HBS offers two similar doctoral programs:
1. Doctoral Program: The doctoral regulations from 9 July 2014 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 Program:
The Faculty of Business Administration founded its graduate school on 19 September 2018 (statutes [PDF] in German). Current and prospective doctoral students can enroll in the Faculty's graduate school.
- The doctoral regulations from 9 July 2014 [PDF] and from 24 January 2018 [PDF] (program outline in German only) apply.
- This program includes at least 32 credit points in doctoral courses in accordance with the regulations for doctoral studies in business administration [PDF] (in German).
- Graduates are awarded the title "Dr. rer. oec." and the certificate in "Research in Business Administration".
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Graduate School program. Students already enrolled in the Doctoral Program can switch to the Graduate School Doctoral Program by completing this form, and submitting it to the Dean via the Office for Doctoral Studies.
For further information, see the "Doctoral Programs" section below.
A powerpoint presentation outlining the admissions process and degree program requirements can be found here.
- 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.
Application and Admission
Steps for application and admission:
- You find two university professors to supervise your doctoral project, at least one of whom teaches at the Faculty of Business Administration.
- Within three months of having started your studies at the chair of your first supervisor, you officially submit a completed version of the form "Application for Admission to Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Business Administration [DOCX]" to the Office for Doctoral Studies. The form requires the signatures of both supervisors. The following documents are also to be attached:
- a current, signed CV,
- your master's certificate (original for copying), or certified copy, and
- a language certificate (where applicable).
- The Office for Doctoral Studies will send you a written confirmation of the doctoral committee's decision:
- that you are admitted to the faculty as doctoral student, or
- that you are admitted to the faculty as doctoral student UNDER PRE-CONDITIONS, or
- that your application for admission has been rejected.
- In case of a. or b., please enroll at the Campus Centre with
- the confirmation of admission to doctoral studies at the Faculty of Business Administration,
- with a completed application form, and
- a health insurance certificate.
- Please inform the administration office of your matriculation number (if you have not already done so).
Study Rules and Regulations
- The doctoral regulations of 9 July 2014 [PDF] ("Dr. rer. oec.") and amendments thereto of 17 May 2017 [PDF] (in German only) apply;
- If you enroll in the Graduate School Doctoral Program, the doctoral study regulations of 24 January 2018 [PDF] (program outline in German only) also apply;
- The "Statutes for Ensuring Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct [PDF] at the University of Hamburg" apply;
- To complete a doctoral degree:
- Doctoral Program: at least 12 credit points (CP) in doctoral courses must be successfully completed.
- Graduate School Doctoral Program: at least 32 CP in doctoral courses must be successfully completed.
See the section "Doctoral Courses" below for further details.
- Upon successful completion of their doctoral studies, students are awarded the title "Doctor rerum oeconomicarum" ("Dr. rer. oec."). Students who complete the Graduate School Doctoral Program are also awarded the certificate in "Research in Business Administration".
- 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.
- Together with your supervisors, you develop a procedure for data management. Guidelines for data management can be found here. Your supervisors and you sign a separate agreement on your data management system, which you attach when submitting your thesis to the Office for Doctoral Studies.
- If your agreement included pre-conditions at the time of admission, you process and fulfill them.
Students studying according to the 2014 doctoral regulations must complete at least 12 credit points (CP); students completing the Graduate School program must complete 32 CP (see "Doctoral Courses" below).
- If you decide to terminate your doctoral studies before graduating, please inform the Office for Doctoral Studies.
Completing Doctoral Studies
- Register your research stays abroad via STiNE (instructions [PDF]). Please fill in all kind of stays (max. three), e.g. research stays, doctorial courses and/or conference stays.
- Email the following, completed documents to the Office for Doctoral Studies(bwl.promotion"AT"uni-hamburg.de):
- Verification of credit points for the doctoral regulations 2014 [DOCX] (see also Information on credit points (teaching) for the doctoral regulations 2014 [PDF]),
- all related course certificates (in one pdf, chronological order), and
- the Transcript of Records [DOCX] (see also "Doctorial Courses" as to conditions of acceptation).
- Once the documents have been checked, you will receive confirmation of your credit points and the Transcript of Records. You can then proceed to Step 2.
- Submit to the Office for Doctoral Studies:
- The dissertation (5 printed copies, and one digital copy); it must include:
- a title page [DOCX],
- list of your work share,
- summary in English and German,
- signed affidavit [DOCX] together with the
- Proposal for the Examination Commission [DOCX]
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 chairman.
- Please also submit – in accordance with the above-mentioned current Statutes to ensure good scientific practice and avoid scientific misconduct at the University of Hamburg [PDF] – your declaration to data recording and data management (see also "Doctoral Studies").
The doctoral thesis is formally checked by the Office for Doctoral Studies. The doctoral committee will set up the examination committee. You will be informed/kept up-to-date by the administrative office or the doctoral committee.
Evaluation of the Dissertation
- 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.
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.".
- You acknowledge receipt of the certificate and confirm that the content of the published dissertation fully corresponds to the version reviewed.
- Doctoral Program students must complete at least 12 credit points (CP) in doctoral courses.
