Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Application for Doctorate

For the doctorate, the doctoral regulations (English Translation - only the German version is legally binding) of the Digital Engineering Faculty jointly founded by the Hasso Plattner Institute and the University of Potsdam apply.


Beginning a Doctorate

The prerequisite for a doctorate at the Digital Engineering Faculty is a graduate-level degree - Diplom, master's, Magister, or First State Exam for Secondary School Teacher Training - from a German university (or a recognized international equivalent). The main subject, final thesis, or state exam for the Secondary School Teacher Training (Secondary School I and II) must have been in the academic discipline of the intended doctorate and must correspond to a subject area at the Digital Engineering Faculty.

The German university degree must as a rule have been completed with a grade of at least "satisfactory" ("gut"). Degrees earned at scholarly institutions outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Germany's Basic Law shall be recognized insofar as their equivalence is determined.


Declaration of Intent to Pursue a Doctoral Degree

Submit the following documents:

  1. Supervision agreement
  2. Report of intent to pursue doctoral studies
  3. Copies of university transcripts
  4. Curriculum vitae in tabular form

To declare your intent to pursue a doctorate at the Digital Engineering Faculty, please complete the steps below:


  1. Please complete the supervision agreement and the report of intent to pursue doctoral studies together with your primary supervisor.

  2. If any of your qualifying degrees were completed outside Germany, arrange for their official recognition together with your primary supervisor.

  3. To this end, you may consult the anabin database of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal States of the Federal Republic of Germany and the International Relations Office's Grade Conversion Tables. If needed, you can also contact the Registrar's Office.

    The University of Potsdam
    Registrar's Office
    Neues Palais Campus
    Building 08
    Am Neuen Palais 10
    14469 Potsdam

  4. Finally, submit the document to the office of the Doctoral Committee at the Digital Engineering Faculty.

    The University of Potsdam
    Office of the Doctoral Committee
    Griebnitzsee Campus/Hasso Plattner Institute
    Haus C-1.8
    Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3
    14482 Potsdam


You can find all the stipulations regarding the supervision agreement in Section 5 of the regulations for a doctoral degree. Please note that the deadline is generally 14 days before the next meeting of the Doctoral Committee.

After the Doctoral Committee grants its approval, you will receive a confirmation of admission by postal mail.

Academic Disciplines

The list of authorized academic disciplines are equal to the offered fields of study of the DEF.

Enrolling as a Doctoral Student

You can find all important information on enrolling as a doctoral student at the Division of Student Affairs.

General Guidelines

Commencing the Doctoral Examination Procedure

The doctoral examination procedure commences as soon you submit your dissertation to the office and the Doctoral Committee appoints the Examination Committee and the reviewers.

Submit the following documents

To apply for the commencement of the doctoral examination procedure, you must submit the following documents listed in Section 12 of the regulations for a doctoral degree to the faculty’s Doctoral Committee office:*

  • Application to commence a doctoral examination procedure
  • Five (5) copies of the dissertation, and one (1) digital version
  • Seven (7) copies of a scientific abstract, with name and title of dissertation, and one (1) digital version
  • Seven (7) copies of a curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • One (1) a list of manuscripts or other scholarly accomplishments published or accepted for publication, assessments available thereon
  • A certified copy of the degree certificate in accordance with § 4, para. 1
  • An affirmation in lieu of an oath that the thesis has not been submitted to any other university so far and that it has been prepared independently and exclusively with the means indicated
  • Proof of fulfillment of the requirements according to the doctoral regulations § 4 para. 3Proof of participation in at least one one-semester seminar for doctoral students.
  • Proof of enrollment as a doctoral student or
  • Police clearance certificate, if the doctoral student has been exmatriculated for more than three months or is not in public service
  • One (1) copy of a generally understandable abstract in German language

*Please be mindful of the deadline for agenda items for the corresponding meeting of the Examination Committee.

What happens after the procedure commences?

After the procedure commences, each reviewer will be sent a copy of the dissertation. They will have eight weeks to submit their reviews.

Once the last review is submitted, if they are all positive, the chair of the Examination Committee is tasked with scheduling the oral defense. As the doctoral candidate, you will be informed that your dissertation has been accepted and your oral defense is being scheduled.

You can find information about the structure of an oral defense in Section 14 of the regulations for a doctoral degree.


Concluding the Doctoral Examination Procedure

After your oral defense:

  1. Your doctoral examination procedure will be discussed at the next meeting of your doctoral committee, which will make a recommendation to the dean to conclude your doctorate.
  2. You will receive a notification requesting that you publish your dissertation.
  3. Your certificate (diploma) will be drawn up and signed by the president of the university and the dean of the faculty.
  4. When your signed certificate arrives at the office, you will notified that it is ready for you to pick up.

Please note that you will not receive your diploma until your dissertation has been published and the doctoral supervisors have submitted their official approval of the revisions (Revisionsschein).

Notes on Publication of the Dissertation

A certificate cannot be issued until the dissertation has been published (Section 15 of the regulations for a doctoral degree). You may not wear the title without a certificate. To meet this requirement, you must submit an electronic version to the university library.