What is a doctorate?

A doctorate is the award of a doctoral degree, which concludes a doctoral procedure. Within the framework of a doctoral procedure, the ability to work independently and in depth scientifically is demonstrated.

In the traditional doctorate, the research results are presented and documented in a monograph ("dissertation"). After completion, this must be made publicly accessible within a certain deadline ("publication obligation"). At the end of the doctoral phase there is usually an oral examination, for example in the form of a disputation, in which the dissertation must be defended before the doctoral committee (and the departmental public).

One variant is the cumulative doctorate, which is becoming increasingly important. Already during the doctoral phase, partial results are published in publications, which are then assessed collectively as a doctoral thesis.

The doctoral procedures vary from university to university.

Although FH Münster does not yet have an independent right to award doctorates, doctorates are possible via the cooperative doctoral procedure and via the Promotionskolleg NRW. In the cooperative doctorate, professors from the university of applied sciences and a university jointly take on the supervision and examination. As a cross-university institution with its own right to award doctorates, the Promotionskolleg NRW offers structured doctoral programmes in which doctoral candidates are supervised by a team of members of the Promotionskolleg NRW.

What requirements do I have to fulfil for a doctoral procedure?

The admission requirements are regulated by the doctoral regulations of the cooperating university with the right to award doctorates.

The criteria to be taken into account vary greatly throughout Germany. This is mainly due to the fact that the admission procedure for doctoral studies is not regulated uniformly by law, but individually in the doctoral regulations of the universities which, in turn, are the responsibility of the faculties.

In general, the following applies: Admission to doctoral studies requires a Master's degree (or a comparable degree) with above-average performance in a subject area that can be associated with the planned dissertation topic.

Is a doctorate right for me?

The step towards a doctorate should be well considered. The following reasons can speak in favour of a doctorate:

  • Enthusiasm for a particular subject area
  • A strong interest in research and scientific work
  • Aspiration to an academic career
  • Career goals in the private sector

We are happy to support you in your individual decision with a personal consultation. To clarify initial questions, you are welcome to visit the open virtual consultation hours of the FH Münster Doctoral College.

A cooperative doctoral dissertation: "Yes! What is the next step?"

There are several ways to begin a cooperative doctorate:

  1. You are asked by your professor, for example, whether you are interested in a doctoral dissertation
  2. You would like to expand the ideas you have already developed in your student research project or dissertation into a research thesis

The topic of your dissertation should ideally be related to your Master's programme. After considering the topic, you should search for a professor at the FH who is interested in supervising your dissertation/research project. When selecting a supervisor, existing contacts from your studies can be useful. It is advisable to consider both professional and personal aspects.

When looking for the required university cooperation partner, it is often helpful to fall back on the personal network of the FH supervisor.

The key points of the cooperation should be laid down in a cooperation agreement.

What are the financing options during the doctorate?

There are various ways to finance the doctoral period:

  • You work as a research assistant at the FH or at the cooperating higher education institution
  • You work at a research institution or in the private sector
  • You apply for a scholarship
  • You can apply for a qualification position at the FH together with your FH supervisor
  • You finance your doctorate privately

In addition to the costs of living, you should expect to pay for expenses such as semester fees, participation in conferences and congresses (attendance fees and travel expenses), literature and the publication of your dissertation within the framework of a doctorate.

You can also find helpful information under the following link:

At which university am I enrolled?

Whether or at what point during the doctoral phase enrollment at the cooperative university is required varies from university to university and from faculty to faculty. As a rule, matriculation at the cooperative partner must take place no later than the submission of the dissertation.

Matriculation at FH Münster is possible and reasonable. Among other things, a supervision agreement between you and the two supervisors (University/FH Münster) is required as proof for enrollment.Among other things, a supervision agreement between you and the two supervisors (University/FH Münster) is required as proof for enrollment. You can register at any time for the current semester. As soon as the supervision agreement has been signed by all parties, you can enroll online in the doctoral program at FH Münster.

If you matriculate at both the university and the FH Münster, the semester fee will be paid to the university. If you enroll exclusively at FH Münster, the semester fee will be paid there. You will receive the semester ticket from the university where you paid your semester fee.

How does the doctoral college support me?

As a doctoral student at FH Münster, you have the opportunity to systematically qualify yourself within the framework of a program lasting several years. The doctoral college offers a wide range of attractive courses, which are intended to enable you to pursue a subsequent career in business or science.

You can find out more about the support offered by FH Münster Doctoral College here.

To participate in the Doctoral College, please register using the following registration form or your supervision agreement:

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