Cumulative Dissertation

Please note that in order to submit a cumulative dissertation, it is not enough to inform yourself at the Website of Doc-GS, because this TUM-central page does not contain the specific regulations with which the CIT School defines its own standards of quality assurance. You will find the complete information here. However, this site is only concerned with the specifics in regard to a cumulative dissertation. Additionally, the rules for conventional dissertations apply!

This website will describe only in a general way, which criteria are important in regard to a cumulative dissertation. Because there are a great variety of individual circumstances regarding cumulative dissertations, please discuss the particulars of your formal structure with the Dean’s Office (please make an appointment). You will receive administrative support there. Please make use of it!

Information how to structure a cumulative dissertation (in German only).

Bitte beachten Sie, dass gemäß FR-Beschluss vom 10.7.13, Anlage 5, das Gutachtergremium im kumulativen Promotionsverfahren folgendermaßen zusammengesetzt sein muss:

"Das Gutachtergremium setzt sich zusammen aus mindestens zwei Wissenschaftlern, die erstens den Betreuer und zweitens eine Person, die nicht der TUM angehört und an keiner der eingebundenen Publikationen als Ko-Autor beteiligt war, einschließen."

If you are not able to comply with the rules detailed here, you might want to think about whether a cumulative dissertation is a good choice for you. In some cases a conventional dissertation turns out to be easier to handle.

However, if you want to go ahead and submit a cumulative dissertation even though you are not able to meet the requirements, the risk that you will need to make corrections which make it necessary to withdraw your first application and submit a second amended version lies with you. Even your supervisors consent to submit your cumulative dissertation will not protect your from that.

During preparation for your application, you need to clarify whether all co-authors are willing to confirm that you are the main author for those publications you want to include into your dissertation as core publication.

Which consequences does the confirmation have for the consenting person?

  • A doctoral student who is willing to declare that you are the main author of a certain publication cannot include this publication as a core publication in a cumulative dissertation of his/her own. But she or he can use this publication for a conventional dissertation.
  • Habilitanden can still use this publication for their habilitation theses because there, main authorship is not required.

How can a co-author transfer main authorship to you?

These are the necessary steps:

  1. She or he writes a hardcopy letter:
  2. Headline: Letter of confirmation concerning publications included in [Name]‘s dissertation
  3. I, [Name of co-author], confirm that [your name] is main author of the publication(s) [citation of publication(s)].
  4. Place and date of issue
  5. Signature of co-author.

For every co-author, a separate statement is needed. No emails!

Who needs these letters of confirmation?

  1. Theoretically your supervisor needs the letters in order to give you the written approval mentioned above. If she or he doesn’t require them, that’s fine.
  2. You need them for your own security. E.g. one of the doctoral students who is co-author decides to use the publication as a core publication for a publication-based dissertation of her or his own and denies that she/he transferrred the main autorship to you. Then you need to prove that this person is in the wrong and not you. Things like this do happen not only theoretically, so it is better to be on the safe side.
  3. Please send a pdf to

You will find this letter either on the publisher’s website or you will have received a declaration by email together with the information that your publication was accepted. It is sufficient to include in your dissertation the part of this email that confirms that you are allowed to use the publication for further qualifications. As this happens all the time, publishers include this sentence somewhere.

Permission of the publisher: enclose in your dissertation.

Letters transferring main authorship: to your supervisor, if she/he requires them, otherwise keep them with your documents; please send pdf to


Lydia Weber

Lydia Weber, MBA 

Dean's Office

Boltzmannstr. 3
85747 Garching
Room MI 00.10.044

Internal mail: Dek-MA

dekanat (at)
Tel.: +49 (0)89 289 17583