Doctoral Research at UTN

Your doctorate at UTN is designed to provide you with a clear pathway to graduation via structured elements. The program includes course work, research, and self-study, all tailored to your needs and interests. Our program is designed to ensure that you have a solid foundation in your field of study while giving you the flexibility to pursue your research interests.

UTN is committed to providing students with a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Our department members and administrative staff are committed to helping them succeed and actively supporting, mentoring, and advising students throughout their academic career.

We believe that by providing a structured program, combined with individual advice and support, we can help doctoral candidates to succeed in their chosen field and prepare them for the next step in their academic or professional careers.

The following doctoral degrees (equivalent to PhD) are awarded at University of Technology Nuremberg:

Dr.-Ing. / Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. phil.

A Guide to your Doctoral Degree at UTN

Admission Procedure

The doctoral degree regulations clarify many issues that may arise. These regulations are a legally binding document for doctoral studies, please familiarize yourself with them!

view doctoral degree regulation document (German version)

Admission requirements

  1. Applicants must have completed one of the following:
    1. a master’s level course of study at the University of Technology Nuremberg, or
    2. a master’s level degree from another german university, or
    3. a comparable degree from a foreign university
      with an outstanding degree of success.
  2. Obtain an affirmative vote from the selection committee.
Please note: To be considered, it is necessary to possess excellent written and oral english language skills. Although no specific minimum scores are required for standardized tests, such as IELTS or TOEFL, candidates must be able to communicate fluently.

How to apply?

To apply for doctoral studies at UTN, please write an E-Mail to:
Your application will be reviewed by members of the corresponding department and assessed for the selection process. If a Professor agrees to advise your studies, the UTN School of StaRs will schedule a selection interview. You are also welcome to contact your preferred Advisor before submitting your application. Here you can find all our dissertation topics for scientific staff:

Positions scientific staff

Step-by-step guide:


Interview and vote of the selection committee

Admission and enrollment

Please submit your application for admission to doctoral studies via e-mail.

Required documents:

  • Copy of your Identity Card or Passport
  • Complete, chronical, tabular curriculum vitae in English
  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Certificate and diploma of your highest university degree: Masters degree (120 ECTS) or other equivalent qualification
  • Transcript of records / Diploma supplement / overview of courses of your highest university degree
Please note: Documents issued in the original German or English language do not need to be translated. Documents issued in another language must be translated by a sworn translator and certified with an official seal. For admission, merge the original and the translation into one PDF file.

Membership UTN School of StaRs

After the selection committee approves your admission to doctoral studies, you will become a member of the UTN School of StaRs. Your admission is valid for one year and will automatically extend for two years after successfully defending your proposal. You are expected to complete your doctoral program within three years (in special cases an extension of one year is possible).

Process for your Doctoral Degree

Proposal phase

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Research and Writing

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Proposal phase

Once you have been admitted to the UTN School of StaRs, the following deadlines apply:

Within one month of your admission, please submit your suggestion for the proposal committee, which includes your advisor, two individuals with expertise in your chosen field, and one person unrelated to your field of study.

Within six months, you are required to send your Advisor agreement along with your course and residency plan to the UTN School of StaRs.

No later than one year after your admission, the examination date for the defense of your dissertation proposal (Proposal Defense) will be set. Please ensure that your proposal of the dissertation topic is submitted to the UTN School of StaRs in writing, at least 2 weeks before the defense.

During the proposal defense, you will have 60 minutes (20 min. presentation) to present your work and engage in discussion with the committee. The committee will evaluate your previous work, objectives, methods, and future schedule. The defense of the dissertation proposal will be considered successful if the majority of the proposal committee votes in favor of continuing the work.


Upon successful completion of your proposal defense, your admission to the doctoral program will be automatically extended for two more years.

If you should fail the proposal defense, you will have the opportunity to retake it one more time. If you need more time to complete your studies, you can apply for a one-year extension of your admission. To do so, you must submit an application to the UTN School of StaRs within two weeks of the defense.

Research and Writing

After passing the proposal defense, you will continue your research toward a doctoral thesis. The exact requirements of the thesis vary by discipline. Doctoral researchers work closely with their advisor and/or the rest of the research group, to produce original research results that meet the highest standards, and make significant contributions to the understanding of a specific topic of research.

