Regulations for the doctor philosophiae (dr. Philos.) degree at NHH

Regulations for the doctor philosophiae (dr. Philos.) degree at NHH

Adopted by the Executive Board of NHH on 16 October 2003. Changed by the Executive Board on 8 December 2005 pursuant to Act of 1 April 2005 relating to Universities and Colleges, § 3-3, § 3-9, § 3-10, § 3-11, § 8-2.

§ 1. Aim

The Doctor Philosophiae (dr. philos.) programme shall qualify candidates for research activities at a high international academic level and other work in the international community requiring a high level of scientific insight and methodology.

§ 2. Right to apply for examination

Anyone who has obtained a higher degree (master's degree) in economics and business administration may apply for a dr. philos. degree examination.

The Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) can also approve applications for a doctoral degree examination if the applicants can otherwise document that they have equivalent qualifications in the relevant subject area. Dissertations shall not be evaluated until the candidate's application has been approved. The PDU shall evaluate the applicant's prior qualifications and make a decision based on the applicant's documentation of previous studies and scientific work, cf. §5, first paragraph. The PDU may require applicants to complete special courses and/or pass special tests before granting approval for evaluation of doctoral work. The application shall be submitted at the same time as the dissertation.

Candidates who are not citizens of Norway or any other Nordic country may apply for examination, provided the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) grants approval on the basis of a justified application and recommendation from the relevant academic environment. Such approval is granted preferentially if the dissertation

  • deals with subjects or makes use of material directly related to Norway
  • is closely related to Norwegian research in the subject area
  • has been carried out at a Norwegian university or college, or in close contact with Norwegian researchers
  • or if the applicant has a residence permit in Norway.


§ 3. Dissertations

3.1 Dissertation requirements

Dissertations shall represent independent scientific work of a high academic standard that meets the international publication standards in the subject area, with respect to the formulation of the issues raised, definition of concepts, methodological and theoretical basis, documentation and form of presentation.

Dissertations may be a self-contained work or the continuation of previous work. Under normal circumstances, only work published during the past five (5) years prior to submission of a dissertation may be included as part of the dissertation.

Part of a joint work may be accepted for evaluation, and it may also be accepted as one of several works, provided it represents an independent, identifiable contribution. In such cases, declarations shall be obtained from all the co-authors and others who have followed the work, so that the contribution of the doctoral candidate can be identified.

Several minor works may be accepted as part of a doctoral dissertation when they make up a collective whole based on their content, provided the doctoral candidate's independent contribution can be identified and documented. In addition to the individual works, a summary explaining the wholeness of the dissertation shall be prepared.

Dissertations must be written in English, unless prior permission has been granted to write a dissertation in another language.

3.2 Unacceptable work

Work accepted as the basis for previous examinations is not admissible for evaluation unless the work constitutes only a minor part of a dissertation consisting of several connected works.

Work may not be accepted for individual evaluation if it has been previously accepted as a thesis or dissertation for a magister, licentiate or other degree of higher learning, unless the work constitutes only a minor part of a dissertation consisting of several connected works.

Work previously accepted for a doctoral degree at a foreign university or college may not be accepted for evaluation, even if the work is submitted in a revised version.

Work or parts of a work that are or have been under evaluation for a doctoral degree at another Norwegian university college or a Norwegian university cannot be submitted for evaluation at NHH.

3.3 Resubmission

A doctoral dissertation that has previously been rejected at the school may not be evaluated in a revised form until six (6) months after the school has made the decision to reject the dissertation. A new evaluation may be made only once.

3.4 Public availability

No restrictions may be placed on the release or publication of a doctoral degree dissertation with the exception of a postponement of the date of release or publication that is agreed on in advance.

§ 4. Evaluation

Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of:

  • an approved scientific dissertation
  • two approved trial lectures
  • approved defence of the dissertation at a public disputation.

§ 5. Submission

The dissertation and application for evaluation of the work for a doctoral degree shall be submitted to the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) together with certified copies of examination and degree certificates. If special approval is required, cf. § 2, the applicant must provide documentation of his studies and enclose copies of previous scientific work. Such applications shall be submitted at the same time as the dissertation. Non-Nordic citizens must enclose a letter to justify why they are applying for evaluation for a degree. Applications for approval of a dissertation language other than English, cf. § 3, shall be submitted together with the dissertation.

The doctoral candidate shall also enclose a written declaration with the dissertation that the dissertation or any parts thereof have not been submitted for evaluation for a doctoral degree at any other Norwegian or foreign institution.

The dissertation shall be submitted in 15 copies.

If the dissertation is accepted for defence at a public disputation, 35 additional copies must be submitted to the school. An abstract that can serve as a press release when the public disputation is announced shall be submitted together with the dissertation. The dissertation shall have been publicly available at least one (1) month prior to any public disputation can be held.

The dissertation shall be submitted in a standardised format in the form (paper, electronic) determined by the school.

§ 6. Appointment of an evaluation committee

To evaluate the dissertation, trial lectures and defence of the dissertation, an expert evaluation committee consisting of at least three members shall be appointed by the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) based on the proposal from the relevant department.

The committee shall be composed so that:

  • both genders are represented whenever possible
  • at least one of the members has no affiliation with NHH
  • two of the members are normally recruited from a foreign institution that is internationally recognised within the subject area in question
  • all the members have a doctorate or equivalent academic qualifications.

