Fakultät Akademische… Doctorate Doctorate Dr. sc.… Oral examination…

Oral examination (Rigorosum)

Below you will find information about the oral examination procedure and evaluation.


The oral examination must be taken within 6 months after acceptance of the dissertation. In justified cases, an extension may be requested before the deadline expires. The date and place of the examination will be arranged by the candidate with the members of the examination board and the office for doctoral affairs will be informed at least 4 weeks in advance.

Examination includes the presentation and disputation of the dissertation and serves to demonstrate the general ability of the doctoral candidate to discuss scientific issues in the field of the major subject and the minor subjects. The doctoral candidate chooses the minor subjects from the clinical and medical-theoretical subjects represented at the faculty. In the examination, the doctoral candidate demonstrates the ability to conduct in-depth scientific work.

The oral examination should last approximately one hour. From which the presentation of the dissertation includes 15-20 min. 

Procedere and content of the examination

The oral examination is conducted in the major subject (subject of the dissertation) and in two minor subjects. The minor subjects are chosen from the clinical and medical-theoretical subjects represented at the Faculty of Medicine (see Examination Subjects).

The duration of the oral examination shall not exceed one hour, during which the examinee is given 15-20 minutes to present his/her thesis, followed by discussion of the thesis and examination of knowledge in the major subject and in the two minor subjects.

The examination is open to the public of the university. At the request of the doctoral candidate or for other important reasons, any form of publicity may be limited or excluded. The deliberation and announcement of the examination result are not public.

In justified individual cases, the doctoral committee may, upon voluntary request of the doctoral candidate, allow the oral examination to be held by videoconference / videotelephony (for further requirements, see doctoral regulations).

Current measures of the university to protect against the coronavirus (uni-heidelberg.de) as well as the resolutions of the hospital board and the task force are to be taken into account when conducting the oral examination.

Grading of the examination

The examination board (at least four members) is appointed by the doctoral committee after acceptance of the dissertation. It consists of the chairperson (a member of the doctoral committee), the examiners of the major subject (usually the doctoral supervisor) and of the two minor subjects.

The oral examination is only considered passed if at least a satisfactory(rite) performance has been confirmed by all members of the examination committee. If the examination has not been passed, it can be repeated once within 12 months.

Overall evaluation of the doctoral performance

For the overall evaluation of the doctoral performance, the dissertation writing and the oral examination have equal weight, with the written performance resulting from the average of the grades of the votum informativum (first review of the doctoral supervisor) and the two other reviews, and the oral performance resulting from the average of the four grades (three examination subjects and the grade of the examination chairperson). In the case of an overall grade of "summa cum laude", two additional external reviews of the dissertation are required. For the final evaluation "summa cum laude", both external reviews must propose to evaluate the thesis with "summa cum laude".


Examination dates

In accordance with § 11 of the Doctoral Regulations of Heidelberg University for the Faculties of Medicine for the Doctorate of Doctor scientiarum humanarum (Dr. sc. hum.), the Faculty of Medicine Heidelberg invites you to the following oral examinations:

Please change to the German page to see the examination dates.