The Faculty of Business Administration offers two similar doctoral programs:
1. Individual Doctoral Degree Program:
- The doctoral degree regulations of 2014 in the new version of 26 April 2023 [PDF] (in German only) apply.
- The program includes at least 12 credit points in doctoral courses.
- Graduates are awarded the title "Doctor rerum oeconomicarum" ("Dr. rer. oec.").
2. Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program (Graduate School charter [PDF]).
- The doctoral degree regulations of 2014 in the new version of 26 April 2023 [PDF] (in German only) and the academic regulations for the structured doctoral degree program in Business Administration Research from 24 January and 4 July 2018 [PDF] apply.
- This program includes at least 32 credit points in doctoral courses.
- Graduates are awarded the title "Dr. rer. oec." and the certificate of "Research in Business Administration".
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program. Students enrolled in the program who do not complete the required 32 credit points by the end of the doctorate, but do complete the minimum of 12 credit points required for the Individual program above, are awarded the title "Dr. rer. oec." but not the additional certificate. Students can change their program in DOCATA (see below) during their studies.
All processes in the programs are administered through DOCATA. Please login on a regular basis to check your emails, or you may miss out on important information. You will load up the consent to supervision, your proposal for the examination commission and your thesis in DOCATA, also please send all communications via DOCATA.
Please thoroughly read the following steps before using DOCATA.
In the following, the steps for entering and completing your doctoral studies are laid out in detail.
To be eligible for either doctoral degree program, you must have completed:
- a master's degree at a university with a grade point average of 2.5 or better, and
- at least 300 ECTS (the faculty’s doctoral committee will decide on exceptions to these rules); and
- You confirm that you have not submitted your dissertation topic for a doctorate elsewhere.
- You confirm that you will comply with the Bylaws for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct at Universität Hamburg [PDF].
- Your language level in German or English is C1 or above. Candidates with a different native language that is neither German nor English should attach proof of language proficiency (a certificate from a recognized language test).
II. Admission to the Faculty of Business Administration
Important note: You must be admitted by the Faculty, before you can enrol at the University!
You may apply for a doctorate at any time of the year. Please apply for admission within three months latest after having started your doctoral studies. The semester contribution must be paid in full for each full or part semester at the Faculty. Enrollment is due from the moment you are admitted to the Faculty until the semester in which the disputation is scheduled.
- You are free to choose and are responsible for finding two university professors to supervise your doctoral project, at least one of whom teaches at the Faculty of Business Administration. Both supervisors and you sign (scanned signatures) the Consent to Supervision.
- In DOCATA (the doctoral program management website) you complete the Application for Admission for the Faculty of Business Administration, .
- You attach to the Application form in DOCATA all the documents listed below, as one, combined PDF:
a) the Consent to Supervision (see point 1.),
b) an up-to-date, signed CV,
c) your master’s degree certificate, and
d) a language certificate, if applicable.
The Doctoral Committee reviews your application, and decides whether or not to admit you as doctoral student.
In DOCATA, you will receive email notification on the Committee’s decision, either:
a. that you are admitted to the Faculty as doctoral student, or
b. that you are admitted to the Faculty as doctoral student UNDER PRE-CONDITIONS, or
c. that your application for admission has been rejected.
If you are accepted (a or b), you will also receive confirmation in DOCATA. If you are not already a member of Universität Hamburg, this confirmation will include a so-called B-Code (B-Kennung, e.g. BAY2222). This will be your personal login number for all University applications and computers.
III. Enrollment at Universität Hamburg
Important notice: Admission to doctoral studies and enrolment are two different and separate processes. Under Hamburg’s Higher Education Act (Hamburger Hochschulgesetz §§ 70 Abs. 5), you are required to enrol at the University to complete a doctorate.
The enrolment has to last throughout the semester in which the disputation takes place.
IV. Doctoral studies
- The doctoral degree regulations of 2014 in the new version of 26 April 2023 [PDF] (in German only) apply.
- If you plan to complete the Graduate School program, the academic regulations for the structured doctoral degree program in Business Administration Research from 24 January and 4 July 2018 [PDF] also apply.
- The Bylaws for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct at Universität Hamburg [PDF] apply.
- About one year after having started your doctorate, you submit an exposé to your supervisors and discuss it. You will hold regular research meetings with your supervisors and prepare internal interim reports.
