Submission of thesis at the Univ. of Cologne

Instructions and guidelines in accordance with the PhD Regulations

(Promotionsordnung) for PhD Students at the University of Cologne

Guidelines for submission of a PhD thesis at the University of Cologne

1)    Thesis “design”

In general, your thesis can look the way you like it. There are, however, few things that should be followed.

a)    Title page. The text should be as shown, but the font and the arrangement on the page is not prescribed. The university logo is optional.

You must state your date and place of birth.

b)    First page of your thesis must be identical to the title page, and directly follow it, i.e. do not insert an empty page or something like that.

c)    On the backside of the first page should be the names of the two referees for your thesis.

d)    The thesis must contain two abstracts: one in English and one in German.

e)    At the end there must be an “eidesstattliche Erklärung”, that means that you give a statement in place of an oath that you did all the work yourself. Sign below this text and add the list of publications.

f)    The last page of the thesis must contain your CV (Lebenslauf) IN GERMAN! It can be a very simplified CV, containing private data and education.

g)    Format: For the official submission it must be A4. The library examples can be in any format you prefer.

2) Submission Procedure

  • Check out
  • Check the deadlines for submission. There are 7-8 deadlines per year please check out
  • At least one week before the submission deadline you should go to Dekanat (in the main building of the University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz) to pick up the forms that have to be filled and submitted together with the thesis. Make sure to check the opening hours, it’s open only a few times a week! The person in charge of PhD student is Ms. Karin Gotzmann. At the moment the schedule is:

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 13:30-15:30.

Actually the Mitteilung form must be filled and signed while the student is enrolled at Cologne University in the beginning of the thesis. One copy remains in Ms. Karin Gotzmann´s office and the student keeps the other one.

  • Another template that can be found in the section “Formulare” is “Einladung zur universitätsöffentlichen Disputation (Prom.ordnung von 2006, § 9, Abs. 3)”. This is the official announcement for your defence – it should be made public about one week before the date and it has to be signed by the chairman of the commission “Vorsitzender”. Then you just hang the form on of the blackboards of the institute.
  • What you need for the final submission:

a) 4 copies of your thesis in A4 format. 3 out of the 4 copies of your thesis are for the referees – you will probably get them immediately back to give them to the referees personally – officially the dean’s office should deliver them, but it is faster like this and one is sure that everybody got his/her copy. The 4th copy is for the dean’s office.

b)    All the forms that you have filled (look at examples)

c)    Your diploma certificate and maybe a transcript (they need original and certified copies and they keep the copies),

d)    Proof that you have been enrolled at the Uni Koeln for at least two semesters (in form of the blue papers that you receive every semester with your student ticket and that write “promotion” at the bottom).

e)    The Mitteilung der Promotionsabsicht form.

f)     The same german CV (Lebenslauf) that you put in the thesis but also signed and with a picture.

  • The defence in principle takes place two months after the submission and within the two-week-interval given in Promotionstermine
  • The committee: three examiners consisting of two referees and a chairperson. One of the two referees can be a “Privatdozent” if the second one is a professor appointed for life time at the faculty. The third examiner has to represent another field, i.e. not experimental physics. Next to the three examiners is a fourth person plus that writes the protocol (so called Beisitzer) – this can be any person from the institute in possession of a PhD title. Please note that one of the referees can be from another university if the 1st referee is a professor for lifetime at the University of Cologne and the 2nd referee is a professor for lifetime at another university.
  • Tip: You have to find a suitable date for the four (usually busy) people. In addition to that you need a room for this occasion. If your defence will take place at the Ph1, try to organize a room immediately because there’s no much space there. The most appropriate place is the so-called Kosma Raum which is often booked for all kinds of institute happenings; there is another seminar room at the Ph1 where the lectures take place. The bookings of Kosma can be checked at our internal pages, so the best thing is to ask one of your colleagues from Uni Koeln to check the available dates. For the seminar room, one can contact one of the Ph1 secretaries. If none of the two is available, there are other rooms at other physics institutes, please contact the secretaries if this is the only option.

3) After the defence

Your thesis has to be published by the university library. The best way to do this is by electronic publishing. Follow the instructions at this web page:

First you need a user name and password that you can give online; then you will be able to upload you thesis; finally, the system will generate a confirmation that you have to print out. With this confirmation, and another 9 hard copies of the thesis you have to go to the main library of the University (Universitätsstrasse 33), to the office called Hochschulschriften- und Tauschstelle, 4th floor, Room 402. Make sure you check the opening hours, currently it’s only 10-12.[1] 


Rules for Reproduction of PhD Theses

The theses should be available in full at the university thesis web server.

The cover of the thesis should have the IMPRS layout (see attachment; contact E. Angelakis for the macros to produce it). The thesis should be delivered as PostScript, PDF, or Word.

The reproduction of academic theses at the MPIfR printers is not allowed for personal use or for delivery to non-institute affiliated persons. The rules of the Max Planck Society do not allow the IMPRS to cover the print of the compulsory copies for the exam committee members.   

[1] Text about the Cologne submission process added in May 2010.

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