Two people reading in the yard of the university building B6

CDSB PhD Programs

The Center for Doctoral Studies in Business offers seven fields of specialization

AccountingFinanceInformation SystemsManagement

MarketingOperations ManagementTaxation

Program structure

The full-time doctoral program in business consists of a course phase and a research phase during which students work on their dissertation.

Course phase
The teaching program consists of core and elective courses. Students must take all scheduled core courses of their respective program (listed in the CDSB Program Regulations). In these courses, students learn the basic tools in empirical and quantitative research necessary for academic work. The regular participation in the respective area seminar is also compulsory from the first semester on. At the end of the first year students hand in their dissertation proposal.

Additionally students attend a number of elective courses in their field of specialization. Courses from other study programs of the CDSB can be chosen as well. Students also take the program’s English Academic Writing course and a bridge course in the Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics or the Center for Doctoral Studies in Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Research phase
During the thesis writing phase, students work towards their own research agenda un­der close supervision of dedicated faculty members. Students are expected to write independent research papers, presenting them in seminar form, and submitting them to international conferences and journals. 

Program requirements

The requirements for the successful completion of the CDSB programs are as follows:

  • Year one

    • Exams in all scheduled courses 
    • Attend Area Seminar 
    • Hand in Dissertation Proposal at the end of the first year (31 August)
  • Year two

    • Exams in scheduled courses including
    • Bridge Course from the CDSE or CDSS course catalogue
    • Attend Area Seminar
    • Pass English Academic Writing Course (3 ECTS)
  • Year three (onwards)

    Regular participation in Area Seminars

Grading scheme used at the CDSB: 1.0 (excellent) to 4.0 (pass) and 5.0 (fail). A differentiation in 0.3 steps is possible (1.3, 1.7 etc.)

Degree requirements

The requirements for earning a doctoral degree are as follows:

  • Completion of the CDSB course program
  • Completion, submission and acceptance of the thesis
  • Thesis defense
  • Degree awarded: Dr. rer. pol.

Doctoral theses at the CDSB usually consist of three original essays in one area which all will be published in esteemed scholarly journals. However, the classical form of a dissertation (a longer text analyzing one topic in depth) is also possible with the clear perspective that the contents of the dissertation will be used towards articles published in scholarly journals. The decision about the form of the dissertation is made by the student and his/her supervisor.

For more information on how to submit the thesis please refer to the Degree Process.

Germany and the Ph.D.

In Germany most universities confer doctoral degrees that use specific Latin designations to indicate the field in which the doctoral degree was obtained. This is different for the Ph.D. (doctor philosophiae), which is conferred across many different academic fields.

Both titles are awarded after an intensive study and research period which concludes in the successful submission and defense of a doctoral thesis.

At the GESS the following doctoral titles are conferred:

  • Faculty of Business and Economics: Dr. rer. pol (doctor rerum politicarum)
  • Faculty of Social Sciences: Dr. rer. soc. (doctor rerum socialium)