- In case you were admitted to doctoral studies under pre-conditions, you fulfil them prior to submitting your thesis.
- You are responsible for keeping your personal data in DOCATA up-to-date (on top of separate notifications to the personnel department or Campus Center):
- Changes in your contact dates or in name
- During your studies, you can change your doctoral program (individual or Graduate School program, or other co-operative programs)
- the three longest stays abroad (research or conferences), or
- termination of your doctoral studies prior to completion (withdrawal from the program).
- To make these changes/updates in DOCATA (parental leave, vacation, compensation of disadvantages etc.): either
- a) DOCATA starting page > „application for prolongation“
- b) DOCATA starting page > „changes/prolongation of promotion process“.
- During your doctoral studies you earn:
- at least 12 credit points (CP) for the individual doctorate (Verification of credit points for the doctoral regulations 2014)
- at least 32 credit points in the Graduate School program (Transcript of Records [PDF, fully accessible]).
- The proofs for your CP have to indicate
- proof of participation
- duration of the course (hours/days)
- agenda/module description
- the study achievement(s) completed, e.g. own presentation, term paper, seminar paper, written examination
- Certificates that confirm "successful participation" without any further specification of the evaluation criteria cannot be accepted. If a form of study achievement is optional, the certificates of attendance must state the criteria for passing the course.
When finishing your doctoral studies, you upload the relevant word document and according proofs in copy (the latter in ONE pdf-document, in chronological order) in DOCATA (see also General information of Doctoral courses). The validity of courses at our Faculty can be found under Recognizing credits according to doctoral degree regulations of 2014 [PDF]. If you would like to have credits acknowledged for teaching, please see Recognizing credits (teaching) in doctoral degree regulations of 2014 [PDF]
We will then check the documents you have handed in/uploaded. Where relevant, we may request further necessary documents. You will then receive confirmation on the number of credit points you have officially completed.
Together with your supervisors, you develop a procedure for data management. Your supervisors and you sign a separate agreement on your data management system, which you upload in DOCATA when submitting your thesis.
V. Completing doctoral studies
As soon as you have:
a) filled in your three longest stays abroad in DOCATA,
b) checked your personal data in DOCATA for correctness,
c) received confirmation on your study achievements (credit points, see IV. Doctoral studies), and
d) have the signed declaration on the management of your research data,
then: Please submit the following documentation:
1. Your thesis (please upload in DOCATA). Please send/deposit one print copy with original signature to the administration office for doctoral studies to Ms. E. Thoma, Moorweidenstr. 18, R. 3007, 20148 Hamburg.
You declare that the print copy of your thesis corresponds fully to the pdf-version and to all further print copies which might incur: Template of declaration (in one relevant language).
Your dissertation consists of
- Title page (using template) [PDF, barrierefrei],
- Listing of your work contributions in the papers,
- Summary in English and German.
2. Proposal for the Examination Commission (in one relevant language): as pdf with scanned signatures. Please note that the majority of the members of the examination commission must be from Universität Hamburg and that at least one must be from a different area of specialization. In case of a cumulative dissertation, a co-author cannot act as chairperson.
3. Your declaration on the management of your research data; dated and signed (scanned signatures) by you and both your supervisors, as pdf.
VI. Evaluation, Oral Examination
The reviewers may take up to three months to review your dissertation. If, contrary to expectations, one or both reviewers decide not to grade your dissertation, it will be returned to you with a deadline for revision. If both reviewers grade your dissertation with "summa cum laude (with distinction)" or the reviews differ in their marks, the doctoral committee appoints a third-party reviewer.
As soon as all expert reports are on-hand, the dissertation and reports are available for review for a two-week period. If any requirements are formulated during the review period, we will let you know. You will have to fulfil all conditions (if any), and the examination commission has to confirm fulfilment before the process can continue to the disputation.
At the end of the review period, we will inform you on the grading of your dissertation, and invite you to the disputation. The examination committee agrees upon this date among their members and with you. You confirm receipt of the invitation to the Office for Doctoral Studies. The chair or the doctoral student is responsible for reserving the room for the disputation.
You orally defend your research project(s).
The Examination Commission
- assigns the grade for the disputation and the overall grade,
- approves the thesis for publication, and
- issues an interim certificate to you, stating in advance the grades and your examination board. The interim certificate does not yet qualify you to use the title of "Dr. rer. oec.".
