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Doing a doctorate at HFU

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The path to a doctorate

Furtwangen University offers its students a continuous education from bachelor's to master's to doctorate.

Numerous HFU graduates have continued their academic careers with a doctorate after completing their master's degree and are now professors. As a University of Applied Sciences, HFU offers various equivalent paths to a doctorate.

HFU is one of the strongest research universities for applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg. Numerous professors work in and outside of 14 quality-assured research institutes on a wide range of projects, most of which are funded by third parties. All HFU faculties are currently working on over 70 doctoral projects, which are generally integrated into overarching research projects and can therefore be networked and competently supervised. The focus is on the fields of health and medical technology, production technology and microsystems technology. The university supports the academic career phase through an interdisciplinary HFU Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg, in which doctoral students can become sponsored members upon application.
For a long time, doctoral studies in Baden-Württemberg were only possible in conjunction with a university. Now a new path has opened up for universities of applied sciences (HAW) such as Furtwangen University - and in particular for their graduates. An HAW doctoral association will, in future, be able to award doctorates.

The Baden-Württemberg Doctoral Association

Furtwangen University is one of 24 member universities of the newly founded Doctoral Association of Universities of Applied Sciences Baden-Württemberg. The association was founded with the publication of the administrative agreement of the doctoral association in the Baden-Württemberg Joint Official Gazette. The universities of applied sciences have joined forces in order to fulfill the requirements of the further development clause of the State Higher Education Act (§ 76 para. 2), according to which a suitable association of universities of applied sciences can be granted an independent right to award doctorates by the Ministry of Science.

External link opens in a new window:Administrative agreement of May 24, 2022, published in GABl. no. 6 of June 29, 2022
External link opens in a new window:The procedural statutes of the Doctoral Association BW dated 14.07.2022
External link opens in a new window:The Announcement Statutes of the Doctoral Association BW dated 14.07.2022

See also:

HFU Cooperative Doctorate Programme

The interdisciplinary HFU Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg is the central point of contact and coordination for all doctoral projects being undertaken at HFU and is open to students interested in a doctorate, doctoral candidates and supervising professors.

In addition, the Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg supports and advises the university in further developing the quality standards for the selection and supervision of doctoral candidates in order to make this qualification step as successful as possible for everyone.

Participation in the programme

How do I take part?

HFU aims to support as many doctoral candidates as possible who are supervised by a professor at HFU through membership of the Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg. Admission to the programme is based on an application for membership by the doctoral candidate.

The academic committee decides on exceptions.

Academic Commission

The Academic Committee supports the work of the Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg and ensures good scientific practice and quality assurance.

Term of office: 1 September, 2021 - 31 August, 2025

Academic Director

Prof. Dr. Christoph Reich

Representative of the University Board of Executives

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mescheder

Representative of the IAF

Prof. Dr. Knut Möller

Representatives of supervising professors

Prof. Dr. Margareta Müller, Prof. Dr. Folker Wenzel

Advisor of the Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg

Dr. Thorsten Fitzon

Representative of the doctoral candidates (advisory)

Iris Weishaupt


In accordance with §2.3 of the HFU Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg statutes, the Academic Director is the contact person in any conflict arising during the supervision of doctoral theses (ombudsman for doctoral candidates).

Internal link opens in the same window:Prof. Dr. Christoph Reich



HFU is continually expanding its cooperation network for Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg. We are currently offering doctoral opportunities with the following cooperation partners:

University of Plymouth, UK, Centre for Security, Communications & Network Research (CSCAN)

Research is being carried out in the area of business information systems and internet services and security. HFU is involved in several projects in this Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg. As doctoral research is carried out in the areas of business information systems and computer science, the main partners at HFU are the Faculties of Business Information Systems and Computer Science.

Prof. Dr. Martin Knahl, HFU

Professor Steven Furnell
Head of School of Computing and Mathematics
University of Plymouth, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1752 586-234

Further joint doctorates are carried out in close cooperation with: the Université de Haute-Alsace, France; Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland; and the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria. Graduates of our university have also been accepted for Kooperatives HFU-Promotionskolleg at other universities such as: TU Dresden; the University of Stuttgart; and the TU und LMU in Munich.

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