Do you want to write a doctoral thesis, but don’t know exactly what to expect? Here you will find instructions and tips for writing a doctoral thesis. We also explain why it is particularly worthwhile for engineers to do a doctorate.
The doctoral thesis is the most extensive scientific work. However, the effort is worth it, because those with a doctorate have excellent career prospects and Buy Essay Online. The requirements are high, but can be mastered with motivation and thorough planning.
Your path to a doctoral thesis: How to get your doctorate right
Would you like to do a doctorate and add your name to Dr. put in front? An idea that can be more than worthwhile for your career. But what requirements do you need for a dissertation and what time frame should be planned? From A for structure to Z for time frame – all the important questions that are on your mind when you are considering writing a doctoral thesis are answered in this guide.
What is a doctoral thesis?
The successful dissertation leads you to the highest possible educational qualification that you can obtain at the end of your studies. If you decide to write your doctoral thesis, the result is also referred to as a dissertation, inaugural dissertation, doctorate or doctoral thesis. The doctorate is a scientific work that allows you to obtain the doctorate degree. To do this, your college or university must have the right to award doctorates. One option can be a graduate school, where you do research in a group on a project. You will be accompanied by several supervisors. Places for a collective dissertation are in high demand, which is why you should start looking for a place early on.
To get the academic degree of Dr. In addition to the publication of the doctoral thesis, you must also take an oral examination (Rigorosum) or defense (Disputation). In most disciplines you will write a monograph as a doctoral thesis. This is a standalone publication. In the meantime, the cumulative dissertation, also known as a collective dissertation, has established itself in the natural sciences. This doctoral thesis already consists of several publications in specialist journals. An average of three specialist articles are subjected to a test procedure. The cumulative dissertation can be interesting if you want to achieve the widest possible reach with your research results.
What requirements do I need for a doctorate?
In order to be able to write a doctoral thesis, you must first have completed a university degree. A bachelor’s degree is not enough. Prerequisite for the dissertation is a diploma, a master’s degree or the state examination. Depending on the subject, you may only be allowed to do a doctorate in your field. Sometimes a certain minimum grade of your degree is also required in order to be admitted to the doctoral thesis. In other subjects, it is possible for you to do a doctorate in another, often related, subject area. The exact admission requirements can be found in the doctoral regulations for the subject you wish to study.
How do I find a suitable topic for my doctoral thesis?
If you set out to write your doctoral thesis, a lot of research awaits you even before you start. At the beginning you have to read scientific literature to find your topic, later you need suitable sources to support your research and justify connections. It is important that you do not lose any time. Get an overview of relevant sources by reading abstracts instead of full articles or books and only work through important chapters.
Remember topics that fascinated you during your studies and research the current state of research. Your former lecturers can also give you tips. Think about whether your research work in your field can enrich science and at the same time see whether there is already a doctoral thesis on this topic. If you feel that you can contribute current knowledge, you should consider to what extent your work will provide new insights and trends. Basically, you proceed in a similar way to finding a topic for your master’s or diploma thesis, with the difference that you go deeper into the subject for your dissertation.
What you work out at the beginning of your research for the doctoral thesis can be helpful until you defend your doctorate. You may also be able to deepen your master’s thesis or expand on individual aspects of it.
How do I find a supervisor?
Ideally, one of your professors will suggest the dissertation to you. If not, take a look around to see who has outstanding skills in your field at your college or at another university. Because a corresponding specialization of your future doctoral supervisor will help you to get tips that will save you a lot of time and nerves. Other ways to find a doctoral supervisor are specialist events such as congresses and symposia. Or you can research specialist publications to see who regularly publishes work that fits your doctoral topic. If you do not yet know who your dream doctoral supervisor is, you should make an appointment for a personal consultation. Prepare well for this interview, as you need to convince with specialist knowledge.
You submit the application to write your doctoral thesis to the responsible dean’s office. Briefly present your research topic in writing. Your supervisor must be named. There is also the possibility of completing a dissertation without a supervisor. However, you should really consider whether you want to do without professional and sometimes human support when writing your doctoral thesis.
How long do I write a doctoral thesis?
The doctoral regulations of most universities stipulate a duration of three years. However, this period of time should be understood more as a guideline. Because of the complex research topics and private circumstances of many doctoral students, it usually takes longer. In addition, you must plan another six to twelve months after submitting the dissertation until your doctoral thesis has been reviewed and published. On average, doctoral students who have worked as research assistants at the chair or have done their doctorate independently need eight months longer. According to the study “Doctorates in Focus”, the average duration of a doctorate in Germany is 4.5 years. On average, free doctoral students need 4.8 years to complete their doctoral thesis.
These points influence the duration of the doctorate:
- Is it a structured or individual doctorate?
- Subject and research topic of the doctoral thesis
- personal circumstances of the prospective doctoral student
- Full-time or part-time
In engineering, many doctoral students write their dissertation within five years. The length of time varies in the subject areas – humanities graduates take the longest on average: 5.1 years to get a doctorate. Mathematicians, on the other hand, complete their PhD in about 4.3 years.
Does a long doctorate lead to a better result?
What takes a long time… but does a longer duration lead to a better doctorate result? The study by the German Physical Society e. V. (DPG) from 2019 comes to a clear conclusion: No! Despite exceeding the usually planned three years for the doctoral thesis, no survey participant felt that a longer duration led to better research results. Many PhD students had simply underestimated the time.
Is the effort of a doctoral thesis worth it?
On average, around 27,000 doctoral students in Germany are busy writing their doctoral thesis. Most go through college or university. 20% do their doctorate in a company and around 8% decide to work on their dissertation in a group in a graduate school. But are the career prospects actually better with a doctorate? Doctors usually complete the dissertation automatically, and chemists and physicists also like to choose this path. If you are aiming for an academic career in the humanities, you cannot avoid writing your doctoral thesis.
Should engineers write a doctoral thesis for better career opportunities?
Why is it important for engineers to do a doctorate? After all, this professional field in particular offers excellent job opportunities without the highest academic degree. The fact is that, especially in engineering, the dissertation is the direct elevator to a management position. Graduates are credited with more stamina and skills for personnel management. If you take this path without writing a doctoral thesis, it takes longer on average to move up the career ladder. Around 50% of engineering graduates take on a managerial position directly and earn significantly more than colleagues with a diploma or master’s degree. If you like to do research and work academically, it can be worthwhile for you to write your doctoral thesis in several respects.