Binational Doctorate (Cotutelle-de-thèse)

In this form of a doctorate, you will earn a doctoral degree jointly awarded by two universities in different countries. In principle, doing a binational doctorate is possible at all KIT Departments and with all foreign universities around the world, provided that the legal frameworks of the countries and higher education institutions permit this.

In the case of a binational doctorate, you will write a doctoral thesis under the supervision of at least one professor per university. Therefore, the first step is to find supervisors at KIT as well as at the chosen partner university who support your doctorate. Both have to agree with the topic of the doctoral thesis. In addition they have to commit themselves to coordinate the scientific supervision of the dissertation with each other and to carry it out together. Furthermore, you must be accepted as a doctoral researcher by the departments/faculties of both universities.

A prerequisite for pursuing a binational doctorate is a cooperation agreement. This is concluded individually between the doctoral researcher, the supervisors, and the two universities at the university and faculty level. On the ► website of the Higher Education Law and Academic Affairs business unit (DE HAA), a sample agreement is available for download. There, you can also find information on the process for the binational doctorate. Please note that you can access these documents only within the KIT network. If you cannot access them, please contact your supervisor.

The cooperation agreement regulates all details of the binational doctorate:

  • Regulation of the periods of presence at the two universities
  • Regulations regarding the language of the dissertation and oral exam
    Determination of the language of the dissertation and the oral exam on the basis of the doctoral ordinances involved
  • Composition of the examination board
    To ensure an even balance, the board is jointly appointed by the universities involved
  • Oral exam
    The contractual partners agree on the terms for the exam (form, duration, place, language)
  • Grading scale
    The universities agree on the grading system. It is advisable to take the grading systems of both countries into account
  • Publication of the dissertation

Cooperation agreements as well as doctoral ordinances form the legal basis of binational doctorates. Signatories of the agreement are the doctoral researcher, the supervisors, the deans, the presidents of the cooperating universities, and other persons involved in the procedure. If you have general questions regarding the binational doctorate, please contact ▶ KHYS. For legal issues please contact the colleagues of the DE HAA.

Further information can also be found in the brochure on the topic on the ▶ website of Eucor – The European Campus.