During the course phase students have to hand in a detailed research proposal for their Ph.D. thesis and present it to their thesis committee in a colloquium. In the research proposal, Ph.D. students provide the thesis outline and discuss preliminary results. The research proposal is not graded, but it has to be accepted. Following the acceptance of the research proposal, students are admitted into the research phase. All courses have to be completted and passed. The research phase starts in the term when the research proposal is successfully defended.