Doctoral Degree Studies

How to get a doctoral degree at Faculty 2: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Are you interested in a doctorate at our faculty? - We are pleased about this and provide you with information about the process and the formal conditions under the doctoral regulations of 2019. We provide the handouts for the doctoral regulations of 2016 und 2011, too.

General information on the doctoral procedure, the doctoral regulations of the University of Stuttgart, scholarships and funding opportunities, etc. can be found on the website of the Graduate Academy of the University of Stuttgart GRADUS. We recommend that you read this website first with five steps to your doctorate!

At our faculty there are currently two ways to obtain a doctorate:

  • individual supervision by a main supervisor from the faculty, or
  • within in the international doctoral program "EnvironmentWater (ENWAT)", which bundles doctorate studies in the field of water and environment, or in the framework of a structured doctoral program, in which you will be integrated into a research network. At our faculty these are currently:


Gaining your doctoral degree - faculty-specific regulations and supplements

Please inform yourself here, if you have

  • obtained a degree of a foreign university (see subsequent section 1.), or
  • studied a subject that does not correspond to one of our study program (see subsequent section 2.)
1. Acceptance with a foreign degree

You apply to GRADUS for acceptance as a doctoral researcher (see also the chapter below), including a request for stating the formal equivalence of your degree. GRADUS first checks the formal equivalence which requires additional time (approx. one to two weeks). Then GRADUS forwards your application documents to the faculty office. The Doctoral Committee will then accept your application under the precondition that you need to prove your knowledge corresponds to the one of our graduates. For this you might need to take additional courses. In any case, your supervisor has to submit a request to the Doctoral Committee for recognition of the equivalence of your university degree with regards to the content of your studies to one of our study programmes, possibly including a suggestion on the measures which you need to take.

2. Acceptance if subject of study does not correspond to study program of the faculty

You apply to GRADUS for acceptance as a doctoral researcher (see also the chapter below). GRADUS forwards your application documents to the faculty office. The Doctoral Committee will then accept your application under the precondition that with the provison that you proof knowledge equivelent to our graduates. In this case, the supervisor has to submit a request for recognition of knowledge to the Doctoral Committee including a suggestion on the measures which you might need to take (e.g. passing a certain course).

Learn more about how to register, apply for and enrol for a doctorate:

Individual qualification programme

For the application for acceptance as a doctoral researcher ("Antrag auf Annahme als Doktorandin/Doktorand") you have to agree on your doctoral studies with your supervisor using the form agreement on doctoral studies. This contains your individual qualification programme. Please refer to the faculty's catalogue when determining the measures. Especially for courses on key qualifications (e.g. management competences) you can use the offers by GRADUS.

Doctoral committee

The doctoral committee will decide on your application for acceptance. As a rule, it meets before the grand faculty council (one meeting each in January, April, May, June, October, November, December). There are no meetings during the semester breaks. In urgent cases (i.e. for Visa or scholarship applications) the acceptance can be organised during the semester breaks with a circulation procedure.

In principle, a cumulative dissertation is possible at Faculty 2. The faculty has decided on a guideline (in revision) [DE] for this and provides an additional handout [DE].


Please use the faculty template for the title page of the dissertation without the date of the oral examination. You submit x copies of your dissertation in paper form (bound) and one electronic version (PDF file) to the faculty office (x = number of rapporteurs + 1). These copies should be printed double-sided and bound. Both the pdf and the copies should contain a CV. In the hard copy also the doctoral researcher’s signed statement that he/she has completed the dissertation independently needs to be enclosed.This also represents the application for admission to the doctoral examination.

Please note the following resolutions of the doctoral committee of the Faculty 2:

  • The dissertation should not contain more than 150 pages.
  • Each dissertation must be accompanied by both a German and an English language summary with two to four pages each.
  • If the dissertation is to be written in languages other than German or English, the doctoral committee will decide on this in each individual case.

The main supervisor writes to the doctoral committee including

  • Confirmation that the dissertation is ready for acceptance
  • Proposal for co-examiners (e.g. for the expert report on the dissertation)
  • Confirmation of fulfilment of requirements (see prerequisites for a doctorate), if applicable

Irrespective of a participation in a structured doctoral programme, the final version of the agreement on doctoral studies (including the individual qualification programme) should be enclosed in the letter. For a discussion in the doctoral committee, the letter should arrive at the faculty office at least one week before the date of the doctoral committee meeting.

Appointment of co-examiners

At a meeting of the doctoral committee, the main supervisor presents the doctoral project. The doctoral committee admits the doctoral researcher to the examination and appoints an examination committee for this doctoral project (chair, supervisor and one or more co-examiners). The faculty office sends the dissertations to the co-examiners and organises the internal circulation procedure. These steps take several weeks to sometimes months.

Presentation and oral doctoral examination

After the internal circulation procedure, you can organise the date and time of your doctoral examination with the members of your examination board. You also need to book a room for the presentation and the subsequent examination. Please inform the faculty office about the date, time and place of your examination and the travel dates of your co-examiners.
The presentation about the research topic immediately before the oral doctoral examination should last 30 to a maximum of 45 minutes.

Publication of the dissertation

You have to fulfill any changes suggested during the circulation procedure, the expert opinions, etc. by the time the dissertation goes to press. Within one year of the doctoral examination, you need to hand over a copy of your dissertation to your supervisor.

The supervisor will check the correctness of the dissertation and release the dissertation for printing. The University Library [DE] will inform you on its website about the formal requirements the dissertation has to meet, which publication options are available and how many copies you must submit.

The doctoral procedure is finished when the doctoral certificate is handed over to you by the faculty office. Now – no moment earlier – you can use the doctoral degree – congratulations!

The doctoral certificates (or a copy if you need them earlier) are also handed over once a year by the dean during the faculty graduation ceremony. This ceremony usually takes place in July.

You can apply to the doctoral committee for inspection of your doctoral file, including the expert opinions, in writing within one year. The doctoral committee will then determine the place and time for your inspection of your file.


Min Zhang

M. A.

Faculty office manager

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