Submission and review of the doctoral thesis

Formal requirements

  • Doctoral candidates have to submit the final doctoral thesis to the StudiesServiceCenter for the doctoral programme in Social Sciences, both in printed and electronic form (via u:space).
  • The thesis has to fulfil certain formal requirements. Please note the relevant regulations (in German) and the information regarding copyright and the use of images and data protection in the social sciences.
  • The title page needs to be generated on u:space. Before submission, doctoral candidates need to open u:space and verify the data that will be printed on the title page. The data is automatically loaded from the University’s database and includes the candidate’s name, their academic degrees and the names of the supervisors of the doctoral thesis. After generating the title page, doctoral candidates need to download and include it in the doctoral thesis. Then the complete document needs to be uploaded to u:space in PDF format.


  • At the University of Vienna, a doctoral thesis is reviewed by two experts from the relevant discipline who are not supervisors of the doctoral thesis. Together with their supervisors, doctoral candidates can propose three experts to act as reviewers by submitting the forms SL/D3 and SL/D4 (abstract) to the StudiesServiceCentre Social Sciences/Doctoral Studies ( The supervisor/s ask the suggested persons whether they are willing and able to assess the doctoral thesis within the given time frame. Supervisor/s should also serve as contact persons during the review process, if questions arise. The Studienpräses, the officer responsible for the implementation of the study law, selects and appoints two reviewers in consultation with the Social Sciences Directorate of Doctoral Studies.
  • One reviewer should be an external person (external = not employed with the University of Vienna). The second reviewer may be a member of the University of Vienna. Both internal as well as external reviewers have to be professors, or have an equivalent qualification, or be habilitated (see section 15, para. 2 of the Statutes of the University of Vienna). The candidate and the external reviewer may not have regular research-related contact (e. g. joint publications or research projects). A supervisor can act as a reviewer only in special cases. In this case, the second reviewer has to be from outside the University of Vienna. The doctoral candidate has to submit a curriculum vitae and a list of publications of external reviewers along with the forms SL/D3 and SL/D4.

Duration and outcome

  • Both reviewers receive an electronic copy of the academic thesis at the same time. A hardcover copy can be supplied on request but needs to be returned after the assessment.
  • In accordance with the Statutes of the University of Vienna, reviewers have a maximum of four months to assess the thesis and write their review. In the interest of the candidate, the reviewers are kindly requested to complete the assessment as quickly as possible.
  • Reviews have to be submitted to the StudiesServiceCentre Social Sciences/Doctoral Studies ( As soon as both reviews have been submitted, the StudiesServiceCentre forwards them to the candidate, both reviewers and the supervisor/s.
  • Only if both reviewers submit a positive review of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate may register for the public defence. The reviewers of a doctoral thesis usually serve as members of the examination committee during the public defence.
  • If a reviewer assesses the thesis negatively, the thesis is given to an additional reviewer. If the third reviewer assesses the thesis negatively as well, the overall result is negative. In this case, doctoral candidates have to revise their doctoral thesis before they can resubmit it.

For the submission of your doctoral thesis you need

  • Three copies of the doctoral thesis, hardbound
    Format: DIN A4 (210 x 297 mm) portrait format, printed on both sides. The page margins should be set in a way that allows binding. Please include a German and an English summary (abstract, 1–2 pages) in the annex.
  • The form “Doctoral thesis submission“ (SL/D6)
  • The form “Assignment of a thesis to reviewers” (SL/D3)
  • The form “Assignment of a thesis to reviewers – Abstract” (SL/D4)
    Please note: We recommend handing in the forms “Assignment of a thesis to reviewers” and “Assignment of a thesis to reviewers – Abstract” already four weeks before you upload the doctoral thesis. If you suggest one or more external reviewer, you have to add a CV and a list of publications for each one of them.
  • Signed confirmation that you have successfully uploaded your doctoral thesis to uspace (“Erfassungsbestätigung”)

Please note: When you submit your doctoral thesis, you must have completed all necessary ECTS credits.

Guidelines concerning the assessment of doctoral theses and the public defence (in English and German)

Guidelines concerning the assessment of doctoral theses and the public defence, Social Sciences Directorate of Doctoral Studies (Directorate of Studies 40), as of 23 January 2024

Richtlinien zur Beurteilung von Dissertationen und der Durchführung von Defensiones, Studienprogrammleitung Doktoratsstudium Sozialwissenschaften (SPL 40), Stand: 23. Jänner 2024