Starting your Doctorate

First, please register on the online platform for doctoral candidates at the Technical University of Munich Subsequently, you will then enter the doctoral candidate list. This represents the official start of your doctorate. At the same time your membership in TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS) and the Graduate Center of Engineering and Design (GC-ED) begins.

In order to become a doctoral candidate, please fill in your supervision agreement and hand in all required documents at GC-ED. Not only your supervisor, but also a mentor will support you during your doctorate. The mentor must also sign the supervision agreement. In case you have not yet found a mentor, you must do so within the next 6 months. In that case, please fill in NN in the supervision agreement.

The first mandatory element of the qualification program is your exposé that must be either handed in with your application or uploaded in DocGS within the following 6 months.

You can hand in your application personally or by regular mail at one of our sites in Munich or Garching. 

During your Doctorate

If you meet all requirements of the Regulations for the Award of Doctoral Degrees at TUM (TUM Promotionsordnung), you will enter the doctoral candidate list of TUM School of Engineering and Design. You will become a member of TUM Graduate School and get the status of a doctoral candidate.

The doctoral program consists of mandatory and voluntary qualification elements for which you may apply for financial support. You can find background information, the complete course program including registration, templates and forms and information on financial support in the Wiki of GC-ED.

Mandatory elements of the qualification program

The mentor can give you further professional support, or concentrate on advising you on interdisciplinary qualification and personality development and on assisting you to carry on your doctoral thesis at a good pace. Your mentor should be independent from your professorship or research unit. 

Because of these diverse options we recommend that you think carefully about what the mentor should represent and who is suitable for it. Therefore, you have the possibility to choose the mentor within 6 months after entering the doctoral candidate list.

Formally, there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. The mentor is used to independent scientific research and in general has completed a doctoral thesis herself/himself.
  2. The mentoring relationship is recorded in the supervision agreement by the signature of the mentor. In case you appoint the mentor later, the supervision agreement has to be signed again by all parties.

At TUM School of Engineering and Design, an exposé for your planned doctoral thesis is a mandatory element of the qualification program. It should contain the problem statement, state of the art, methods, objectives and hypotheses of your research project. Furthermore, it should include a realistic schedule with milestones of your work.

Your exposé must be either handed in with your application or uploaded in DocGS within the following 6 months. It must be signed by your supervisor.

Participation in a kick-off seminar with TUM-GS within the first 6 months of your doctorate is mandatory. The seminar provides you with information about academic work and helps you to expand your network within the TUM. Dates and registration on

The seminar "Good Scientific Practice" is a mandatory qualification element for all doctoral candidates who become members of GC-ED from 01 October 2021. For doctoral candidates who have enrolled by 30 September 2021, participation is recommended. Dates and registration on

If you are an internal doctoral candidate, you are automatically involved in the academic environment of TUM.

If you are an external doctoral candidate, you have to write a report (form self-report in our Wiki) about your involvement in the academic environment of TUM for at least 20% of the minimum membership period at TUM-GS (4 to 5 months). Integration is possible as follows:

  • Presence at TUM or a public academic research institution recognized by the Graduate Center as a partner institution of TUM (e.g. Fraunhofer Institut)
  • Teaching at TUM (for example giving lectures, tutorials, integration in the supervision of internships and student papers)
  • Collaboration in a research group of TUM

TUM School of Engineering and Design offers a wide course program for subject specific qualification that aims at supplementing and deepening your own academic research. The course program comprises doctoral colloquia (including one or several chairs), seminars on statistics or software applications, summer and winter schools, and different workshops with external lecturers, varying each semester. You may also participate in courses, workshops or seminars of other institutions or conferences in Germany or abroad.

During your complete doctorate, you have to take part in subject specific events amounting to at least 6 semester credits (SWS), equivalent to 63 hours.

Information on subject specific qualification, on the current course program, conferences, workshops, summer and winter schools as well as on the course program of the GC-ED can be found in the Wiki of GC-ED.

In the feedback discussion, supervisor and doctoral candidate discuss the progress of the doctoral project and the qualification program and how to proceed. It takes place no later than 4 semesters after joining the TUM GS and has to be documented in writing by means of a report sheet. On that basis, the supervision agreement is updated. Additional supervisors, mentors or third persons agreed on between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor may participate in the discussion, depending on the regulations of GC-ED.

Further information and the form to document your feedback discussion can be found in the Wiki of GC-ED.

Each doctoral candidate must publish his/her doctoral project at least once for discussion among international experts. This is usually done through a publication in a peer-reviewed international journal and/or through a contribution to an international conference that is subject to a peer-review process.

Your doctoral program includes a minimum membership of 2 years of TUM Graduate School. You may hand in your dissertation only after that period.

Doctoral candidates and supervisors need to reconfirm the doctorate via DocGS in July of each year. This automated procedure ensures that only current doctoral candidates are on the list.

Voluntary elements of the qualification program

Apart from the subject specific qualification, TUM Graduate School suggests that all doctoral candidates participate in additional transferable skills training. TUM-GS offers a wide range of seminars for qualification and support during your doctorate as well as continuing education and orientation courses for your career. Topics comply with national and international standards of qualification for doctoral candidates, include innovative and trendsetting issues and address areas of competence that will be important for your career due to current technological and social evolutions.

One of the major goals of TUM-GS is to expand the participation of their doctoral candidates in international networks. All doctoral candidates are advised to spend a research period abroad for at least 4 weeks. Please first inform yourself on the pages of the TUM-GS. For specific questions regarding the general conditions at the ED and the application process, please contact the GC-ED.

TUM Graduate School offers all regular doctoral candidates professional, discipline-related proofreading of academic articles in English. You can find the application form in the Wiki of GC-ED.

If you are teaching at TUM (for example giving lectures or tutorials), you can include this in your Transcript of Records with TUM-GS. You can find further information and the form in the Wiki of GC-ED.

Completing your Doctorate

You should have studied all relevant information provided by TUM-GS at least 4 months before submitting your doctoral thesis. You can also find important deadlines to be strictly observed when submitting your doctoral thesis with TUM School of Engineering and Design in the Wiki of GC-ED.

Doctoral candidates’ representatives

In the board of GC-ED, doctoral candidates’ representatives with a total of 4 votes stand in for the interests of the doctoral candidates. They have an impact on the course program and networking program, quality control and strategic orientation of GC-ED. They are contact partners for questions, ideas and problems the doctoral candidates may have and strengthen the community of doctoral candidates. 3 of the representatives are at the same time members of the Graduate Council of TUM-GS.