The doctoral certificate is printed and sent to be signed off.
VIII. Publication and filing
You publish your dissertation within one year at the State and University Library (SUB) or via a publishing house (see our information on the publication of dissertations [PDF] as part of the doctoral procedure). Proof of publication is a pre-requisite for receiving the doctoral certificate. Only after having been issued with the certificate is one legally allowed to use the title "Dr. rer. oec.".
Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg
Please direct all inquiries regarding publication of your thesis by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You acknowledge receipt of the certificate and confirm that the content of the published dissertation fully corresponds to the version reviewed.
- Doctoral Degree Program students must complete at least 12 credit points (CP) in doctoral courses.
- Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program students must complete at least 32 CP.
For study program regulations, see Downloads
In order for doctoral courses to be credited, students must submit documentation that includes the following information:
- proof of participation,
- the duration of the course (hours/days),
- the agenda/module description, and
- the study achievement(s) completed, e.g. own presentation, term paper, seminar paper, written examination.
Certificates that confirm "successful participation" without any further specification of the evaluation criteria cannot be accepted.
If a form of study achievement is optional, the certificates of attendance must state the criteria for passing the course.
The information on recognition of credit points [PDF] will guide you on the evaluation of the courses according to the Doctoral Regulations 2014 for our faculty.
The Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program is divided into three elective courses:
A. Methodology courses.
Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program students must complete at least 10 CP (at least 2 of the 6 courses offered). All courses are 5 CP (2 credit hours).
B. Specialzation courses
Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program students must complete at least 10 CP (4 credit hours).
Seminars/workshops on content, methods, software, theories (general or subject-specific). Examples can be found below under Other doctoral courses at the UHH.
C. Supplementary courses
Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program students must complete at least 12 CP (2 credits awarded per course day).
Doctoral courses at the Faculty of Business Administration
A. Methodology courses
Within the Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program during the summer semester (open for all doctoral students):
- Methodological course "Mixed methods in health care research" (5 LP): 6+13+27 May 2024; PD Dr. Phil. Christine Blome
- Methodological course: "Quantitative Analysis of Text: A Friendly Introduction“ (5 LP): 27-30 June 2023; offer via Faculty WiSo (Business, Economics and Social Sciences) > registration via Geventis, please
Prof. Dr. Benjamin Chen (University of Hong Kong)
- Module "Matheuristics" (5 CP): "Matheuristics" [PDF, fully accessible] (13+14+20+21 May as well as 10+11 June 2022)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Voß
- Module "Advanced Modelling & Optimization" (5 CP): "Advanced Modelling and Optimization" [PDF, fully accessible] (13–17 June 2022)
Prof. Dr. Malte Fliedner & Prof. Dr. Knut Haase
Within the Graduate School Doctoral Degree Program during the winter semester (open for all doctoral students):
- Module "Econometrics" (5 CP): "Econometrics" (31 January-2 February 2024)
Prof. Dr. Martin Spindler
- Module "Experiments" (5 CP): "Behavioral & Experimental Economics" [PDF, fully accessible] (21 October, 11 November & 16 December 2022, 28 April 2023)
Prof. Dr. Markus Nöth & Prof. Dr. Guido Voigt
- Module "Survey Research" (5 CP): "Survey Research" (4 and 18 December 2023, 15 January and 5 February 2024)
Prof. Dr. Karen Gedenk & Dr. Timo Mandler
B. and C. Specialization and Supplementary courses
- Specialization course (5 CP): course "Managerial approaches to improving quality of care": 12 through 15 february 2024; Prof. J. Schreyögg und Prof. G. Young; registration via STINE
- Specialization course (5 CP): course "How to Publish in A-Journals": 9+16 April 2024 + 7+28 May 2024; Prof. J. Recker
- Supplementary course (2 CP): course "Academic Writing and Research Integrity" (4-5 December 2023); Prof. T. Stargardt and Prof. A. Hajek; registration via STINE
- Specialization course (2,5CP): course "oTree" (13 and 14 July 2023); offer via Faculty WiSo (Business, Economics and Social Sciences) > registration via Geventis, please; Jonas Frey (University of Oxford)
- Specialization courses (5 CP) within the 15th International Research Workshop "Methods for PhD" (27 August–1 September 2023)
- Career Development Cycle: Career Development Program for Doctoral and Early Career Researchers
- Hamburg Research Academy: Interdisciplinary courses
- PIASTA: Exchange between German and international students
- IRWS International Research Workshop Methods for Ph.D. Students
- Essex Summer School
- University of Michigan: Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research
- Universtität St. Gallen: GSERM - Summer School in Empirical Research Methods
- University of Ljubljana: GSERM Ljubljana
- DART – Doctoral Program in Accounting, Reporting and Taxation
Further doctoral programs
Research Data Management
Guidelines on “measures taken to save the research data used in the dissertation“
The following guidelines will give you some advice on how to store the research data used in a dissertation. Each research area has its own requirements and the procedure on how to treat the data often depends on the individual data.
