As a university, the University of St.Gallen is entitled to award doctor’s degrees; this process is known as "Promotion" in German. At the HSG, doctorates are awarded at a special award ceremony, the "Promotionsfeier", which takes place on the first day of the Spring and Autumn Semesters.
At the award ceremony, doctoral students are handed their degree certificates. By this act, the degree of a doctor is conferred on them. Participation in the award ceremony is compulsory for doctoral students, which means that doctoral studies are only concluded after the award ceremony. Only then may graduates use their newly acquired title of “Dr.”. The Senate of the University of St.Gallen awards the following doctor’s degrees:
- Doktor/Doktorin der Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Dr. oec. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in Management (Ph.D. HSG)
- Doktor/Doktorin der Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Dr. oec. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in Economics and Finance (Ph.D. HSG)
- Doktor/Doktorin der Staatswissenschaften (Dr. rer. publ. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in International Affairs and Political Economy (Ph.D. HSG)
- Doktor/Doktorin der Sozialwissenschaften (Dr. rer. soc. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Studies and Cultural Theory (Ph.D. HSG)
- Doktor/Doktorin der Rechtswissenschaft (Dr. iur. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in Law (Ph.D. HSG)
- Doktor/Doktorin der Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Dr. oec. HSG) / Doctor of Philosophy in Finance (Ph.D. HSG)
After the award ceremony, doctoral students have concluded their doctoral studies at the University of St.Gallen. These studies consist of
- a coursework stage, which is made up of methodological and specialist courses, the preparation of a research proposal and the colloquium on the research proposal. In the colloquium, doctoral students present their thesis project and their approach. This stage lasts a maximum of four semesters;
- a research stage, which is made up of the thesis-related seminars, the writing of the thesis, as well as the defence – called Disputation at the HSG, whereas some other universities also call it “oral defence of the thesis”. With the thesis – an academic work written without any outside help – doctoral students provide evidence of their extensive specialist knowledge and the mastery of academic methods. In the defence, they provide evidence of whether the requirements regarding the thesis have been satisfied. The entire research stage lasts a maximum of six semesters.
The Senate Committee may strip a person of the doctor’s degree if this degree has been obtained by deception or if the requirements for the award of the degree have not been satisfied.