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For a Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. or Dr. rer. medic. degree, you can either submit a certain number of publications (doctorate by publication) or a monograph as a doctoral degree paper (dissertation).

A PhD or MD/PhD degree requires the pursuit of a doctorate by publication.


A monograph can be submitted for the degrees Dr. med., den Dr. med. dent. and Dr. rer. medic.

For monographs written in the English language, the Doctoral Commission may have the quality of the work assessed by a report from a linguistic expert. The costs incurred for this shall be borne by the doctoral candidate.

The submission of a temporarily protected monograph is possible with the approval of the Doctoral Commission. The application must be submitted together with the registration of the doctoral project. For detailed information, go to the Registration section.

For a PhD or MD/PhD degree, you can submit a monograph or a temporary protected monograph, if this has been approved by the Doctoral Committee at registration prior to the initiation of the doctoral project. For detailed information on this go to the Registration section.

Confirmation by an accredited statistician

Are you planning to pursue a doctoral project including a relevant statistical section and complete it by submitting a monograph? Then you will find more information here on the Confirmation by a statistician accredited by the Doctoral Commission (Section 8 (2)a PO 2017).

Doctorate by publication

The award of a Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. or Dr. rer. medic. degree requires the submission of at least one original publication by the candidate as lead author in a "peer-reviewed" journal, as well as a synopsis which should generally contain 5 000 to 10 000 words and not more than 40 references as a doctoral degree paper (dissertation).

The thesis must be prepared in either the German or the English language.

For a PhD and MD/PhD degree, the doctoral degree paper (dissertation)

  • must include at least one original publication by the candidate as lead author in an international "peer-reviewed" journal or
  • three original publications, with at least one by the candidate as lead author, in a "peer-reviewed" journal
    and (in both cases)
  • a synopsis, which should generally contain 5 000 to 10 000 words and not more than 40 references

This synopsis must include the following:

Title of your dissertation and title of your publication(s)

Please note that the title of your dissertation cannot be the same as the title of one of your publications. There are legal reasons for this. Firstly, it is unclear whether the authors and/or journal could assert protective rights to the publication. Secondly, there would be two publications under the same title, i.e. the dissertation and the journal publication, which would cause bibliographical problems, and finally, the title of the dissertation should have a larger scope than a very specific publication generally has.


A doctorate by publication requires the submission of a synopsis, which explains how the publication(s) relate(s) to your scientific work and the working group (Arbeitsgruppe). Its function is to place your scientific work in a wider context and to provide information that, unlike a monograph, usually cannot be contained in isolated publications.

Please note: You must not put together your synopsis by copy & paste from “chunks” of your publication(s), not even if you have translated these parts from another language! The synopsis is part of your Thesis and will be evaluated by the assessors.

The synopsis must show that your scientific work meets the academic standards and that, together with your publication/s, you demonstrate the ability to work scientifically on your doctoral subject in an independent manner. The synopsis should generally contain 5 000 to 10 000 words (excluding spaces and references) and not more than 40 references. However, these are mere guidelines. Deviations from these requirements are possible in justified cases.

If you take pictures, tables, texts etc. from the publication/s you submit, please indicate this by a correct quotation! If you are not the only author of a publication, you must not treat the publication as if all texts, figures, tables etc. were your own intellectual property.

Ideally, your synopsis has the following structure: The extensive introduction must contain the state of current research and the dissertation’s significance for the specific subject. This is followed by a description of the methods as well as a detailed presentation of the results and, if applicable, the depiction of clinical applications, possible limitations of the study/studies and new scientific questions. In publications with several authors, your contribution must be precisely described with regard to content and scope.

Please indicate all authors of a publication in the bibliography - regardless of the citation method used! "Et. Al." Is not allowed! Please also note the information provided by the Office for Research Integrity regarding the preparation of the dissertation.

In addition, under Links & Downloads you will find a form for a tabular summary of the essential points from your synopsis. You do not need to include this summary in your dissertation, just submit it with the other documents. This summary is primarily for you and the doctoral commission to have an overview of the essential points.


Please note:

  • The dissertation (i. e. paper(s) and synopsis, or alternatively monograph) required for a PhD or MD/PhD degree should be prepared in English.
  • The publication date of the most recent publication may not be more than one year before initiation of the doctoral examination procedure.
  • Please also observe our notes regarding journals and joint (lead) authorships.