Application-oriented teaching

Cooperative doctorate​

How can I do a doctorate in cooperation with universities of applied sciences?
Application-oriented teaching

What is a cooperative doctorate?

In the case of cooperative doctorates, the doctoral research will be equally supervised by a supervisor of a university of applied sciences („Fachhochschule“), and by a supervisor of a classic university. The workplace of the doctoral candidate will often be situated within the university of applied sciences. The doctorate will be awarded by the cooperating classic university, for the reason that universities of applied sciences usually do not have the right to award doctoral degrees. The supervisor of the university of applied sciences will be also involved as a reviewer during the doctoral examination procedure.

Cooperative doctorates at Friedrich Schiller University

The admission regulations for a doctorate are settled in the doctoral examination regulations of the respective university faculty. Master degree holders of universities of applied sciences are subject to the same admission regulations for the doctorate as are the master degree holders of classic universities. The master degree should regularly be obtained in the area of expertise of the doctoral research and should at least have the rating "good".

For a cooperative doctorate, you should at first find one supervisor each at a university of applied sciences, and at Friedrich Schiller University. In a next step, a common supervision agreement with both these supervisors will be concluded. The cooperation with the university of applied sciences will be included in this supervision agreement.

Following the supervision agreement, you apply for the admission as a doctoral candidate within the faculty of your FSU supervisor.

Institutionalised Partnerships

Regularly, the conclusion of a general agreement on cooperative doctorates between Friedrich Schiller University and the respective university of applied science is prerequisite to a cooperative doctorate at FSU. To this date, Friedrich Schiller University has concluded such agreements with the following higher education institutions:

  • Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena
  • Fachhochschule Erfurt
  • Hochschule Nordhausen
  • Hochschule Schmalkalden

The Thuringian universities and universities of applied sciences have formed the „Thüringer Netzwerk für Kooperative PromotionenExternal link“ (Thuringian Network for Cooperative Doctorates), to eliminate existing obstacles for degree holders of universities of applied sciences who intend to conclude a doctorate, as well as to secure the equal participation of professors of universities of applied sciences in cooperative doctorates.


If you have any questions regarding cooperative doctorates or doctoral research options for graduate students of universities of applied sciences, we are happy to welcome you at the Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs of Graduate Academy.