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Graduation procedure

The steps of the graduation procedure are determined in the Doctoral Regulations for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program Health Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne. The following is for information only. For all formal or legal purposes please refer to the valid version of the regulations.

Before you start to write the dissertation

Arrange a counselling hour with the coordinator of the IPHS:

  • You will be informed about all details of the graduation procedure.
  • After completing the curriculum, you will get a confirmation letter.
  • The request to initiate the graduation procedure is subjected to formal requirements. You will get the required documents to submit your dissertation at the IPHS office.
  • In case of a cumulative thesis: Please refer to the information sheet. In case of further questions, please contact the IPHS coordinator.

Initiation of the graduation procedure

Submission of the dissertation

Documents to hand in:

  1. Degree certificates or a certificate of equivalence (original or certified copy).
  2. The dissertation on an electronic device for internal use only (CD-ROM) and in addition five printed and bound copies of the dissertation.
  3. A CV in tabular form, written in German or English, in which the doctoral candidate describes his/her educational background and bears the signature of the applicant.
  4. In the case of research on humans, proof must be provided that advice has been given by the ethics committee. Research on humans includes research on living humans and on the bodies of deceased persons, on human biomaterial and on data of humans. If this is not the case, a short informal confirmation from the supervisor that no research on humans has taken place must be enclosed..
  5. Proof of the successful completion of the curriculum of the IPHS program (proof according to § 8 (2)).
  6. Complete filled-in template “Application for admission to the graduation procedure“ as well as „Notification to initiate the graduation procedure”
  7. Statements I to III.
  8. Proof of enrolment in the IPHS at the University of Cologne for the entire period.
  9. Only in case of a cumulative thesis: - In addition, a written declaration signed by the supervisor (identical with the one in the thesis) must be provided, describing in detail the contribution of the doctoral candidate to the publication(s), and from which it is clear that the doctoral candidate did the major part of the work.

You will be informed about the general course of the graduation procedure (according to the scheme below):

Graduation procedure at the IPHS

Evaluation of the dissertation

Two reviewers from the Faculty of Medicine are appointed by the chairperson of the doctoral committee.

The reviewers will assess the dissertation independently from one another.

Defense (oral examination)

The oral examination will take the form of an in-depth scientific discussion in front of an examination panel.

Members of the examination panel are as a rule the tutors, as well as a professor appointed as panel chair by the chairperson of the doctoral committee.

The date and time of the oral examination will be arranged by the candidate.

The defense will be announced on the noticeboards of the relevant institutes / clinics, and the Dean’s office at the latest eight days before it is due to take place.

You will get a sealed envelope with your exam papers on the day of your defense which have to be returned personally to the IPHS office on the same day.

The duration of the defense is a minimum of one hour and a maximum of 1,5 hours including a 20 minutes presentation about your doctoral project. 

Publication of the dissertation

After successfully passing the oral examination, the dissertation has to be published electronically. You will get an information sheet about the publication after your oral defense.

The dissertation has to be published the latest one year after your defense.

Doctoral certificate

The candidates who have successfully completed the doctoral examination procedure in the IPHS will be awarded the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) in Health Sciences or medicinae doctor/philosophiae doctor (MD/PhD) in Health Sciences.