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Submission and review of the thesis

To complete your dissertation project you have to hand in your thesis at the StudiesServiceCentre. This has to be done in paper and electronically. Formal requirements have to be met. Please take a look at the relevant info sheet (in German only).

Merkblatt zur Abgabe der Dissertation

The thesis is presented to two reviewers. Together with their supervisor the doctoral candidates can suggest three experts as reviewers (form SL/D3 and SL/D4). The appointment of the reviewers however will be determined by the Studienpräses. Please note that only in justified cases the supervisor can be appointed as reviewer. If this occurs, then the second reviewer has to be an external reviewer.

Reviewers can be from outside the University of Vienna. On the contrary, it is recommended to propose external reviewers. There is a possibility of getting travel costs of external reviewers reimbursed.

The reviewers have a maximum of four months after the written submission of the thesis to review the thesis and write their report. Only if both reviewers submit a positive report on the thesis, the doctoral candidate can register for the public defence. If a reviewer assesses the thesis negatively then the thesis is handed to a further reviewer. If s/he also assesses the thesis negatively, the overall result is negative and the thesis has to be revised before it can be handed in again.


The following templates have to be used for the cover sheet of your thesis:

Doctoral Programme

Cover sheet for Doctoral thesis


Assignment of a thesis to reviewers (SL/D3)

Assignment of a thesis to reviewers - abstract (SL/D4)

Doctoral thesis submission (SL/D6)

Public Defence

With the positive assessment of the doctoral thesis and when all requirements of the curriculum have been met, the doctoral candidate can register for the public defence at the StudiesServiceCentre.

The public defence consists of a presentation of the main findings of the thesis, followed by a discussion about the research topic with the examination committee. The exact procedure of the public defence (e.g. duration, mode of presentation etc.) depends on each faculty’s procedures. It is advisable for PhD candidates to visit public defences at the respective faculty prior to the own defence.

The examination committee is assembled by the Directorate of Doctoral Studies. It consists of at least three persons. Normally, the supervisor as well as one of the reviewers are part of the committee. At the end of the presentation each member of the committee awards a grade for the whole examination (1-5). If a majority decision can be achieved, meaning that the majority of the members of the committee awards the same grade, then this decision states the grade (e.g. 1, 1, 2 -> majority decision is 1 = “excellent”). If all members award a different grade, then the mean average is awarded (e.g. 1, 3, 5 -> mean average 1+3+5=9 divided by 3 = 3). The grade of the defence is a numeric grade.


After the positively assessed public defence, the academic title according to the curriculum is awarded (Doktor/Doktorin der Philosophie) by official notice. The doctoral candidate has the opportunity to celebrate the completion of doctoral studies with a graduation ceremony. For more information please follow the link to the web site of the Conference and Event Management.

Merkblatt (english Version) für Studierende für die Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Defensio.

Merkblatt (english Version) für die Begutachtung von Dissertationen und die Durchführung der Defensio.

University of Vienna
Doctoral Studies of Social Science

Universitätsstraße 7
Roomnr.: C0622
1010 Vienna

T: +43-1-4277-49193
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0