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Guide for applying for doctoral studies (international applicants)

Contacts for international applicants:

International Office of LMU
Visitor's Address:
Ludwigstr. 27, 80539 München
Rooms G 020 and G 024

Opening hours of International Admissions

Contact and coordination units for doctoral students:

Pursuing a doctoral degree at the LMU

Individual doctorates: If you already have a state examination, diploma, Magister or master’s degree, you can pursue doctoral studies in order to gain a doctorate. The traditional form for doctoral studies is to pursue an individual doctoral degree, where you are supervised by a professor from the respective faculty.

Structured doctoral programs: The LMU also offers an increasing number of structured doctoral programs, where candidates follow a curriculum for a set period of time and are supervised by a number of academic professionals. TheGraduateCenterLMU is responsible for coordinating structured doctoral programs at the LMU, and also offers advisory services and other services for those interested in or currently pursuing doctoral studies at the LMU.

What to do if you are an international student seeking to commence doctoral studies
(individual doctorate)

1. Find a PhD supervisor

First you will need to find a professor who is willing to support you as you write your dissertation and supervise your doctoral studies. We regret that the International Office cannot help you do this. You will find more information on the websites of the respective institutes. You can also find out more from the notice boards in the various institutes and dean’s offices.

2. Apply to the respective doctoral committee for admission to doctoral studies

Once a professor has agreed to supervise your doctorate, you can apply to the respective doctoral committee for admission to your desired doctoral studies. For the address of the relevant dean’s office / doctoral committee, please see the examination board websites.

Please note: In general, registering at the International Office is not mandatory for many doctoral studies (except for faculties 9 to 13). If you wish to register, please follow steps 3-5. The documents you will need to present to the dean’s office / doctoral committee will also be required when you register at the International Office.

3. Applying at the International Office

As soon as you have written confirmation of admission to doctoral studies from the relevant doctoral committee, you will need to apply at the International Office within the stated registration period. Deadline: January 15 / July 15 respectively for the following semester, late applications until October 22 or April 22.

You will need to submit the following documents when you apply in the
International Office (by post):

  • Completed application form (for faculties 9-15 - Humanities and Social Sciences: application)
  • All higher education / university certificates and diplomas, final examination certificates and and all transcripts of records
    • in the original language – as an officially certified copy
    • and with officially certified translation where applicable. Certificates in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Latin, Portuguese and Rumanian do not have to be translated.
    • For applicants from the USA Transcripts in closed Envelope are needed.
  • Registration and confirmation of programs previously studied at any other German university
  • Letter of admission for doctoral studies from the respective doctoral committee
  • Confirmation from the professor who will supervise your studies
  • Updated CV
  • Where applicable, marriage certificate / official proof of change of name
  • Evidence of proficiency in German: please refer to the general regulations on proficiency in German. In many cases, doctoral committees will not insist on evidence of proficiency in German.

For country-specific requirements (e.g. APS certificate), please refer to the detailed application information.

4. Receiving an official letter of admission from the International Office

This letter is an important official document which you will need to show the authorities.

5. Registering at the International Office

Once you have a letter of admission, you must register before the deadline, submitting all necessary documents (listed on the letter of admission). See here for more information on registering as an international applicant.

Please note: Doctoral studies are not subject to a standard period of study. However, you may only register for a maximum of 6 semesters. If you do not manage to complete your doctoral studies within these three years, you can complete your doctorate at a later date, even without registering.

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Responsible for content: International Office