One German university asked me to write an oath about my previous doctorate applications. They are going to take me as a PhD student.

What should I write in here? Should I tell them I was rejected because they found someone better. Would this university think me not good enough?

I do not want to lie. However it is better to write that I have never applied to any university.

Please give me some advice.

  • 1
    This seems strange. What does the question actually ask? I don't think it would affect you in any way. Maybe it's just for their reference in general, so they can see how many applications the people in their program made elsewhere. – la femme cosmique Jan 28 '16 at 19:10

Don't lie. But make sure you understand what exactly they are asking.

Most likely, they are concerned that you might already have submitted a thesis elsewhere that was rejected. Of course, universities don't want you to go "university shopping", submitting your thesis over and over until it gets accepted somewhere, so you will need to sign a declaration when you submit your thesis that it has not been submitted elsewhere. (This may be helpful.) I very much recommend that you don't lie here. If you do double-submit a thesis and this becomes known, you will lose your Ph.D. at the very least.

However, they most likely don't care whether you have applied and been rejected from other doctoral programs.

So: make sure you understand what exactly they are asking. If you are unsure (and German official documents can be confusing and intimidating), ask them.

  • 1
    Agreed. German universities expect you to declare whether you have tried submitting a thesis somewhere else, this may be intended here. However, if they were to ask whether you applied to be taken as a doctoral student somewhere else, it may be that in Germany you are not required to respond to that, you need to check the local laws; there are certain inadmissible questions on application interviews (I believe questions about pregnancy plans etc.) where it may be legal to not respond truthfully. I am not a lawyer, so tread carefully and make sure you answer exactly the question asked. – Captain Emacs Jan 28 '16 at 20:37
  • I have a doubt. If the university can ask me how many universities you have applied for.? For the sake of fairness, Can I ask the university, how many students applied for this position? how many people came for interview. why you reject these guys? – bios Jan 29 '16 at 9:03
  • I think this is kind of privacy. Before they give me final acceptance, I am free to apply any university. – bios Jan 29 '16 at 9:06
  • • A statement under oath about previous doctorate applications. ► If you already applied for a doctorate at another faculty or university, you have to give date, university, topic and reason for hindrance --------------------------above is the Original words from the document. – bios Jan 29 '16 at 9:07
  • "Applied for a doctorate" is ambiguous. Does this mean handing in a thesis (as I write in my answer)? It does read this way to me. However, it could also be a bad translation of "applying to be admitted to a doctoral program". I would strongly recommend you contact them and clarify. – Stephan Kolassa Jan 29 '16 at 9:14

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