Doctoral Degree


Procedural Steps from Admission to Completion

The Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences awards doctoral degrees in Agricultural Science (Dr. sc. agr.) and Nutritional Science (Dr. oec. troph).  Prerequisites for admission are a master's degree or final diploma examination in Agricultural or Nutritional Science with a mark of "good" or better.  Foreign applicants are only accepted with equivalent qualifications. A doctoral thesis and a disputation complete the doctoral program, which is referred to in German as "Promotion".

Acceptance of doctoral research project: In order to complete your doctorate at the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences successfully your doctoral research project has to be accepted officially by the faculty. The requirements for an acceptance are regulated in the Principles for Doctoral Degree Regulations and in the Doctoral Degree Regulations.

The corresponding form can be found here. Please submit the form together with a copy of your final exam.

At the same time you register in the online-portal for doctoral candidates. Start: 1. 1. 2018!

Registration with the Graduate Center: Once you have been officially accepted as a doctoral candidate you can register with the Graduate Center in order to use its services. Please use our online registration portal for registering with the Center (and later for all our courses).

Matriculation: You have the possibility to matriculate as a doctoral student. Please consider the respective provision of the Hochschulgesetz of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and the respective doctoral degree regulations. You can find copious information about the matriculation on the pages of the Studierendenservice (Student Service) of the university. If you are not a German citizen different rules for matriculation apply. You can find information about deadlines for matriculation, matriculation fees and manner of payment here.

Admission to the doctoral examination procedure: The doctorate concludes with the doctoral examination procedure. The procedure consists of the submission of the doctoral thesis and an oral examination. The doctoral degree regulations of your faculty specify which requirements you must meet and which form the examination procedure takes.

Membership of Kiel University

As a doctoral candidate you are a member of Kiel University if you are an employee of the university, i.e. you have signed an employment contract, or if you are matriculated as a doctoral candidate. Please note that the registration of your doctoral project with the faculty or your registration with the Graduate Center does not establish membership.

Formally membership is defined by the Hochschulgesetz of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and the Constitution of Kiel University.

Gestattungsvertrag (Licensing Agreement)

If you do research work as a doctoral candiate at Kiel University without an employment contract, e.g. in a laboratory or on one of the university farms, you have the possibility of concluding a Gestattungsvertrag (licensing agreement) with your supervisor in which the rights and duties of both parties can be specified.

You can find a model agreement here and here. Please note that only the German version of such an agreement is legally binding. The model agreement can be modified to reflect the particular situation of the doctoral candidate. The institute in question, the faculty, represented by the dean's office, and the legal counsel of Kiel University, Ms. Daniela Geißler, must approve of the final agreement.

Fast-Track-Doctoral Examination

Honorary Doctorates

According to university rules and regulations, the Faculty can award honorary doctorates of Agricultural Science (Dr. sc. agr. h.c.) on the basis of merit.  To be considered, a written proposal must be submitted to the dean.  4/5 members of the faculty's council (Konvent) must approve the proposal.  For exceptional scientific achievements or other significant contributions of merit, the faculty has awarded honorary doctorates to the following recipients:



Theodor Brinkmann († 11. 8. 1951)
Prof. Dr. h.c., Universität Bonn, am 24. 4. 1947,
for his service to the Farm Management, which he rose to the rank of a systematic science

Eilhard Alfred Mitscherlich († 3. 2. 1956)
Prof. Dr. phil., Dr. agr. h.c. mult., Humboldt-Universität Berlin, am 11. 3. 1948,,
for his scientific work in the field of plant cultivation, plant nutrition and soil science, and as the founder of the eponymous revenue laws.

Rudolf Carsten († Okt. 1954)
Saatzüchter, Bad Schwartau, am 12. 5. 1950,
a practical plant breeder, who became world famous by pioneering breeding new wheat varieties.

Benno Martiny († 9. 3. 1953)
Prof. Dr. phil., Universität Halle, am 14. 3. 1951,
a teacher and researcher in the field of Agriculture Science and outstanding designer of agricultural machinery.

Ivar Johansson († 30. 9. 1988)
Prof. Dr. phil., Hochschule Uppsala/Schweden, am 18. 5. 1951,
for his fundamental discoveries about the inheritance of economically important characteristics of pets and their relationship with the environment.

Berthold Klatt († 4. 1. 1958)
Prof. Dr. phil., Universität Hamburg, am 24. 5. 1955,
for his fundamental studies on the origin and evolution of pets and for his justified by actual experiments, new ideas about the nature of the constitution..

Jonas Schmidt († 13. 3. 1958)
Prof. Dr. phil., Universität Hohenheim, am 7. 10. 1955,
for his research on the relationship between form and performance in domestic animals and to promote animal husbandry by breeding experiments and improved performance tests.


