Structured Doctoral Studies

The Regulations of the faculties of TU Bergakademie Freiberg for the award of doctorates give the doctoral candidates the opportunity to choose which type of doctorate - conventional doctorate or doctorate within the framework of structured doctoral studies - they would like to pursue.

Whereas in a conventional doctorate, doctoral candidates focus mainly on their research on the doctoral topic, they acquire additional qualifications and competencies in the context of structured doctoral studies.

In the Faculties 3, 5 and 6, the Rigorosum which is part of the doctoral requirements can be substituted by these qualifications and other academic achievements upon application.


Types of doctorate

According to both the old and the new regulations for the award of doctorates, doctoral candidates at TU Bergakademie Freiberg have the possibility to choose which type of doctorate they want to pursue:

What are the differences?

Types of doctorates - conventionell vs. structured


When doing a conventional (or traditional) doctorate the doctorate consists of the following parts:

  • a thesis
  • a Rigorosum (only at the fakulties 3, 5 und 6)
  • public defencce of the thesis

The Rigorosum is an oral examination which provides proof of a candidate’s knowledge of the broader subject area. An Examination Board tests the candidate’s knowledge of a major and a minor subject. The major subject must be in the field or interdisciplinary area of the thesis. The minor subject of the viva must be clearly distinct from yet still meaningfully connected to the major subject. (See also § Doctorate Requirements of the regulations for the award of doctorates.)

In addition, the dissertation can be submitted either as a monograph or publication-based (cumulative) . The regulations of the faculties can be found under Forms / Regulations.


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Structured doctoral studies

In the structured doctoral studies, in addition to their research work, doctoral candidates will acquire subject-specific and interdisciplinary qualifications, important key competencies that will specifically prepare them for their future role as a manager and open up excellent career opportunities. The doctoral candidates can pursue this training either individually (own study plan) or within the framework of a graduate school.


Advantages of structured doctoral studies at a glance

  • In addition to the research on the doctoral topic, you will complete a subject-specific study programme and acquire additional interdisciplinary qualifications. This enables you to acquire subject-specific and interdisciplinary qualifications during your structured doctoral training - important key competencies that prepare you specifically for your future role as a manager and open up excellent career opportunities for you. For this you can also use courses which the GraFA offers.

  • A supervision agreement, which specifies the research and learning objectives and determine the time and work schedule as well as the reporting system, can be concluded between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor.

  • Contacts to an institution of professional practice (company, research institution, etc.) or a cooperating university are supported, as far as this is necessary for the doctoral studies.

  • As part of the structured doctoral studies, own teaching activities are rewarded with credit points.

  • The Rigorosum can be waived upon application after successful completion of the structured doctoral studies and attainment of at least 15 (applies to Faculty 3) or 30 credit points (applies to Faculties 5 and 6).


Structured doctoral studies - framework conditions

  • In Faculty 3, a total of 15 credit points must be achieved. A total of 30 credit points are required from members of the Collaborative Research Centers and from doctoral students of Faculties 5 and 6.
  • Of these, at least 4 (Faculty 3) or 6-12 credit points (Faculty 5) must come from subject-specific courses in which a grad has been achieved. This grade or the average of several grades is considered as a substitute for the grade of Rigorosum. More detailed information about the regulations can be found in the corresponding module handbooks.
  • Max. 6 credit points can be recognized for own teaching activities.
  • A prerequisite for the recognition of courses with a grade is that the same or similar courses have not already been taken as part of the student's own degree programme (Bachelor, Master or Diploma degree).
  • Faculties may also set other requirements (see regulations of the faculties below).
  • Courses taken at other universities or research institutions in Germany may also be recognized. The Faculty Board decides uppon application on the recognition of these achievements.
  • The Faculty Board of the respective faculty also decides on the recognition of other achievements, such as publications, presentations and/or posters at conferences, and supervision of student qualification theses (bachelor, master, diploma theses).
  • Only achievements that fall within the official period of doctoral studies can be recognized. This is the period between the start of the doctoral studies (specified in the Declaration of Intent) and the date on which the doctoral thesis is submitted.
  • Doctoral students who are members of a doctoral programme must meet the requirements of the appropriate degree programme.


Planning for structured doctoral studies

You should decide early on whether you would like to complete structured doctoral studies, as the time required for this should not be underestimated. We recommend that you plan in good time and in consultation with your supervisor the attendance at courses, active participation in conferences with posters and presentations, publication of articles and other scientific achievements.

Also take advantage of the advising opportunities at your faculty and at GraFA.

In the area of additional, interdisciplinary qualifications, the extensive range of courses offered by GraFA is available to you.

Regulations of the faculties for the recognition of the performances

Each faculty has its own special regulations regarding the recognition of certain achievements for the substitution of the Rigorosum. These regulations can be found in the below. They apply to doctoral studies under both the old and the new regulations for the award of doctorates (exceptions are marked).

Special regulations of the graduate schools of the collaborative research centers

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Application for the waver of the Rigorosum

Points are awarded for participation in courses/lectures/modules within the structured doctoral studies and for other additional scientific achievements. If you have reached the required total of 15 (Faculty 3) or 30 credit points (Faculties 5 and 6), you can apply with your faculty for the waver of the Rigorosum.

The calculation of the points for the performances provided are based on the specific regulations of the faculties (see structured doctoral studies).

Please be sure to note the special procedures of your faculty listed below for submitting applications and recognizing of certain achievements!

Doctoral candidates of the Faculty for Geosciences, Geoengineering and Mining

The application to replace the Rigorosum with comparable scientific achievements (as part of the structured doctoral studies) can be submitted at any time up to the submission of your doctoral thesis.

Please use this form to apply for the replacement of the Rigorosum. Fill in the header and the two left columns carefully.

In the case of publications and posters, all authors, the title of the publication/poster and the name of the journal or conference must be given. If you are not the first author, please also state your approximate percentage of contribution to the publication or poster. The LP to be awarded will be calculated proportionately.

Certificates/evidence of graded modules/lectures/courses must be submitted in the original, all other evidence submitted as a (scanned) copy.

Furthermore, written confirmation from your supervisor is required that he/she agrees with the application for a replacement of the Rigorosum in general and with the graded courses in particular. This confirmation can be made informally by letter or email or by using this form.

The application process is described in detail in this manual.


Applications for the substitution of the Rigorosums are to be sent electronically to:

Dr. Corina Dunger
E-Mail: corina [dot] dungeratgrafa [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de


Prior consultation is recommended.


Doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology

The Faculty Board decides on a case-by-case basis about the application for the substitution of the Rigorosum or the recognition of the achievements as part of the doctorate when opening the doctoral procedure.

Doctoral candidates are recommended to consult with their supervisor in an early phase of their doctoral project regarding the achievements that can be considered as a substitute for the Rigorosum.

For formal questions, you can contact the Education Officer, renkerattu-freiberg [dot] de (Mr Dr. Dirk Renker), and the Dekanatsrätin, moertersatww [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de (Mrs Dr. Ulrike Mörters).


Doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Business Administration

The Faculty Board decides on a case-by-case basis about an application for a replacement of the Rigorosum only at the end of the doctoral studies, when the doctoral procedure is opened.

Detailed information of the Faculty of Business Administration can be found on the page of the Doctoral Committee. Click on the link "OPAL course" and register. Then all the necessary documents will be provided to you.

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