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Monographic and cumulative theses

Monographic and cumulative theses

Please note that only the information given in the official German version of the General Doctoral Regulations and Faculty Doctoral Regulations is legally binding, not the text on this website.

Monographic thesis

A monographic thesis is a written doctoral thesis that must not contain any previous theses or papers which have already been published. Parts of the thesis may be published in advance provided this is clearly stated. However, care must be taken to ensure that contractual agreements with the publisher do not prohibit publication during the doctoral procedure.

Cumulative thesis

Cumulative theses are a collection of articles which have been published in recognised scientific journals or accepted for publication and are submitted as an alternative to a monographic thesis. Details of the minimum number of publications required and other criteria which must be met by cumulative theses vary from faculty to faculty.

Special conditions apply to essay-based theses at the School of Business, Economics and Society. These must include at least three papers which have the potential to be published in a prestigious scientific journal. The doctoral candidate must be the lead author of at least one of the papers. A summary placing the individual papers in their scientific context is also required.

Cumulative theses are not permitted at the School of Law, at the Faculty of Engineering and at the School of Theology.

A cumulative thesis is permitted at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology for the following doctoral degree programmes: Digital Humanities, Psychology, Psychogerontology, Education, Sport Science, Theatre Pedagogy and Business and Economics. These programmes require at least three papers to have been published or accepted for publication in reputable academic journals and the candidate must be the lead author for at least two of the publications. A framework text of at least 45,000 characters must also be submitted, illustrating the contextual links between the various papers and demonstrating that their contents are indicative of a broader knowledge of the subject.

Information about monographic and cumulative theses at the Faculty of Medicine is available on the website of the Service Centre for Doctoral Candidates at the Faculty of Medicine.

A cumulative thesis is permitted at the Faculty of Sciences in consultation with the supervisor. The candidate must be the sole or lead author of at least one of the publications. For co-authored papers, the authorship of the individual parts of the publication must be clearly stated and confirmed in writing by the candidate and co-authors. In addition, a cumulative thesis must include a roughly 25-page exposition which illustrates the contextual links between the various papers and shows that their contents are indicative of a broader knowledge of the subject.