Guide to applying for doctoral studies

for international applicants

Doctoral studies at LMU

There are two options if you would like to pursue a doctorate at LMU:

  • Individual doctoral studies
    If you already have a State Examination (Staatsexamen), Diplom (German academic degree), Magister (German academic degree) or master’s degree, you can pursue a doctorate with us. The traditional way of doing this is to choose individual doctoral studies, where you are supervised by a professor from the respective faculty.
  • Structured doctoral programs
    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. The GraduateCenterLMU is responsible for coordinating structured doctoral programs at LMU, and also offers advisory support and other services for prospective LMU candidates and/or current doctoral candidates.

Individual doctoral studies

1. Find a doctoral supervisor

First you will need to find a professor who is willing to support you as you write your doctoral thesis and supervise your doctoral studies. Unfortunately, the International Office cannot help you do this. You'll find more information on the respective institutes' websites. You can also look at the notice boards in the various institutes and dean’s offices.

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

Once you have received confirmation of doctoral supervision from your professor (Betreungszusage), you can apply to the respective doctoral committee for admission onto your doctorate of choice.

Please note: In general, registering at the International Office is not mandatory for a lot of 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: 15 January / 15 July for the following semester, late applications until 21 October or 21 April respectively.

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

  • Completed application form (PDF, 622 KB) (for faculties 9–15 Humanities and Social Sciences: application)
  • All higher education / university certificates and diplomas, final examination certificates 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 transcript of records in closed envelopes are needed.
  • Registration and certificates of studies previously undertaken at any other German university
  • Letter of acceptance to doctoral studies from the respective doctoral committee
  • Confirmation from the professor who will supervise your studies
  • Updated CV
  • Marriage certificate / official proof of change of name (if applicable)
  • 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.

Doctoral studies are not subject to a standard period of study. However, you may only register for a maximum of 8 semesters. If you do not manage to complete your doctoral studies within these four years, you can complete them at a later date, without needing to register.


Doctoral Committees / Dean's Offices

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Room D 101, 80539 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-2416

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Room C 019, 80539 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-3478

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Room D 109, 80539 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-2326

Ludwigstraße 28 - Vordergebäude EG, Room 04, 80539 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-2228

Schackstr. 4/IV, Room 402, 80539 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-2327

Geschwister-Scholl-Pl. 1, Room D 205, 80539 München


Faculties 9 -11:

E-Mail: Telefon: +49 89 / 2180 - 3828

Faculties 12 - 13:

E-Mail: Telefon: +49 (0)89 / 2180 - 2341

Faculty 15:

Phone: +49 89 2180 - 2272

Butenandtstraße 5-13, Building F, Room F2.060, 81377 München
Phone: +49 89 2180-77001

Großhaderner Str. 2, Room B 01.030, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried

Phone: +49 89 2180-74120

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