Before the doctorate

A doctorate serves as proof of your ability to conduct independent and original scientific research. The preparation of a dissertation - and thus independent research - should contribute significantly to the progress of scientific knowledge in the respective discipline. Depending on the discipline, subject of the work and personal commitment, it can take two to six years to obtain a doctorate.

Besides the formal requirements, a graduate.., Master's or Magister examination at a universityan equivalent state examination, or a master's examination at a university of applied sciences, you should have stamina and a keen interest in your chosen subject.

A wealth of information on doctoral studies in Germany can be found on the Research in Germany page of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Andrea Piacquado Pexels

Doctorate at the TU Ilmenau

TU Ilmenau

As a young researcher* you are an early stage researcher at our university, even if you are enrolled as a doctoral student. Therefore, you are expected to have a high degree of independence and personal responsibility based on good scientific practice.

Details of the doctoral procedure can be found in the doctoral regulations of the TU Ilmenau.

You arrange a supervision agreement with your supervisor. The present proposal is to be understood as a handout providing information on necessary contents (here § 1 - 9 mentioned). The  supervisors in consultation with the doctoral candidates are responsible for the actual content of the agreement in question.
The university administration recommends concluding a corresponding agreement for all doctoral candidates. If necessary, such a supervision agreement can also be used directly as a qualification agreement for temporary employment or further employment.

download supervision agreement

download welcome kit

Pathways to the doctorate

Advice on the doctoral project

Doing a doctorate: yes or no?

The decision for or against a doctorate and thus a possible academic career should not be taken lightly. Be sure to include the following questions in your considerations:

  • What goal am I pursuing with a doctorate?
  • Is the topic chosen in such a way that it will excite me for three or even six years?
  • Do I have a good command of the facts and methods of my subject (and related subjects)? 
  • Can I develop questions that contribute to opening up new fields of research?
  • Am I able to work continuously and persistently on a research topic over a longer period of time without losing the thread?
  • Am I resilient enough to deal with setbacks?
  • Does the doctoral phase fit into my current life planning?
  • How will I finance myself during my doctorate?
  • Which path to a doctorate is the right one for me?

You can also find a first insight into the process of doing a doctorate at the TU Ilmenau in our guideline for doctoral studies at TU Ilmenau.

You are also welcome to make use of the Graduate Center's advisory services. Contact us by e-mail or phone and make an appointment.

TU Ilmenau
Found a topic? Or not?

In any case, please contact the contact persons at our faculties for advice. The contact persons are in each case the assistants of the deans.


Once you have completed all the formalities, go to the applicant portal here: Applicant portal

Financing possibilities


Enrollment as a doctoral student

As a doctoral candidate accepted by a faculty, you have the opportunity to enrol as a doctoral student regardless of your status, i.e. whether you are a research assistant, scholarship holder, etc. By paying the relevant tuition fees, you open the door to the numerous benefits of student status. These include the semester ticket and the discounted student price in our mensa.

Here you can go directly to the enrollment as a doctoral student!

Please note that enrolment as a doctoral student is not automatically the same as acceptance as a doctoral candidate at your faculty. For acceptance as a doctoral student, please contact the responsible contact person within your faculty directly.

TU Ilmenau