Doing a doctorate at TU Darmstadt

Doing a doctorate at TU Darmstadt

The Technische Universität Darmstadt provides dedicated early career researchers an outstanding research environment.

The doctorate at TU Darmstadt is regarded as a scientific qualification and the first stage of a career, not as a third stage of study.

There are two ways of gaining a doctorate:

  • Traditional – doctoral candidates carry out research individually under the supervision of the supervisor and are not bound to a mandatory programme of studies.
  • Structured – doctoral candidates do their studies within the context of a structured doctoral programme, mostly in a group with other early career researchers.

What formal requirements do I have to meet?

In order to do a doctorate at TU Darmstadt, a recognized university degree is required. This is generally a qualification corresponding to a master’s or Magister, Diplom or state examination.

In the case of degrees from foreign universities, an equivalence test is necessary.

Further information

How do I find a supervisor?

An important step is choosing a supervisor. On the web pages of the different departments you can find information about current research topics and an overview of the professors.

Once an appropriate person has been identified, the prospective doctoral candidate makes contact directly with the professor in question by means of a formal application.

Here the studies completed so far, the topic of the master’s thesis and the planned subject of research should be outlined.

Doctorate places are not assigned centrally at TU Darmstadt.

Further information

How can I fund my doctoral studies?

Funding options:

  • Employment as a research assistant
  • Scholarship
  • Self-funding

The funding of your doctorate should be discussed with your supervisor early on.

Further information

Which further formal steps need to be taken?

At TU Darmstadt there are two formal processes:

Acceptance as a doctoral candidate by the department

Degrees are granted by the departments at TU Darmstadt. This means you need to be accepted as a doctoral candidate by a department.

To apply for acceptance as a doctoral candidate, a formal application is made to the department’s doctoral board.

Part of the procedure for the admission of a doctoral candidate includes establishing whether the person has the necessary qualifications to do a doctorate or whether proof of any further examinations needs to be provided.


Prospective doctoral candidates can obtain further information from their supervisor or from the dean’s office of the department.

Departments at TU Darmstadt

Registering / enrolment as a Doctoral (PhD) Candidate

For starting a doctorate at the TU Darmstadt, an online registration is obligatory.

At the same time, the enrolment as student is optional. For scholarship holders, however, enrolment is recommended. The registration and/or the enrolment are possible throughout the academic year and do not have a deadline.

In order to proceed with the online registration, you need a supervisor’s confirmation from the respective faculty of our university.

Before proceeding with the application, please choose the right application portal according to the country of the university entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung). People with German university entrance qualification must use the webportal TUCaN, with a university entrance qualification from another country the webportal movein. Further information can be found here.

International doctoral candidates who need a student visa for entry into Germany can get their acceptance from the department later after their arrival. Initially they enrol as a “student without degree”. For this written confirmation of supervision from the supervisor at TU Darmstadt is necessary. With this status, a visa can be applied for as soon as you have received confirmation of matriculation.

By enrolling as a doctoral student, you become a member of the university and are given student status.


Further information


Support offered by Ingenium

Ingenium is the umbrella organisation for promoting early career researchers at TU Darmstadt.

With the start of your doctorate at TU Darmstadt you are invited to join events – like professional skill courses and networking events – organised by Ingenium.

Find out more about Ingenium on the Ingenium website and sign up for the Ingenium newsletter to receive important information for early career researchers at TU Darmstadt.