PhD Union/Study Matters/Starting a PhD

Start of Doctoral Studies

This page should help you to start your doctoral studies at TU Graz. You can find all details under: https://www.tugraz.at/studium/studienangebot/doktoratsstudien/ueberblick-doktoratsstudien/

0. Suitable Degree

You need a master's degree or equivalent in the field in which you want to earn a doctorate. In Austria, there is also the possibility to start a doctorate after a bachelor's degree. More information about this "fast track" option can be found in the curriculum and in the University Act (§ 64 Abs. 5).

1. Finding a supervisor

There are two ways to find a topic and a supervisor:

  1. You can apply to an open position (university assistant, project assistant or an industry position). In this case the topic of the dissertation is already given.
  2. If you have a specific topic in mind, you can try to find a supervisor yourself who is willing to supervise the dissertation.

Once you have found a professor who is willing to supervise your work, you need a confirmation of supervision. Without this you cannot enroll in the doctoral program!

Each professor belongs to a specific doctoral school, depending on their field (physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, ...). Usually you enroll in the same DocSchool.

2. Admission to Doctoral Studies

After you have found a subject and a supervisor, it is time to contact the Student Services to find out which documents you need for registration. For the enrollment you have to appear personally at the Studienservice.

At Graz University of Technology, two different titles are offered for the doctorate: Dr. techn. (Doctor of Technical Sciences) or Dr. rer. nat. (Doctor of Natural Sciences). You have to choose one of them when you enroll. The curriculum for both is identical except for the title, so it is a purely cosmetic decision.

3. Education Agreement

After registration you should receive your account for TUGrazOnline, with which you can also access the internal platform TU4U. There you will find all necessary information during your studies.

Now you need the so-called training agreement between you and your supervisor. This should contain the following points:

  • which DocSchool you belong to
  • the working title of your dissertation
  • a short description of your project
  • the confirmation of this project by your supervisor and the dean of studies.

How such a training agreement should look like is described in more detail in TU4U.

4. Welcome to the Doctoral Studies!

In order to record your work progress, you have to write a progress report every year. Details can be found in TU4U as well as under the menu item "My doctoral studies" on your business card in TUGrazOnline.

If you have questions, problems or any other concerns during your doctoral studies, don't hesitate to contact us! Maybe you have an idea for a great event or would like to actively shape your studies? Then just send us an email and drop by our next meeting!