Fritz Baade († 15. 5. 1974)
Prof. Dr. rer. pol., Universität Kiel, am 23. 1. 1958,
for his research on problems of agricultural economics that encouraged the Agricultural Sciences and promoted.

Karl Massmann († 3. 2. 1956)
Landesbankdirektor, Kiel, am 9. 7. 1959 posthum,
for his services to the rural settlements, to rebuild the economy, the development of the agricultural credit sector and as chairman of the University Society.

Alfred Toepfer († 8. 10. 1993)
Kaufmann, Hamburg, am 13. 7. 1959,
for his contributions to the development of agricultural policy, the establishment of national parks and dissemination of conservation thought and promoting agriculture through science, and the foundation of the Justus-von-Liebig-Prize.

Kurt Mothes († 12. 2. 1983)
Prof. Dr. rer. nat., Universität Halle, am 5. 11. 1960,
the further developed by his fundamental work in crop plant physiology and plant nutrition in agriculture.

Paul Schachtschabel († 4.2.1998)
Prof. Dr. phil. nat., Universität Hannover, am 4. 6. 1964,
for his research in the field of soil science and plant nutrition, in-depth knowledge of the floor as the site of important crops.

Hans Loertscher
Prof. Dr., Zürich, Schweiz, im Juni 1965,
the occasion of the 300-year celebration of the CAU, for outstanding contributions in the history of pets.

Ernst Engelbrecht-Greve († 10. 1. 1990)
Landesminister a.D., am 28. 5. 1975,
for his achievements in developing Europe and Schleswig-Holstein agriculture, to promote the development of landscape and particularly for his contributions to the Department entrusted to the care sciences.

Hans-Heinrich Herlemann († 27. 5.2004)
Prof. Dr. agr., Technische Universität München, am 6. 2. 1976,
for his work on the mechanization of agriculture and its stages developed from scientific studies forecast models for the mineral fertilizer demand.

Gerhard Röbbelen
Prof. Dr. rer. nat., Göttingen, am 6. 2. 1976,
for his work in the field of mutation research and its cytogenetic studies on cereals and for breeding work to improve the quality of crops.


Vernon W. Ruttan († 18. 8. 2008)
Prof. Dr., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, am 17. 12. 1986,
for his pioneering research on the origin and object of Agricultural Sciences, and the documentation of the early achievements of the German agricultural research and international significance.

Kurt Heyns († 28. 4. 2005)
Prof. Dr., Universität Hamburg, am 17. 12. 1986,
for his fundamental work in the field of food chemistry and food science.

John L. Dillon († 5. 6. 2001)
Prof. Ph.D., University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australien, am 22. 4. 1993,
for pioneering research in the field of analysis of agricultural production functions and for his pioneering studies on the analysis of agricultural decisions under uncertainty

Günter M. Hoffmann
Prof. Dr. agr., Technische Universität München, am 6. 7. 1996,
for his internationally recognized research in the field of biology, epidemiology and pest relevance of microbial pathogens that enables the development of pioneering basic knowledge for a modern integrated management of plant protection in arable crops production systems.

Udo Schwertmann
Prof. Dr., Technische Universität München, am 6. 7. 1996,
for his groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of iron oxide formation and erosion of the research that has shaped the development of the international soil science crucial.

Rosemarie von Schweitzer
Prof. Dr., Universität Gießen, am 6. 7. 1996,
for her research into the integration of financial management and household production in the household economy, the significant influence on the development of domestic economic research and teaching.

Günter Wricke († 8. 7. 2009)
Prof. Dr., Universität Hannover, am 13.11.1998,
for his pioneering scientific knowledge in the field of population genetics and quantitative genetic basis of plant breeding and the significant influence on the development of molecular marker analysis.

since 1999

Karl-Heinz Menke,
Prof. Dr., Universität Hohenheim, am 21. 10. 2004,
for his scientific work to feed evaluation and performance prediction of farm animals, the trend for the animal nutrition research and the agricultural practice of great importance

Günther Fielmann,
Prof., Schierensee, am 9. 12. 2004,
for his farsighted and comprehensive long-term promotion of interdisciplinary scientific research with the goal of holistic assessment of agricultural production systems, which are a model of commitment to the sciences and to our society.

Friedrich Berschauer,
Prof. Dr., Monheim, am 3. Juni 2005,
for his outstanding achievements in research management and the promotion of basic and applied research in the areas of animal health and plant protection and the resulting integration of industry and public research

Karl Heinrich Hartge, († 11. 6. 2009)
Prof. Dr., Hannover, am 18. November 2005,
because of its scientific work on hydraulic and mechanical processes and soil functions for research and teaching in soil science and soil physics and also world-wide trend for the agricultural and forestry practices of very great importance

Winfried E.H. Blum,
Prof. Dr. h.c., Wien, am 5. November 2010,
due to his scientific work in the soil chemistry and clay mineralogy, which are for the bottom genetics, soil classification and for Terrestrial Ecology indicative and for environmental research is of great importance.



