Doing a Doctorate at TU Darmstadt

Technical University of 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, in which the doctoral candidates qualify for different career goals.

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. Ph.D. Programmes at TU Darmstadt

Formal requirements

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.

Knowledge of the German language

Some departments allow a doctorate to be done in English. Please clarify with your supervisor what language skills are required.

General information about doctoral studies in Germany

You can find general information about doctoral studies in Germany on the website Research in Germany – Land of Ideas.


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.

Tips for finding a supervisor

How to establish the supervisory relationship? For more information on this “focal point of the whole process of pursuing a dissertation” we recommend a closer look at Shaping a Doctorate Together (opens in new tab) by Qualitätszirkel Promotion (QZP). These guidelines are intended to help to make doctoral supervision even more efficient.


Funding options: employment as a research assistant, scholarship, self-funding. The funding of your doctorate should be discussed with your supervisor early on.

Tuition fees

No tuition fees are charged at TU Darmstadt.

Scholarship databases

Are you looking for a scholarship to fund your doctorate?

Here you can find the largest databases:


Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

Job advertisements

Here you can find an overview of the current advertisements for jobs at TU Darmstadt.

Further formal steps

At TU Darmstadt there are two formal processes: (1) Acceptance as a doctoral candidate by the department and (2) Registering/Enrolment als a Doctoral (PhD) Candidate.

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

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.

NEW: since August 30, 2021, the registration/enrollment of ALL doctoral candidates takes place via the online portal TUCaN – regardless of where you acquired your university entrance qualification and the degree entitling you to a doctorate (Master's degree).

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.


For more information concerning the doctorate please contact the responsible department .

For more information concerning registration/enrolment please contact the Student Service .


Are you unsure whether a doctorate is an option for you? Would you like to know more about research opportunities? Do you have any questions about financing, the doctoral process or the requirements for a doctorate? In an individual consultation, you can clarify your questions and obtain comprehensive information.

Please make an appointment in advance:

Events for Prospective Doctoral Candidates

Information event


At “PromovierDA”, you can obtain first-hand information on the topic of doctoral studies in general and on doctoral opportunities at TU Darmstadt.

The next event is planned for Fall 2024

Information event (in English)

Doing a Doctorate – What you need to know before you start (in English)

The online event introduces to you the specificities of the German science system and provides general information about how to obtain a doctorate degree in Germany and, more particularly, at TU Darmstadt.

Upcoming event: September 3rd, 2024

More information & registration


Promovieren – Wäre das etwas für mich? (in German)

The workshop is open to all students of TU Darmstadt and offers detailed information about doing a doctorate and an opportunity for reflection and discussion.

Upcoming event: July 2nd, 2024

More information