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Doctoral Procedures in the Department of Earth Sciences

The study and examination office of the Department of Earth Sciences is responsible for all administrative aspects of the doctoral procedure.

You can find all information regarding the doctoral procedure below.

To register for the doctorate, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Supervisor agreement doc
  • Application for admission (there is only a german vision of it) doc
  • Dissertation schedule signed by the supervisor (if the supervisor is not a full-time university professor, then the signature of a full-time university professor must also be obtained)
  • If the dissertation is to be written in English, sufficient knowledge of English must be confirmed by the supervisor
  • CV
  • Declaration concerning the doctorate regulations doc
  • Degree certificates (B.Sc., M.Sc., or diploma) with grades and modules listed, constituting 300 ECTS in total (certified copies or regular copies accompanied by the originals)

The documents can be handed into the Study and Examinations Office during office hours or sent by mail. The Study and Examinations Office will obtain the approval of the chairperson of the doctoral committee.

Please also observe the Doctorate Regulations of the Department of Earth Sciences (in German only)


Once the chairperson of the doctoral committee has approved your application, you will receive an admission letter from the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office. It usually takes around 1-2 weeks from approval to sending the letter, although it may take slightly longer during vacation periods.

You will need the letter of admission in order to enroll as a student. Please also read the information on the relevant Freie Universität websites carefully.



Should the regular doctoral study period be exceeded by more than a year, you will need written confirmation from your supervisor(s) in order to stay enrolled at Freie Universität. The confirmation must state the length of the planned extension and a brief summary of the reason. It should be submitted by regular mail or email to the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office.

The dissertation must be submitted to the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office in three bound copies. If you have more than two examiners, you must submit a corresponding number of additional bound copies.

In all cases, you should also submit an electronic copy on a CD.

Once you have submitted the copies, the chairperson of the doctoral committee shall officially pass a resolution appointing the examiners. The bound dissertation must therefore not contain any reference to the identity of the examiners. Instead, a loose sheet with the names of the examiners should be inserted into each copy but should not be bound into it.

You can find the steps to follow after submitting the dissertation here.

Once you have submitted your dissertation, please note the following deadlines in relation to the oral examination (Disputation):

- The resolution on appointing the examiners by the chairperson of the doctoral committee can take 1-2 weeks.

- The examiners’ reports are usually submitted within six weeks.

- The mandatory consultation period for the dissertation, where it is available to be viewed at the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office, is 14 days following the submission of the examiners’ reports and their suggested grades.

- Following the mandatory consultation period, the members of the doctoral commission decide whether or not to accept the dissertation.

- The Disputation may take place ten days after the dissertation has been accepted

The dissertation is published at the University Library of Freie Universität Berlin. The Academic Affairs and Examinations Office sends an imprimatur to the University Library as soon as the Disputation has been passed and it has received all the documentation relating to the examination.

If the doctoral commission requires the candidate to make revisions to the dissertation, the imprimatur will not be sent to the Library until these requirements have been met in full. In this case, the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office requires confirmation from the chairperson of the doctoral commission that the requirements have been met.

Links to more information

Related Links

In order to obtain your doctoral certificate from the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office, you will need a statement of receipt from the University Library that they have received and published your dissertation. You will need to pick up your certificate in person. Please check with the Academic Affairs and Examinations Office that your certificate is ready before going to their office.

Would you like to change your supervisor?

To do this, please submit an informal application for a change of supervisor signed by you and your former supervisor. For the new supervision, please submit a new supervisor agreement.

You must be enrolled until the end of the doctoral process.
In order to write the dissertation in English, your supervisor must briefly email us to confirm that you have sufficient knowledge of English.
A title change is possible at any time and does not have to be requested.