You will also perform annual progress reviews jointly with your advisor(s) and the dissertation committee members. The purpose of these progress reviews is to discuss your performance and to assess whether reasonable progress is made towards the doctoral degree, as well as make constructive suggestions on how you can reach the established objectives and complete the thesis project within the designated time frame.

Your dissertation committee will be formed after your proposal defense and includes your advisor, two individuals with expertise in your chosen field, and one person unrelated to your field of study.

In addition to your research work, you are required to complete a total of 24 ECTS credits of course work. This includes participating in at least four courses, with at least two of them being methods courses (qualitative and quantitative), and one focusing on good scientific practices. You must also provide evidence of at least two publications or two comparable seminar papers with outstanding grades.


The dissertation may be submitted as a monograph or as a cumulative dissertation. Upon completion, the dissertation must be submitted to the UTN School of StaRs in electronic form via the campus management system.

Requirements cumulative dissertation:

The advisor agreement and work plan specify the cumulative elements, contribution requirements (full papers), and regulations on authorship, and are coordinated with the Proposal Committee.
A minimum of three contributions of at least 6000 words each, published in peer-reviewed and internationally visible journals, are required for a cumulative dissertation. In case of co-authored contributions, your own contribution must be clearly identifiable and confirmed in writing by you and co-authors in an additional document (Author Credit Statement), which must be signed by all co-authors. You must have substantially contributed to each manuscript, and the contributions must be contextualized thematically and placed within a larger scientific framework (of at least 6000 words).

Department Engineering: Field of Computer Science

All papers must have been accepted in A-level journals or A-level conferences.

Department Liberal Arts and Sciences: Field of Liberal Arts

At least one of the papers must have been accepted for publication (accepted), two others must have been submitted.

Department Liberal Arts and Sciences: Field of Science

At least one of the papers must have been accepted for publication in an A-level Journal or A-level Conference (accepted), and three others must have been submitted.

The following documents are required for the submission of the doctoral thesis:

  • A statement confirming that the thesis conforms to the principles of good scientific practice and that the applicant has completed the work independently. Additionally, a declaration stating that the dissertation has not been submitted in the same or similar form to another German university to obtain a doctoral degree is also required.
  • Evidence of two scientific publications or seminar papers with outstanding grades, except for cumulative dissertation projects.
  • The certificate of admission to the doctoral program.
  • A comprehensive CV.
  • Proof of completion of the required coursework (24 ECTS).
  • Copies of all annual progress reviews with the supervisor(s) and dissertation committee members.
  • A signed consent form for a plagiarism check.

Dissertation review process

Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, the UTN School of StaRs will appoint two expert reviewers from the dissertation committee who will assess your thesis. It is important to note that your supervisor is not allowed to examine your thesis.

The reviewers will be given a maximum of two months to submit their assessments, which will be either a pass or fail.

Display Process

Once all the necessary reviews have been received, you and the dissertation committee will be notified about the display process. The total duration of the display period is two weeks. During the display period, all persons at the UTN that are authorized to examine can review your dissertation, including the proposed grades.

Upon acceptance of the dissertation, the UTN School of StaRs will appoint two individuals from the dissertation committee who have expertise in the relevant field, as well as one individual from another field who is authorized to serve as an examiner, as defense committee. It is important to note that your supervisor is not eligible to serve as an examiner.

Thesis Defense

Your defense is a two-part process, comprising a public lecture and a non-public examination discussion, lasting approximately 90 minutes in total. The results of the examination discussion will not be made public.

The public lecture is a brief (not to exceed 20 minutes) summary of the significant findings of the research. Following the lecture, all participants are allowed to ask questions.

The non-public examination discussion involves questions about the dissertation and a professional discussion of the results and the underlying principles of the research. Meeting minutes will serve as a record of the entire disputation.

All members of the defense committee, composed of the examiners, will decide on the outcome of the disputation, either as a pass or fail.


Within a period of two years upon passing your thesis defense, you need to make the approved version of the dissertation available to the scientific community through reproduction and dissemination. This can be achieved by submitting a digital version of the thesis to the library of the  University of Technology Nuremberg or by presenting a signed publishing contract.


Upon completion of all doctoral requirements and a successful dissertation defense, you will be awarded the doctorate degree by the UTN which allows you to carry the doctorate title.

Doctoral Degree Regulations from 29. March 2023 (German version)