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Oral examination

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After the assessments on your doctoral degree paper have been submitted, you will need to take an oral examination. This doctoral examination shall either be carried out by way of a disputation before the Examination Board or by way of two individual oral examinations. A doctoral examination is generally open to the university, unless you object in writing.

In case of a doctorate by submission of a temporarily protected monograph, the doctoral examination will take place by way of a non-public disputation before the Examination Board.

Disputation or two individual examinations

In the following cases the disputation will take place before the Examination Board:

  • for a Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. and Dr. rer. medic. degree, where the mean sum of the assessor grades awarded for the written doctoral degree paper corresponds to or exceeds 1.0 (magna cum laude) and you requested a disputation at the procedure’s initiation
  • for a PhD and MD/PhD degree
  • in case of a temporarily protected monograph
  • if an assessment rules "non sufficit" even after revision
  • for a second attempt in the event of failure to pass the doctoral examination

The duration of the disputation varies between the Standard Track and the Advanced Track: In the Advanced Track (PhD and MD/PhD) the presentation time is a maximum of 25 minutes, the time for discussion is a minimum of 35 and a maximum of 45 minutes. In the Standard Track (Dr. med., Dr. med. dent., Dr. rer. medic.) the presentation time is a maximum of 15 minutes and the discussion time is about 10 minutes. You can request to extend the times for presentation and discussion to those of the Advanced Track. Presentation and discussion can be held in English. In your presentation you must present the research question, the methodology, the results and the critical evaluation of your dissertation. The presentation and discussion will be graded separately. Each mark must be at least "passed" (rite) for the disputation to be passed.

In all other cases, the doctoral examination takes place in the form of two individual oral examinations of 30 minutes each: The examiners, who must be university lecturers (Hochschullehrer), may neither supervise nor review the dissertation. They may also not belong to your research group. Each individual examination takes place in public in the presence of an assessor. In the individual examination you will present the research question, methodology and results of your dissertation in a maximum of 15 minutes. This is followed by a professional discussion. The examination should not exceed 30 minutes. You will then be informed of the result of the examination. Each individual examination must be graded at least "passed" (rite) in order to pass the doctoral examination.