Documents & Forms

New PhD Regulations (Rules) from March 2nd, 2012, with changes from September 25th, 2014 and June 8th, 2015 and May 12th 2016 Unfortunately, the update of our Doctoral Degree Regulagions from April 12, 2018 is currently not available as an English version. Please refer to the German version. We hope for your understanding.

Note regarding the transition from the old to the new regulations:  Doctoral candidates who were accepted by the dean after March 1, 2012 must complete their doctorates according to the new doctoral regulations.  All others may choose whether they would like to complete their doctorates according to the old or the new regulations

Note from the university library regarding the submission of printed copies of doctoral theses:  Due to archive requirements, the library requires 4 printed copies printed on durable, acid-free non-wood paper that is well-bound (no spiral binding, no staples, no metal rails, etc.).  Soft cover publication (i.e. cardboard cover with glued binding) is sufficient.


Note:  The elective master module AEF-agr804 'Biometrische Versuchsplanung und -auswertung', which is offered every winter semester can also be selected by doctoral students as a great means of support at the beginning of their doctoral studies.  Module objectives:  the students will expand their knowledge of multiple test problems and popular statistical models; they will become well-acquainted with the basic principles of sample size estimation;  they will learn to plan, evaluate and analyze typical experiments and investigations in the fields of agricultural and nutritional science.  The content of the module:  sample size estimation, regression analysis, variance analysis, covariance analysis, multiple contrast tests, experimental stations, introduction to mixed models, introduction to statistics software R.

Equally helpful is the English module entitled AEF-em030: Statistical & mathematical tools, which also can be attended by doctoral students.  The course contents can be viewed here.


Form accepting students = supervision agreement

Declaration of co-authorship

Guidelines for Doctoral Students (as at September 2017)

CAU guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice

Post-Graduate Scholarship

Landesverordnung über die Förderung des wissenschaftlichen und künstlerischen Nachwuchses vom 14. 12. 2009

Hinweise zur Graduiertenförderung (Landesstipendien)

Due to a change of funding periods, new deadlines for applications for the Graduiertenförderung are valid:

Candidates, who already receive funding and apply for a prolongation, please

31. August for a prolongation starting on 01. January every year

31. January  for a prolongation starting on 01. July every year.

These deadlines are only valid for already running fundings.


For new applications beginning in 2019/2020 the following deadlines are valid, but only for this specific application period:

31. August 2018  for a funding start on 01. January 2019

31. March 2019  for a funding start on 01. October 2019

15. September 2019  for a funding start on 01. April 2020


For new applications starting October 2020 and later:

31.March  for a funding start on 01. October every year

15. September for funding start on 01. April every year


The following documents are only available in German, english versions are under revision.

Laufzettel zum Einreichen von Anträgen auf Graduiertenförderung

Formular persönliche Angaben zur Graduiertenförderung 2015

Fast-Track-Doctoral Examination

Acceptance of doctoral research project: In order to complete your doctorate at the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences successfully your doctoral research project has to be accepted officially by the faculty. The requirements for an acceptance are regulated in the Principles for Doctoral Degree Regulations and in the Doctoral Degree Regulations.

The corresponding form can be found here. Please submit the form together with a copy of your final exam.

For the process of fast track promotion applies:

1) The faculty convention appoints two full-time professors to conduct a qualifiying interview with the applicant in order to test their extraordinary ability to work in a scientific field. The supervisor does not participate in the conversation. There is a protocol about the conversation. The professors report to the faculty convention.

2) The faculty convention decides on the application for acceptance on the basis of the bachelor certificate and the report on the aptitude test.

3) Prerequisite for the submission of the dissertation is the proof of 60 credits from the sompulsory modules and additionally from the compulsory elective modules of the corresponding Master´s program.

4) Upon successful completion of the Fast Track Promotion, the Master`s degree will also be awarded. The master`s thesis is cancelled. Further details are regulated by the master examination regulations. The Master`s certificate will not be handed out togethter with the Dr.-certificate until all module examinations have been successfully completed.

5) A dissertation that has been rejected in accordance with § 12 may be submitted as a master`s thesis.

That means: The Fast-Track doctoral candidate can hand in the dissertation if at least 60 credit points have been proven. The certificates (doctoral certificate and master`s certificate) he/she receives only when all 93 credit points have been reached. The disputation counts as the module "Defence of the Master thesis".