The doctoral thesis is the central element in all doctoral programmes. The doctoral thesis proves the ability of the doctoral candidate to conduct independent scientific work on a high academic level. It shows his/her capability to comprehend and reflect the latest state of art in his/her field of research and extend this field through methodologically founded contributions.

Due to the differences in scientific customs of the various disciplines there are no strict guidelines concerning length and form of a doctoral thesis. The thesis can be written in form of a monograph. This is common for many disciplines. It is however just as well possible to hand in a cumulative dissertation. This is a compilation of several articles touching a similar topic. Some faculties have specific guidelines for a dissertation by papers. Crucial is to follow the standards of the own discipline, also with regard to the language, in which the thesis is written. The decision how the thesis will look like (language, form) should be discussed with the supervisor. In any case, the doctoral thesis has to comply with the international standards of the discipline.