A chairman shall be appointed from among the committee members by the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) based on the proposal from the relevant department.

The doctoral candidate shall be notified of the composition of the committee.

§ 7. Committee's report and procedures

A work that has been submitted may not be withdrawn until a final decision has been made as to whether it is worthy of being defended for a doctoral degree. The doctoral candidate may nevertheless correct formal errors in the dissertation after submission. In such cases, a list of the corrections shall be submitted no later than one (1) month prior to the public disputation.

The committee may demand submission of the doctoral candidate's source material, as well as supplementary or clarifying information.

The committee shall submit a report on whether the work is worthy of being defended for a doctoral degree. Grounds shall be given for the conclusions in the report and any dissent.

The evaluation committee's report, including any dissent and individual statements, shall be submitted to the Doctoral Programme Board(PDU), which will subsequently forward the report and statements to the doctoral candidate as soon as possible. The doctoral candidate shall be given a time limit of two (2) weeks to submit written comments on the report. If the doctoral candidate does not wish to submit any written comments, the PDU shall be notified of this as soon as possible.

The evaluation committee's report shall be issued no later than three (3) months after the committee receives the dissertation, unless the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) has determined otherwise.

A unanimous committee report shall be approved, provided a majority of the members of the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) vote for approval. If a majority finds, in spite of a unanimous committee report, that there are grounds for doubting whether a dissertation should be approved, the PDU shall seek further clarification from the evaluation committee or appoint two new experts to make individual statements on the dissertation. The doctoral candidate's comments shall be enclosed. After this the PDU shall decide itself on the matter on the basis of the report and statements obtained.

If there are dissenting opinions in the committee, the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) may itself make a decision on the matter without obtaining any further evaluation, or it may seek further clarification from the evaluation committee, or appoint two new experts to make individual statements on the dissertation. The doctoral candidate's comments shall be enclosed. After this the PDU shall decide itself on the matter on the basis of the report and statements obtained.

The doctoral candidate shall be notified of the results of the procedure.

§ 8. Trial lectures and public disputation

If the work is found to be worthy of being defended for a doctoral degree, the doctoral candidate shall hold two public trial lectures, one on a prescribed topic and one on a topic of the candidate's choice. The doctoral candidate shall advise the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) of the title of the trial lecture on a topic of the candidate's choice one (1) month prior to the public disputation. The subject of the trial lecture on a prescribed topic shall be determined by the evaluation committee and announced to the doctoral candidate two (2) weeks prior to the lecture. The public disputation shall normally be held within six (6) months after the dissertation was submitted for evaluation.

The trial lectures shall be held prior to the public disputation. If the evaluation committee finds that the trial lectures are acceptable, the doctoral candidate shall defend his doctoral dissertation at a public disputation.

The time and place for the public disputation shall be announced well in advance.

The trial lecture and public disputation must be conducted in the same language that the dissertation is written in, unless special permission has been granted to use another language.

The public disputation is normally chaired by the chairman of the department the doctoral candidate is affiliated with, the chairman of the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU), or a chairman authorised by the PDU. The public disputation takes place as a discussion of the dissertation between the members of the evaluation committee and the doctoral candidate. The disputation chairman shall give a brief account of the submission and evaluation of the dissertation, and the trial lectures. The disputation chairman shall set the order and division of duties between the doctoral candidate and opponents in consultation with the opponents. Any other persons present who wish to speak as an opponent ex auditorio must give notice during the disputation to the chairman no later than the time limit he has set for such.

As soon as possible and no later than two (2) weeks after the public disputation, the evaluation committee shall submit a report to the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU), in which it gives an account of its evaluation of the dissertation, trial lectures and defence of the dissertation. The report must conclude whether the examinations as a whole are deemed to be satisfactory.

If the trial lectures or public disputation are not approved, a new trial lecture or public disputation may not be held until six (6) months have elapsed. New examinations shall be evaluated by the original evaluation committee whenever possible.

§ 9. Conferment and diploma

When the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) has approved the dissertation, trial lectures and public disputation, the degree of Doctor Philosophiae (dr. philos.) is conferred on the doctoral candidate. The PDU advises the school's Executive Board of the doctoral degrees conferred twice a year.

A diploma and certificate are issued by the school. The certificate must state the title of the dissertation and the topic of the trial lectures.

§ 10. Appeals

The rejection of applications for evaluation and decisions not to approve dissertations, trial lectures or public disputations may be appealed.

Appeals must be submitted no later than three (3) weeks after the party in question has received notice of the decision. Moreover, the provisions regarding appeals in §§ 28 ff. of the Norwegian Public Administration Act also apply.

An appeal with a statement of the grounds shall be submitted to the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU), which may then set aside or amend its decision if it finds the appeal to be justified. If the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) does not find that it can set aside or amend its decision, then the matter shall be submitted to the Executive Board of NHH. All aspects of the appealed decision may be reviewed by the Executive Board.

If the Doctoral Programme Board (PDU) or Executive Board finds that it is justified, a committee or individual persons may be appointed to undertake an evaluation of the decision made and the underlying criteria, or to make a new or supplemental expert evaluation.

§ 11. Entry into force

This regulation enters into force with immediate effect.

§ 12. Repeal

The regulations of 29 January 1982, "individual path", will be repealed when these regulations enter into force.