Doctoral Programs

Doctoral programs are taken very seriously at the School of Medicine of the Technical University of Munich as an instrument for promoting young talents. The legal basis for this can be found in the Bavarian Higher Education Act and based on this act, in the doctoral regulations of the Technical University of Munich. Since 2014, all doctoral students have automatically become members of the TUM Graduate School and can benefit from the advantages of the existing structures. Doctoral projects at the School of Medicine are usually managed at the TUM Medical Graduate Center, or in certain cases a thematic graduate center such as HELENA (for certain titles only).

As part of the TUM Graduate School, the Medical Graduate Center supports doctoral students in their research work. In cooperation with the supervisors, it ensures the quality of the doctoral procedures and promotes both the subject-specific and the interdisciplinary competencies of the doctoral students. In this way, doctoral students are optimally prepared for a wide variety of positions in science and society.

The School of Medicine offers four different doctoral paths through the Medical Graduate Center: The Ph.D. or Dr. med. dent. degree, the Ph.D. degree, the Dr. med. sci. degree, and the Dr. rer. nat. These are briefly described below, and more information can be found on the program-specific websites.

All doctoral programs are based on close collaboration between doctoral students and the primary supervisors at their department or institute. Doctoral students mostly work independently on their research project and are accompanied by a Thesis Advisory Committee, which includes other members in addition to the primary supervisors. At the same time, they are integrated into the work of the department. In this way, doctoral students develop their identity as independent scientists. In addition, there are elements that provide additional support for the doctoral candidates and their supervisors. These include structural measures and offers for qualification, which follow best international standards, such as the early establishment of a supervision agreement, regular feedback discussions, good scientific practice, specialized courses as well as offers for interdisciplinary further education and financial support for trips abroad. These are complemented by program-specific components.

About the Programs
Dr. med. und Dr. med. dent.

The School of Medicine awards, among other degrees, the doctoral degrees of Dr. med. in human medicine and Dr. med. dent. in dentistry. Particular emphasis is placed on the advancement of young scientists in medicine, especially through integration into research and implementation into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.

A written doctoral thesis (dissertation) and an oral examination are intended to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent, in-depth scientific work.

Up to and including 2013 (with complete registration of the doctorate by December 31, 2013 with confirmation MGC), a degree of Dr. med. or Dr. med. dent. was not possible in conjunction with the TUM Graduate School. Since the TUM doctoral regulations took effect on 01.01.2014, medical doctoral degrees are also mandatorily located under this umbrella structure, which also provides doctoral students with all the advantages of a structured doctorate program.

For more information, please visit the homepage on the (dental) medical doctorate program.

Specific information on doctorates under the old regulations (registered until 31.12.2013) can be found here.

Doctoral Program (Ph.D.) Medical Life Science and Technology

Since the winter semester 2006/2007, the School of Medicine has offered the opportunity to obtain the internationally recognized academic title of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) after completing a six-semester doctoral program. The goal of the program is to provide a research-oriented interdisciplinary education in the fields of medicine, life sciences and natural sciences. Accordingly, the program is designed for candidates who have studied medicine, natural sciences, or engineering in their undergraduate studies. At the core of the program is a three-year experimental science project, which is carried out full-time in a research group of the school. The experimental work is complemented by lectures, seminars and practical courses throughout the program. Approximately 50 research groups actively participate in the Ph.D. program. The projects cover a wide range of research topics within and outside the following focus areas of the program: cardiovascular disease, medical imaging, immunology and infection, neuroscience, oncology, and molecular medicine.

Program participants are expected to focus on their research projects and coursework. Funding (stipend or employment contract at the home lab) is provided to allow them to do 3 years of full-time research in the lab.

Students of human medicine at the Technical University of Munich have the opportunity to begin their doctoral studies after completing the first section of the medical examination, alternating with their medical training. This ensures an optimal integration of clinical and scientific training.

For more information, visit the Ph.D. program homepage.

Dr. med. (dent.) sci.

The School of Medicine launched the PhD program Translational Medicine in 2012, creating another challenging and attractive opportunity specifically for medical students interested in research. The doctoral program includes one year of full-time research and two years of study-accompanying research on quality-assessed projects. The optimal fit between project, research group and doctoral student is ensured within the framework of an annual project exchange. The doctoral candidates also receive systematic training in scientific work and financial support during their full-time research.

Each year, up to 20 doctoral students are supported in conducting their research projects through grants from the school. In keeping with the broad spectrum of research fields of the school, doctoral students can be involved in all research areas and in both experimental and clinical projects.

For details about the program and its requirements, please visit the program homepage.

Dr. rer. nat.

Since 2012, the School of Medicine has offered the structured doctoral program Experimental Medicine, which is aimed at doctoral students with a background in the natural sciences and concludes with the Dr. rer. nat. title. This attractive doctoral opportunity is characterized by the interdisciplinary supervision of the doctoral students by physicians and natural scientists, often in cooperation between the School of Medicine and a natural science faculty of the Technical University of Munich. The evaluation of the doctoral candidates, the projects and the host research groups by a steering committee guarantees an excellent quality of the doctoral theses and a high standard of the program.

For more details, please visit the program's homepage.

 Gunther G. Löfflmann
Gunther G. Löfflmann
Head of Academic Affairs