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Doctorate

If you are looking for a further scientific qualification after successfully completing your studies with a doctorate, Marburg is the ideal place. The research groups in the department, the research areas, research training groups, and the Scientific Centre for Material Sciences, with their broad spectrum of research, offer excellent facilities to successfully complete a doctorate in Marburg. You can also count on the help of your supervisor in the search for future employment!

Who Should Complete a Doctorate?

If you enjoyed your degree in Physics, were successful and, above all, if you enjoy asking questions and doing research, a doctorate is ideal for you.
Of course, you have already learned to solve problems in a scientific way while writing your Bachelor or Master thesis or state examination paper, but you can only work with the important scientific issues when carrying out research on a larger scale as part of your doctoral thesis.
In addition, your research will not only lead to a doctoral thesis, but will also allow you to take part in scientific conferences at which you will have the opportunity to present parts of your results as well as to publish your work in prestigious journals, establishing your scientific reputation.

Who Can Earn a Doctorate?

A doctorate is generally possible for all graduates with a Master of Science degree (which is equivalent to the former diploma degree) and the first state examination for teaching. You can earn a doctorate if you have completed one of these degrees at our university or another scientific university in Germany or abroad. For degrees obtained abroad, an equivalence test may be required, depending on the country.
Bachelor degrees and degrees from universities of applied sciences may also qualify you to earn a doctorate from our department, depending on the circumstances; they can possibly subject to additional conditions. This means that particularly qualified students with a Bachelor of Science degree do have the opportunity to earn a doctorate within the framework of a graduate study program. Further details are regulated by the Doctoral Regulations.

Beginning a Doctorate

The first step towards earning your doctorate is the timely selection of the subject area and supervisor. This is followed by your application for ‘Acceptance as a Doctoral Candidate’.

When selecting a subject area, it is not necessary to earn your doctorate in the same subject area in which you obtained your degree. It is not uncommon to earn a diploma/Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics, for example, and then go on to earn a doctorate in Experimental Physics, or vice versa.

Of course, there is no need to adjust yourself to the chosen field of research if you consider your doctoral thesis as a continuation of your Master’s or state examination thesis. When looking at your CV, however, it is always good to have worked actively in various fields of Physics or other sciences. In this regard, as is often the case, you must find your personal optimum between a narrow focus with a quick qualification on the one hand, and versatility with a possibly longer course of study on the other hand.

Who Supervises Your Doctoral Thesis?

In principle, all professors and all scientists qualified as a university lecturer can supervise dissertations in our department. Since you will most likely write your dissertation in a research group in your chosen subject area, your work will usually be supervised by a university professor or lecturer from this research group. In your daily work, you will be integrated into the research group and thus also benefit from the experience of advanced group members.

It is also possible to write your dissertation outside the department, e.g., in industry. In such cases, you will be supervised by two people: a University lecturer from your chosen subject area within the department and a supervisor from the relevant company.

How Long Does the Doctorate Last?

On average, it takes 3-4 years from being accepted as a doctoral student to the formal disputation. Although it is desirable and feasible to complete your doctorate within three years, delays may occur, especially with experimental work, for reasons beyond your control.

The typical durations at our department are between three and five years.

Which Events Must I Attend During my Doctorate?

In addition to the research group seminars and events related to your subject area, we recommend attending further courses in the department and related scientific fields in order to develop or expand your ability to look beyond your own field of research.

The courses indicated in the Course Catalog are obligatory for scholarship holders and fellows of postgraduate program.

How Do I Finance my Doctorate?

Generally, you will be employed by the department while earning your doctorate. For this, state or external funding sources are available for the promotion of young talent. Doctorate students are primarily paid by externally funded projects, which the supervisor obtains from the German Research Foundation, various ministries, foundations or the European Community.

There are also scholarships available from foundations, but you will have to apply for these yourself.

Another way to earn money while earning your doctorate is to work as a research assistant during the semester. However, this option is only available to scholarship holders and doctorate students who are not employed by the department. The amount of remuneration shall be determined by the area of responsibility or the Doctorate Guidelines; generally, however, it will not be sufficient to fully finance the doctoral studies.

What Benefits does a Doctorate Bring Me?

There are many different opinions on this. While the industry appreciates physicists with a Master or diploma degree, starting salaries are lower on average for employees without a doctorate than those with a doctorate. Additionally, if you look at laboratories and at an executive level, it is apparent that the majority of senior and managerial positions are held by physicists with a doctorate in Physics. However, this does not have to be the case; there are also senior employees in the industry who do not hold a doctorate. The situation is similar in agencies and offices.

In contrast, if a scientific career at a university or research institute is your goal, a doctorate is a requirement.

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