- Graduate School Doctoral 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 program is divided into three elective courses:
A. Methodology courses.
Graduate 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. Consolidating courses
Graduate 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 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 program during the winter semester (open for all doctoral students):
- Module "Econometrics" (5 CP): "Recent Developments in Causal Inference [PDF]" (01–03 March 2021)
Prof. Dr. Martin Spindler
- Module "Experiments" (5 CP): "Behavioral & Experimental Economics" (13 Nov. & 11 Dec. 2020, 22 Jan. & 19 Mar. 2021)
Prof. Dr. Markus Nöth & Prof. Dr. Guido Voigt
- Module "Survey Research" (5 CP): "Survey Research [PDF]" (16 & 30 Novemer 2020, 18 January & 15 February 2021)
Prof. Dr. Karen Gedenk & Dr. Timo Mandler
- Module "Advanced Modelling & Optimization" (5 CP): "Advanced Modelling and Optimization"
Prof. Dr. Malte Fliedner & Prof. Dr. Knut Haase
- Module "Other Advanced Research Methods" (5 CP): "Business Research Methods [PDF]" (14 November 2020–13 Februar 2021)
Prof. Dr. Tammo Bijmolt
Within the graduate program during the summer semester (open for all doctoral students):
- Module "Matheuristics" (5 CP): Course "Matheuristics"
Prof. Dr. Stefan Voß
B. and C. Consolidating and Supplementary courses
Further doctoral programs at Universität Hamburg
- Current Topics in Experimental Health Economics (SoSe 2020) (Information [PDF])
- Compass: Career Development Program for Doctoral and Early Career Researchers
Anna Born (Information)
- Hamburg Research Academy: interdisciplinary courses
- PIASTA: exchange between German and international students (Information)
- 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
Faculty Participation in other Doctoral Programs
In cooperation with various other institutions, the Faculty of Business Administration takes part in the following structured doctoral programs:
European Training Network “IQCE”
The Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE) manages the European Graduate School “Improving Quality of Care in Europe”. In collaboration with the European Partner Universities University of York, Universidade de Lisboa, University of Southern Denmark, Bocconi University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the globally operating medical technology producer St. Jude Medical, they undertake research on concepts to improve the quality in the European healthcare system.
The research results at the graduate school aim to improve the quality and efficiency of the European healthcare system. The research areas focused at the graduate school lean on the six dimensions of “quality in healthcare” defined by the Wold Health Organization. Non-academic partners like the national health funds, hospitals, ministries for health and health policy organizations closely contribute to the necessary practical reference of dissertation projects.
In summer 2017, fifteen doctoral students started their research projects and undertook a broad interdisciplinary training program. The three-year curriculum includes courses like epidemiology, microeconomics or experimental research design as well as courses to strengthen job-related key qualifications that support the abilities for project management, leadership and communication. For the partner universities, the doctoral program enables the support of talented academics and of strategical partnerships with other research institutions.
IQCE is being financed by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-Program from the European Commission, which supports innovative academic projects in the context of program “Horizon 2020”.
Further information about the IQCE and the application can be found here.
Graduate School of the Research Center for Media and Communication
The Graduate School Media and Communication offers an innovative and diverse doctoral program for young academics. At present, ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius are providing a short-term scholarship to establish a new research area called “Repeat, Remix, Remediate: Formen und Normen der Wiederverwendung digitaler medien” (forms and standards to reutilize digital media).
More information can be found here.
European Doctorate in Law and Economics (EDLE)
The European Doctorate in Law and Economics is a common doctoral program of Universität Hamburg, the University of Bologna and Erasmus University of Rotterdam. The program aims to educate doctoral students on the highest academic level in the area of “law and economics”. Prospective doctoral students shall be able to participate competently at academic debates in this field of research.
Course Content and Concept
The economic analysis of rights (law and economics) is gaining more and more importance on an international level. The three participating universities are part of the leading institutions in this research area in Europe. “Law and Economics” deals with the effects of different legal norms and their rating based on the criteria of efficiency. The main research subject of EDLE is “Tensions between efficiency and other goals of general interest”. Doctoral students within this program spend one (or more) semesters in Bologna, Rotterdam and Hamburg each and take part at the courses offered. All courses are held in English.
Each year, seven or more full scholarships are awarded. The requirements for admission to the program are a degree in laws or economics as well as excellent English-language Experiences in the area of “Law and Economics” are preferred. Further information can be found here.
Application and admission
- Application for admission to Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Business Administration [DOCX]
- Proposal for Examination Commission [DOCX]
Study program regulations
- Doctoral degree regulations of 9 July 2014 (English only COPY) [PDF]
- Regulations for doctoral studies in business administration of 24 January 2018 (in German only) [PDF]
- Bylaws for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Avoiding Scientific Misconduct at Universiät Hamburg [PDF]
- Recognizing credits according to doctoral degree regulations of 2014 [PDF]
- Recognizing credits (teaching) for doctoral degree regulations of 2014 [PDF]
Completing doctoral studies – Submitting your dissertation
- Verification of credit points for the doctoral regulations 2014 [DOCX]
- Transcript of Records [DOCX]
- Sample suggestion – affidavit [DOCX]
- Sample suggestion – title page [DOCX]
Publishing your dissertation