Admission to doctoral studies: Formal requirements

The formal admission requirements for doctoral study at TUM are set out in the doctoral study regulations (Promotionsordnung – PromO). (For current and older versions, please click here.) To apply for registration as a doctoral candidate, applicants need various things, particularly a supervision agreement and the required prior education. Applications for registration are submitted via the DocGS online platform.

Supervision Agreement

The applicant fills out a supervision agreement provided by the respective graduate center with you as the supervisor. For more information on the supervision agreement, please visit the section Good Supervision.

Educational Requirements

Applicants must be able to present a degree from a higher education institution with above-average marks (PromO, §3 through §5). Specifically, this means the following:

Degree from a higher education institution in Germany

  • The applicant has taken a
    • final examination for the degree of Diplom, Master or Magister at a university or an equivalent State Exam or
    • final examination for the degree of Master at a university of applied sciences (HAW or FH – for information on the degree of Diplom from a FH or HAW, please scroll down).
  • Above-average grades: The applicant has passed a final exam with the overall grade of at least 2.5 or the notation of “Good.”
  • In exceptional cases, candidates can also demonstrate that their qualifications are above average through scholarly achievements (e.g. publications) following their study programs. The decision as to whether the candidate’s qualifications are considered above average is made by the dean of the degree-awarding institution.

Degree from a higher education institution outside Germany

  • The applicant must present a degree from a higher education institution in another country that is equivalent to a German master’s degree (see above).
  • As soon as an applicant has submitted the necessary documents to register as a doctoral candidate with the relevant degree-awarding institution, the Examination Office reviews the degree to determine whether it is equivalent. This review process takes place in cooperation with the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) in Bonn and may take several weeks. At the end of the process, the Examination Office issues a recommendation.
  • The determination of equivalence is made by the dean of the degree-awarding institution. If the degree is not entirely equivalent to a German master’s degree, the dean may admit the applicant to doctoral study on a conditional basis.

Study programs toward the degree of Diplom at a university of applied sciences (HAW/FH)

  • The applicant is required to present a Diplom degree in a study program that is offered at TUM as a comparable university master’s degree program.
  • Degree of Diplom with outstanding distinction: The graduate is in the top ten percent of his/her graduating class.

Bachelor’s degree

  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree are not admitted to doctoral study except in structured doctoral degree programs. The only program at TUM to which this currently applies is the TopMath program.
  • The applicant must present a bachelor’s degree (from a German university) with excellent marks in a bachelor’s degree program lasting at least three years and must be in the top five percent of his/her graduating class.

The final decision as to whether to recognize the applicant’s qualifications is always up to the office of the dean of the degree-awarding institution.