Computer Science

Process for doing a PhD in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence

(Version September 21, 2021)

This process applies to students who started their PhD studies in winter semester 2021/22 or later.
See also a graphical outline of the process.

Application and Admission

For being admitted to the PhD program you have to apply at the Admissions Office of JKU. Here you can find detailed information on what documents are necessary for that. You should obtain a provisional confirmation of supervision (provisorische Betreuungszusage) from one of the professors of the Department of Computer Science. Please search for a professor in the area in which you want to do research and provide to him or her a CV, an exposé describing your planned research (3-5 pages), any proof of previous research or professional practice as well as a possible list of publications.

The PhD Program in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

According to the curriculum of the PhD Program you have to do the following courses:
- a dissertation colloquium (4.5 ECTS, see below)
- 2 PhD seminars (4.5 ECTS each) at your supervising institute
- a pre-defense (4.5 ECTS, see below)
- a gender course (1.5 ECTS)
The PhD Seminars at your supervising institute serve the purpose of tracking the progress of your thesis. Even though you are formally only required to participate in two seminars, we strongly recommend that you participate in all PhD seminars that are held at your institute.

Dissertation Colloquium

Here, you have to present your research ideas and the current state of your research. The dissertation colloquium should be done in the 2nd or 3rd semester of your PhD studies. It is a dedicated course with the name "Dissertationskolloquium" for which you have to register via Kusss. The dissertation colloquium takes place in a PhD seminar of your supervising institute, but is open to the whole Computer Science faculty.

The process for the dissertation colloquium is as follows:
- Register for the "Dissertationskolloquium" via Kusss at the beginning of the semester
- During the first month of the semester and latest 2 weeks in advance, send to the chair of PhD affairs by email:
   - name of candidate, name of supervisor and dissertation topic (Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence).
   - date, time, location, title of the presentation (typically it is the working title of the thesis).
   - a suggestion for the examination senate consisting of 3 professors of the Department of Computer Science.
      If no suggestion is made, the senate will consist of the advisor of the student, and the chair and vice chair of PhD affairs.
- The chair has to approve the examination senate and will announce the colloquium to the faculty
- After your presentation, the examination senate informs the chair of PhD affairs about the grade, who will then enter it in Kusss
- Within one month after the dissertation colloquium, fill out and sign the dissertation agreement (see below)

Dissertation Agreement (Dissertationsvereinbarung)

Right after the dissertation colloquium you have to fill out and sign a dissertation agreement as well as a form with information about the dissertation supervisors (you can find the forms here). For that you need 2 supervisors who have to sign as well. The supervisors must be persons with a habilitation (usually professors of the Department of Computer Science) who are proficient in the area of your dissertation topic. The dissertation agreement has to specify your dissertation topic and the field of your dissertation (Informatik or Artificial Intelligence). It also has to include a rough time schedule. The dissertation agreement has to be submitted to the Office of Examinations and Recognition Services (PAS). Your main supervisor has to make sure that you submit the agreement in time.


At the pre-defense, you have to give a presentation of the status of your dissertation and an outlook on your further research in front of the Computer Science faculty. The pre-defense should be done approximately one year before you finish your PhD studies. It is a dedicated course with the name "Pre-Defense", for which you have to register via Kusss. At least two weeks before the pre-defense, you have to send certain information to the chair of PhD affairs. This information as well as the rules for the pre-defense are described here.

Selecting Reviewers and the Defense Senate

The rules for selecting the reviewers of your thesis as well as the members of the defense senate are described here. A proposal for both has to be sent to and approved by the chair of PhD affairs as described under the link above. It should be done not later than 10 weeks before the defense. Once the reviewers and the senate have been approved by the chair, you need to find a date and a time for the defense that works for all members of the defense senate, and send it to the chair of PhD affairs.

Submitting the Thesis

8 weeks before the defense, you must send to the PAS an email with the title and the abstract of your thesis as well as with the names and affiliations of your supervisors and of the external reviewer. If the reviewer does not come from JKU you have to fill out and submit also an application for external evaluator/examiner (see here).

4 weeks before the defense, you have to submit to the PAS:
- The PDF of your thesis must be uploaded here, but not earlier than 1 day before the submission of the bound copies.
- If applicable: an application to make the dissertation publicly inaccessible (Sperrantrag).
- The examination roster (Prüfungsraster).
- A registration form for the oral defense (Festlegung des Prüfungssenats) with the names and the signatures of the defense senate members.
All forms can be found here or here.

2 weeks before the defense, you have to inform the PAS about the arranged date, time and location of the defense. If the defense happens online the main supervisor must send the appropriate link to the PAS.


The defense consists of a presentation of your thesis (30 minutes) followed by a discussion and questions about the dissertation. The defense usually lasts 1.5 hours. It is assessed by the defense senate.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12-Apr-2023 08:50:54 CEST