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How to start a PhD at TU Graz

This shall describe the process of inscribing as a PhD student at TU Graz including finding a supervisor, registering,

For more details on the official webpage see also Doctoral programme - Step by Step

Information for foreign students can also be found in the Welcome Center.
See also "Support for international degree seeking students" and the Checklist.

0) Fullfillment of requirements (e.g. Master's degree)

You should have obtained a Master's degree or something equivalent in the field you would like to acquire a Phd
Recently there is also the possibility in Austria to start a PhD write after a Bachelor's degree. More infos about this fast track programme can be found in the curriculum and in the university law § 64 Abs. 4a UG.

1) Find a thesis subject and a supervisor

There are two ways to find subject and supervisor:

a) Either there is an open position (as a university assistent, a project assistent at university or a position in industry with option to write a PhD) where you can apply - in this case the subject is predefined by the supervisor (professor) or the company and in many cases very specific. See also the career portal of TU Graz
This page is unfortunately in German but will soon be also available in English.
The postitions directly at university are labelled "Universitätsassistent/in (ohne {without} Doktorat)" or "wissenschaftl. Projektmitarbeiter/innen"

b) In the other case you make a suggestion for a PhD thesis and try to find a supervisor which should be affiliated to that subject. In this case the work on the PhD thesis is not paid.

More general infos about PhDs in Austria can be found at this page or just search the web for it ;)

If you find a professor that agrees on your thesis subject and is willing to supervise your thesis, you should ask him for a letter of confirmation or letter of acceptance (just different names for the same thing, in German: "Betreuungszusage") that you need for the admissions process. Each professor is affiliated to a doctoral school which are grouped according to their fields (e.g. engineering, chemistry, physics, ...)

For the submisstion process you can decide which kind of degree you would like to obtain, since in Austria a PhD is called "Doktor" (Dr.) and TU Graz offers two types, namely "Doktor der technischen Wissenschaften" (Dr. techn.) [Doctoral programme in Technical sciences] or "Doktor der Naturwissenschaften" (Dr. rer. nat.) [Doctoral programme in Natural sciences] - you can decide what fits more to you, technology or science, since both curricula are identical. There is also a special Joint Doctoral Programme for Geo-Engineering and Water Management which is only an option for you if your thesis is in that field.

If you need a template for the letter of confirmation or letter of acceptance (Betreuungszusage), you could use this one, though it may be outdated soon.

2) Admission as a doctoral student

The good news: the first step was the most difficult - since you now are in contact with TU Graz,  have already a supervisor and maybe evan a paid position the rest should be easy.

The next steps are to go to the TU Graz Registration Office.
Before you go there you should get in contact ( with them to check which documents you require for registration (e.g. passport, etc. )

3) Educational Agreement

After registration you should get your Account for TUGraz online portal - basically most of the information you will need during your study can be found or in the intern plattform
Now you have to provide a document about the agreement between the supervisor and you about your thesis which is called educational agreement (Ausbildungsvereinbarung).
It should contain the following points:

  • which Doctoral School you belong to
  • the working title of your thesis
  • a short description of the thesis project
  • approval of the thesis project by your supervisor and the Dean of Studies

A detailed description how this should be done can be found in the intranet (TU4U)

4) Thesis work and subject-specific courses

Now you start working on your PhD.
In order to monitor your progress you should deliver a progress report every year. Details are found again in TU4U and TUG online.

If you have problems with your supervisor/other issues concerning your PhD studies or you would like to connect to other PhDs than don't hesitate and contact or even join us.

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