Possibilities for doctorates

After completing their Master's degree, graduates of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences have two different paths to a doctorate.


Students may pursue a cooperative doctorate after completing their studies at the h_da. Suitable Master's graduates can be offered access to a cooperative doctoral programme with national and international partner universities within the framework of corresponding cooperation agreements. In the case of a cooperative doctorate, the doctoral candidates are usually part of a research project at h_da and are jointly supervised therein by a professor from h_da and the respective partner university. The doctorate is awarded by the partner university. For more than fifteen years now, h_da has been offering this possibility to its students. The cooperation agreements that have been extended in recent years as well as the newly concluded ones provide a clear route for achieving this. The Graduate School of the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt is available for all aspects of doctoral studies at the h_da. It is the central point of contact and offers information and advice, continuous doctoral studies, coordination of partnerships as well as processing, administration and support of doctoral procedures.

Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences possesses own independent right to award doctorates in various research-intensive subject areas. Subject-related doctoral centers have been set up to fulfil this right. In this way, graduates can obtain a doctorate without cooperating with a university.

With the amendment of the Hessian Higher Education Act, the Hessian state government has become the first federal state to enable universities of applied sciences (HAWs) to obtain an independent right to award doctorates under certain conditions. The advantages of an independent right to award doctorates include independent quality assurance of research as well as the setting of subject priorities, so that HAWs can make even better use of their expertise in applied research.

The core of the doctoral centres is formed by minimum twelve professors with strong research experience. The quality in the doctoral procedures is ensured by high standards, such as the separation of supervision and review in the procedures.