Dieses Bild zeigt PhD students working on a visualization.

Taking a doctoral degree at the University of Stuttgart

As one of Germany’s leading technically-oriented universities with a broad spectrum of teaching and research, the University of Stuttgart offers multiple pathways to a doctoral degree and opens avenues to subsequent careers in science, business, and society.

Am I suitable for doctoral degree studies at the University of Stuttgart?

The doctoral degree can launch an academic career but can also provide valuable competencies for a career in industry. A doctoral degree vets you as qualified for doing advanced scientific work.

Every year, more than 400 doctoral students from around the world succeed in obtaining their doctoral degrees from the University of Stuttgart. The University offers a rich research landscape in engineering and natural sciences, in the humanities and social sciences for an internationally recognized education. Numerous cooperative arrangements with prestigious local enterprises, including Bosch, Daimler, and Trumpf to name just a few, provide ample opportunities for practically-oriented research.

Doctoral degree studies require independent academic work (dissertation), an oral examination (thesis defense), and, finally, publication of your thesis. You will undertake an independent, autonomous doctoral research project supervised by one or two university teachers. It normally takes three to five years to earn your doctoral degree.

What types of doctoral degrees does the University offer?

The University of Stuttgart offers doctoral degrees in engineering (Dr.-Ing), natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat), philosophy (Dr. phil) and in the economic and social sciences (Dr. rer. pol.)

The University of Stuttgart Graduate Academy (GRADUS) is the umbrella organization for all doctoral students at the University. It is the primary information contact for doctoral students and institutes with questions about doctoral degree studies.

There are several ways to earning a doctoral degree:
The usual way is by individual doctoral studies, which calls for a high degree of motivation and self-organization. It lets you

  • pursue a doctoral degree in any of the disciplines represented at the University of Stuttgart

  • freely choose your thesis supervisor and topic from a discipline in the University's 10 faculties and approximately 150 institutes

  • autonomously manage your time


Structured doctoral degree programs, doctoral degree research groups and schools provide additional options at the University of Stuttgart. They let you

  • conduct interdisciplinary research and pose your research questions from the perspective of different specializations

  • benefit from intensive supervision by established University of Stuttgart researchers

  • pursue a comprehensive training program with regular lectures, seminars, and workshops

  • automatically enroll in the GRADUS Graduate Academy

  • network with other doctoral students, the majority coming from other countries