Research stage Here you can find details on the organisation and length of our Ph.D. programme’s research stage. The research stage entails the actual writing of your thesis and frequently empirical work, including data acquisition and analysis. 1. Seminars Depending on the course regulations of our different Ph.D. programmes, thesis-related seminars and thesis colloquia with a maximum of 24 credits can be taken, whereby a seminar or a colloquium is each comprised of 4 or 6 credits. 2. Doctoral thesis You can submit your doctoral thesis in various formats. The thesis must be an independent research project in which you demonstrate an in-depth expertise and a grasp of scientific methods. In general, the thesis is written in German or English. 3. Defence In your defence you demonstrate that you have met the requirements of your thesis project. It is possible to forgo the defence if the supervisors’ reports recommend accepting the thesis. The thesis committee hears the defence and awards a grade. The defence lasts at least 60 minutes and is open to the public. 4. Duration Your thesis must be submitted within six semesters after completing the coursework stage. You must have passed the thesis-related seminars by the time you have submitted the doctoral thesis (academic year: Spring Semester 31 July, Autumn Semester 31 January respectively).