At the beginning of the 13th century, the oldest universities of Paris and Bologna acquired ius promovendi, a procedure that differed from the internal examinations and publicly awarded degrees in used in other educational institutions. German universities appropriated this hard fought right and continue to employ it as one of their fundamental academic privileges up to the present. In the nineteenth century, most of the medieval privileges of the university were absorbed into state administration. Only the independent right to graduate students remained. This right not only served as a means to Self-government the faculty, but is also remains an important element with which the University achieves its social recognition. Using examples of discussions surrounding reforms, particularly focused on the Philosophical (Liberal Arts) Faculty, this work will present the evolution of graduation regulations up to the end of the National Socialist era. Important caesura along the way include the effects of the Reformation (including both the loss of papal protection and the right of supervision by rulers), the elimination of confessional requirements at the end of the eighteenth century, the development of specialized departments and the reduction in status of the Master’s Degree, the efforts of democratic professors and educational reformers to liberalize the nature of doctoral studies, the role of doctoral studies in the political sphere after the turn of the century, particularly during the Weimar Republic and finally the nation wide standardization and appropriation of doctoral graduation procedures as a political instrument during the Third Reich.