Self-reflection is essential for a successful doctorate. (Image: TUM-GS)

Why do a Doctorate (Ph.D.)?

What is a Doctorate?

Doctoral programs can vary widely. Depending on the subject area and the environment, there are significant differences in terms of length and structure.

However, two things are always required for a doctorate. First, doctoral candidates must perform independent research. Second, the doctorate must advance the state of knowledge in the respective field.

Doctoral candidates usually develop the topic for their dissertation together with a supervisor, who supports them in their academic work. In most fields of study, a doctorate takes 3-4 years, during which time candidates are involved in the academic work of their university and in public discussions with international experts.

The doctorate is completed by defending and publishing the research findings. Those who have successfully gone through the process receive the coveted “Dr.” in front of their names. Unlike in the English-speaking world where most doctorates are simply called Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the German doctoral title (Dr.) has a corresponding suffix depending on the field of study (for instance Dr. rer. nat. for natural scientists or Dr.-Ing. for engineers).

Should I do a Doctorate?

In general, a doctorate is a basic requirement for a career in academia. However, it can also be helpful in the industrial sector and other career fields even though it is not essential here.

Your main motivation should be your enthusiasm for science and your love of research. You should not attempt a doctorate just because of the title or because your family expects it from you.

In most disciplines, a doctorate is a multi-year project that requires motivation and persistence. In addition to specialized and methodological knowledge, a successful doctorate depends on a strong interest in the research subject, good time management, and a high level of independence.

If you have decided that a doctorate is the right choice for you, the TUM model offers the best conditions for your doctorate.