How is research data defined?
Research data is raw data and its different processing stages; simulation data; observation data; data from interviews; software; models; programming codes.
What do we understand by research data management?
The preparation, storing and publishing of research data. Reasons therefore are – among others – the Statutes to ensure good scientific practice and avoid scientific misconduct at the University of Hamburg [PDF].
What information should be included in your “concept on how to save research data used in the dissertation”?
Guiding principle: unless there are legal reasons, you should document in written all sources, raw data and history of the research data processed as well as the evaluation files you used in your dissertation. They should be stored in order to enable replication of the outcome by a third party.
Data set description
- From which source did you receive the data?
- In which analyses did you use the relevant data in your dissertation?
- Which is the data structure (e.g. units, codes…)?
- Which method of data recruitment or measurement did you use?
- Is it raw data or processed data?
- In case of processed data: which processing steps did you follow and which program did you use for this?
Own programming codes
- Which programming codes refer to which analyses?
- How did you ensure replicable use by a third party (e.g. comments in the programming code)?
Where and how do you store and save the data?
a) Place of data storage:
- UHH network drives: procedure in case you end your work prematurely?
- Repository for research data management at UHH?
- Specific repositories for specialized research data?
b) Type of storage:
- Does the type of data format allow third parties to re-use the data (for a long term)?
- Did you save programming codes resp. data sets together with long-term saving formats used in the program (e.g. .txt, .csv …)?
- Which directory and names did you use for files and folders?
Please note: According to the Statutes to ensure good scientific practice and avoid scientific misconduct at the University of Hamburg [PDF], you must store primary data, which you collected for your dissertation work for ten years on durable and secure data media within the institution where the data was created, unless special rules provide for an even longer storage. We recommend using the repository for research data at UHH. The storage period starts when you hand in your dissertation at the office for doctoral studies. The data blocks need to be accompanied by a descriptive file (see above section “data set description”).
Subsequent use by a third party?
- Is the re-use of the available data by a third part subject to any consent?
- How do you enable a third party to use the data (e.g. repository of research data at UHH)?
- Are Creative Commons Licences an option?
- Requirements of journals regarding data safety management and replicability of data (dated ....)
- Requirements of DFG specified by the Board of Economics and Research data management in economics (in German only)
- In addition, the Center for Sustainable Research Data Management at UHH offers open consultation hours and single sessions to clarify unanswered questions
Application and admission
Study program regulations
- Doctoral degree regulations of 2014 in the new version of 26.04.2023 [PDF] (in German only)
- Academic regulations for the structured doctoral degree program in Business Administration Research [PDF]
- Bylaws for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct at Universiät Hamburg [PDF]
- Recognizing credits according to doctoral degree regulations of 2023 [PDF]
- Recognizing credits (teaching) for doctoral degree regulations of 2023 [PDF]
Completing doctoral studies – Submitting your dissertation
- Verification of credit points for doctoral degree regulations 2023
- Transcript of Records [PDF, fully accessible]
- Proposal for Examination Commission
- Sample suggestion – affidavit
- Sample suggestion – title page [PDF, fully accessible]
Publishing your dissertation
Institutions and advisory services
- Office of the Dean
- Doctoral committee
- Ombudsperson for the faculty's graduation matters is Prof. Dr. Henrik Sattler. His deputy is Prof. Dr. Nicola Berg.
- Board of the Graduate School
Advisory services: Conflict prevention and resolution
- The Academic Staff Council of Universität Hamburg (WIPR) offers (confidential) advice and support for doctoral researchers in case they are having issues with their supervisor.
- The University also offers Conflict Prevention and Resolution support.
- The Ombudsperson also provides faculty-intern support: Prof. Dr. Henrik Sattler (Deputy: Prof. Dr. Nicola Berg)