Georg-August University School of Science (GAUSS)

PhD Thesis

Writing the dissertation is one of key task during a PhD and there are some aspects, which need to be taken into consideration. The GGNB kindly provides thesis guidelines , which can be also used by all GAUSS students. Special thanks at this point goes to the author Prof. Reinhard Jahn for sharing his experience and knowledge.

Please be also aware that it is mandatory to use one of the cover pages listed in the doctoral regulations (sample page in English or German ) and to attach a short CV at the end of your thesis.

When you have finalized your PhD thesis you need to submit it to either the respective deanery of your faculty, the GGNB Office, or the program specific coordination office. At this point, you need to apply for admission to your doctoral examination specifying your desired doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat. or PhD) and proposing the examination committee including the two referees of your thesis.

The examination committee shall contain experts in all research areas dealt with in the doctoral thesis. According to the doctoral regulations (German , English translation ) §11, at least one of the two referees has to be a member of the thesis advisory committee and at least one of the two referees has to be a member of the professorial group at the University of Göttingen. Both referees have to be accredited for examination in the respective doctoral program. Usually, the first two members of the thesis advisory committee (main supervisor and examination accredited person) are appointed as referees. In case of external members of the examination committee (without general examination accreditation in GAUSS), it is mandatory to apply for an individual examination accreditation for each of the external members before you apply for the admission to the doctoral examination. More information on examination accreditations can be found here. Of the four additional members of the examination committee, at least one has to be accredited for examination in the respective doctoral program (including individual examination accreditation) whereas the three other members must be accredited for examination in any GAUSS doctoral program.

The referees (in case of a proposed "summa cum laude": one additional external referee) have then up to four weeks to evaluate the thesis. Usually, the oral examination will take place approximately two weeks later. At least four members of the examination committee (including the two referees) have to attend the oral examination.


With submitting your PhD thesis, you need to register for the doctoral examination. This has to be done either at the deanery of your faculty, the GGNB Office, or at the program specific coordinating office for examination (depending on your doctoral program). Required documents and further information can be found in the "Countdown to a doctoral degree" (Handout/Checklist ).