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University of Vienna Rigorosenakt by Wolfgang Born (1931)

The Rigorosum is the form of the oral examination in the doctoral procedure of a university or college with the right to award doctorates. The term Rigorosum (plural Rigorosa , also Rigorosen ) is an abbreviation of the neo-Latin examen rigorosum "strict examination".

A Rigorosum is the final exam for obtaining an academic degree , usually a doctorate . During the oral examination, the candidate and the examiner, a recorder and the chairman of the relevant examination or doctoral committee are present. In contrast to the examination formats of the disputation or the colloquium, which are usually open to the university or faculty , the Rigorosum usually examines other subjects in addition to the topic of the dissertation .


As a rule, the Rigorosum is taken before the doctoral committee of a faculty , but different procedures are possible. The Rigorosum includes the oral doctoral examinations . A passed Rigorosum usually does not yet entitle to use the doctoral degree. Some universities award the degree of Doctor designatus (Dr. des.) , Which can be used until the doctoral thesis has been published, after the reviews have been accredited and the rigorosum has been passed by the faculty .

Whether the Rigorosum or the earlier common disputation is considered to be the more respected of the oral examinations in the context of a doctoral procedure will vary from university to university, as neither of the two forms of examination has yet been standardized or standardized. At some universities there was or is a choice between the two types of examination.

In some subjects, the term rigorosum is sometimes used for repeat exams, which can significantly exceed the missed or failed exam in terms of scope and difficulty, if the time gap to the previous exam is particularly long.


The term rigorosum is particularly common in the examination and doctoral regulations of Austrian universities, as the terms were regulated by law until the University Act 2002 came into force . Nowadays the final oral examination and the examination act as such is usually referred to in this way at universities. In the subjects of medicine and dentistry , the doctoral degree was awarded in the study regulations until 2002 (code 201) as the first academic degree as part of an undergraduate doctorate . Since the reform from 2002 (study code 202) has been a diploma course from a legal point of view, the degree now awarded, the "Dr.med.univ", is a diploma and no longer a doctoral degree and also has fewer rights. It is awarded to all graduates for this. In the earlier study regulations, also known as Rigorosenstudium , examinations of individual medical subjects as well as partial examinations of the overall degree were referred to as Rigorosen.

Individual evidence

  1. Duden online: Rigorosum