed discussion.

The colloquium is a public session open for university members, but the candidate may decide within one week after the written invitation that the public should be excluded.

The chair of the examination board moderates the colloquium, he also has to write the protocol ("Niederschrift"). It makes sense to clarify the use of media with the chairman in advance - in non-public exams the lecture can be partly illustrated with posters and writing on a blackboard instead of the usual digital presentation.


The grading of the colloquium takes place after a common, non-public debate of the examiners. If the members of the examination board cannot agree on a uniform grading, the grade is calculated as the arithmetic average of the respective singular grades.

In order to pass the colloquium, a grade of 3.0 or better has to be achieved. Otherwise, if you fail the doctoral exam there is the possibility to retry the colloquium within a year after a formel application.

The overall doctoral grade is calculated as the sum of the double weighted dissertation grade and the single weighted colloqium grade divided by 3. The chair of the examination board will announce the doctoral grade to the candidate after the colloquium.


Table of grades:

0 with distinction      summa cum laude
0,1 bis 1,5    very good magna cum laude
1,6 bis 2,5 good cum laude
2,6 bis 3,0 satisfying rite
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