Are doctoral theses graded

The grades for the doctoral thesis

Perhaps you've heard it "summa cum laude" or "Rite is Schiete". Traditionally, Germany has its own Latin names for assessing grades, which are not fully comparable with the well-known German school grades. In the meantime, some universities have switched to using German terms - but even these generally do not correspond to the well-known system of school grades of 1 (very good) - 6 (unsatisfactory).

Comparison of the note names

You can find out which grades your faculty is currently awarding for dissertations in the respective doctoral regulations. Usually they are based on the following structure:

Latin name (abbreviation)German name (abbreviation)corresponding school grade (German)
summa cum laude (s. c. l., scl)with distinction / excellentupper very good (1+)
magna cum laude (m. c. l., mcl)very goodvery good (1)
cum laude (c.l.)Wellgood (2)
ritesufficient, passedsatisfactory / sufficient (3 - 4)
insufficienterinsufficient (not passed!)poor-unsatisfactory (5-6)

Some faculties still use different names for the evaluation of the dissertation, these are e.g.
opus eximium ("outstanding work"),
opus valde laudabile ("very praiseworthy work"),
opus laudabile ("praiseworthy work") and
opus idoneum ("suitable work" and
sub omni canone ("below any standard" = failed)
Fortunately, the last-mentioned note only plays a significant role in the figurative sense, namely in the phrase "under all cannon".

Range of grades for doctorates

In practice, it is rather the case that the good final grades predominate in the doctoral procedure - the definitions mentioned above already show a lot of space at the top and a rather narrow middle field, which covers the school grades satisfactorily and adequately with a common level.
Anyone who would like to take a close look at the distribution of grades in doctoral procedures can do so thanks to the detailed recording by the Federal Statistical Office - they are published in the free technical series 11 examinations at universities. The version for 2011 is currently (August 2013) available. In summary, it can be said that 60 - 70% of the doctoral procedures magna cum laude or. cum laude be completed, a good 20 - 30% with summa cum laude. The note rite is hardly represented. The numbers for failed doctorates in many departments are between 0 and 1 percent and therefore seem - despite the individual fates often associated with them - to be negligible overall.

The low failure rate is explained by the fact that the dissertation, which de facto represents the main part of the work to be performed, is usually written in close cooperation with the doctoral supervisor, who often does the examination himself later. As a rule, early control options take effect that rule out a total failure. More on this z. B. Submit.

Examinations at universities - Fachserie 11 Reihe 4.2, Federal Statistical Office
in particular Section 6 - Examinations passed according to subject groups, study areas, combined examination groups and grade of the final examination, p. 157 ff (unfortunately scattered for all subjects).

This post is a summary inspired by the thread marks for promotion in the forum.