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Prerequisites for Doctoral Studies at the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences

Prerequisites for doctoral studies at the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences

To be accepted as a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences, you must fulfil the following pre-requisites:

  1. University degree in a suitable subject: Your study programme lasted at least eight semesters at a university in the Federal Republic of Germany in the discipline of engineering sciences, life sciences or natural sciences, culminating in a “Diplom” degree or a Master’s degree with overall results of at least “good” (i.e., 73 % or higher in the German system).
  2. Suitability of the topic of your doctorate: The topic proposed for your dissertation must be covered by the Graduate Centre. In principle, a doctorate in any of the engineering-science subjects covered by members of the PZI is possible. A current overview of the range of engineering-science subjects at the PZI is available here.



The doctoral committee will decide on exceptions to the above-mentioned pre-requisites in the following cases:

pfeil bulletpointApplicants from a different discipline:

If your degree course is related to a subject not named above, the doctoral committee may accept you as a doctoral student if this is in the scientific interests of the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences and if you have credentials testifying to your knowledge in the requisite subject relating to the proposed topic of your dissertation. The doctoral committee will determine the kind of credentials relating to the requisite knowledge and which must be produced within a certain timeframe. The credentials may, for example, take the form of successful participation in appropriate classes or of passing individual examinations.


pfeil bulletpoint Applicants with final degree results below the required grade

If your final degree results are below “good” (i.e., 73 % or higher in the German system), the doctoral committee may nevertheless accept you as a doctoral candidate if this is in the scientific interests of the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences and if you have taken an aptitude examination before an examination committee appointed by the doctoral committee proving that you are especially qualified to undertake scientific research.


Please note that you have no right to demand an aptitude examination in the two cases of exception named here.


pfeil bulletpoint University degrees taken outside Germany

If you took your degree at a university outside Germany, the doctoral committee may recognise your degree as equivalent if it is listed as such in the equivalence agreement approved by the Standing Conference of the State Ministers of Education and the Arts in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Conference of Presidents and Rectors of Universities and Other Higher Education Institutions. If there is any doubt about equivalence, the Central Advisory Office on Foreign Education Systems must be consulted.


If you do not have German citizenship and you did not take your degree at a university in the Federal Republic of Germany, you must present confirmation from your supervisor attesting your adequate proficiency in the German or English language.

Supervisors and Reviewers

  • Doctorates at the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences are usually supervised by two, at the most three, supervisors
  • As a rule, supervisors and reviewers are members of the Graduate Centre for Engineering Sciences; the Doctoral Committee decides on exceptions.
  • At least one of the supervisors and one reviewer have to be members of the university that awards the degree (Justus Liebig University Giessen or Philipps-Universität Marburg).
  • At least one professor of Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences who is also a member of the Graduate Centre has to nominated as a supervisor or a reviewer.
  • The following persons can be nominated as supervisors and reviewers: professors (including assistant professors/lecturers), professors who have been relieved of their duties, retired professors, adjunct professors and associate professors.

Sie finden diese Informationen zusammengefasst im "Fact Sheet: Supervisors and Reviewers (in German only)" and in the  Doctoral Rules and Regulations (in German only).