Doctorate/Ph.D. at FHWS
The doctorate represents a research-oriented specialisation over several years, or the complementation of a graduation, with the goal of making an independent contribution to the research world. The findings need to significantly contribute to the current state of science or technology.
The research results are presented in a written doctoral thesis ("dissertation"), documented and discussed against the background of the international state of science. After completion, the dissertation must be made publicly accessible within a certain period of time ("publication obligation"). Subsequently, the dissertation must be defended orally in the so-called disputation before the doctoral committee (and the departmental public).
Through the “Bologna reform”, the opportunities to begin a doctorate have improved for graduates of universities of applied sciences. Like any other master’s degree, a master’s degree achieved at a university of applied sciences allows graduates to begin a doctorate. Although universities of applied sciences do not have the right to award doctorates, the university laws of most German federal states offer cooperative doctorates during which two professors (one of a university of applied sciences and one of a traditional university) will be tasked with the counselling and examination. Depending on the topic of the doctoral project, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering cooperates with various universities in Bavaria, Germany, and Europe.
However, the criteria to the degrees of soon-to-be doctoral candidates depend from university to university. This arises from the fact that the admission procedures for a doctorate are not consistently regulated by laws, but individually in doctorate regulations of the respective universities, for which in turn, the faculties take responsibility.
The following applies in general: Admission to doctoral studies requires a master’s degree (or similar) in a subject area that can be assigned to the planned dissertation topic. The grades achieved during the master’s programme must be far above average. Depending on the university, master's degrees at higher education institutions are usually required with the ratings "with distinction" or "very good".
The admission requirements for a doctorate are stipulated in the promotion regulations of the cooperating university with the right to award doctorates.
As a research-intensive university, numerous professors at FHWS work on diverse research projects. They are supported in this by junior researchers who are often allowed to use their research results to write a dissertation. An important pre-requisite for a successful doctoral procedure is a high level of intrinsic motivation and aptitude for scientific work as well as a high level of personal interest in the research subject being worked on.
The majority of our doctoral students are graduates of FHWS, but external applicants are also welcome. The graduate must have secured supervision by a professor from FHWS and a cooperating university. All professors at the university who have a proven track record in research can be considered as supervisors.
During your time as doctoral student at FHWS you usually work as research associate or scholarship holder within a research group very closely with internal and external partners from business and science. You will further specialise and gain experience in organisation, research, publication, conferences, and leadership. Your supervisors at FHWS and the cooperating university will provide you with intensive coaching.