Technische Universität Berlin

International focus and global exchange

Technische Universität Berlin places particular importance on strengthening the international focus of its junior scholars. Its specialization in engineering and natural sciences and its key position within the Berlin-Brandenburg science and academic network provide outstanding conditions for international scholars looking to pursue their careers in Berlin. The University also enjoys a broad network of international partner institutions and offers the possibility to complete a binational doctorate with universities in other countries.

The following provides information about support and assistance for international doctoral students and postdocs completing a qualification phase at TU Berlin (as a visiting doctoral candidate/visiting scholar) or who are writing their doctoral thesis here. Please see the relevant sections of the web pages for doctoral students or postdocs to find out about international mobility during your time at TU Berlin.

Completing a doctorate in Germany as an international student

In Germany, doctorates are awarded by university faculties. An excellent degree is a prerequisite for admission to a doctoral program. The doctor title is awarded with additional elements specific to a particular discipline.

For general information on completing a doctorate in Germany, please refer to the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Research in Germany online platform.

The candidate is required to independently complete a doctorate in German or English as well as defend their dissertation as part of a scientific debate. Supervision is provided on an individual basis by a university professor. There are no doctoral degree 'study programs' in Germany with strict curricula in the narrower sense. But even if the majority of doctorates are pursued in the individualized model, a doctorate can also be completed within doctoral programs and research training groups providing cooperative supervision, usually within an interdisciplinary research environment.

In some cases it will be necessary to check the equivalence of non-German degree qualifications before admitting an applicant as a doctoral candidate at TU Berlin.
Further information regarding formal procedures for admission as a doctoral student.

Visiting doctoral students at TU Berlin

A visiting doctoral student is someone whose doctorate is not awarded by TU Berlin but who is visiting the University for a limited period of study, teaching, or research.

In general there is no official application procedure or program for doctoral exchanges. Visiting doctoral students are not officially required to register. We would, however, recommend you do so. Contact a professor in your area of interest directly and talk to them about your exchange and how long you would like to stay. When applying, you should include all necessary documents: a letter stating your motivation and the purpose of your stay, a thorough summary of your work as well as a schedule and project plan for your stay. Should you require a visa, then a written invitation can be provided by your future supervisor. When submitted with proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay, this invitation usually serves as sufficient confirmation to apply to the German embassy for a visa. Please contact the German embassy in your own country to find out about the documents you are required to submit when applying for a visa.

You will also need to find out about enrolling at TU Berlin as a visiting doctoral student with student status. Sometimes the embassy will also require you to complete this step before it issues a visa. After checking your documents, the Office of Student Affairs at TU Berlin issues a confirmation of admission to enable you to complete your enrollment. Enrolling provides you with a number of advantages in addition to helping you qualify for a visa. You will receive a temporary student ID which gives you access to the library, the option to receive a Semesterticket for local public transportation, discounts for some of the cafés and cafeterias on the campus and access to other services offered by studierendenWERK Berlin.

Support for international doctoral students

The following services are available at TU Berlin for international doctoral students courtesy of the financial support provided by the DAAD’s STIBET program:

  • We answer all emails relating to application and enrollment as an international doctoral candidate at TU Berlin and also provide information on specific subject areas.
  • We provide assistance with some of the formal aspects of registering and enrollment as a newly arrived doctoral candidate.
  • We recommend new doctoral candidates attend the orientation events which we organize every summer semester together with the faculties.
  • We also provide special onboarding sessions for international doctoral candidates to help them make a successful start at TU Berlin.
  • We can provide subsidies to help cover the course fees for anyone wishing to learn German at the Summer Language School offered by the Center for Modern Languages (ZEMS).
  • The “proMotion Training” program is offered every summer semester in English for international female doctoral candidates.
  • We provide special grants of up to six months for international doctoral candidates who need financial support to help them in the final stages of writing their thesis.
Organization name TU-DOC Office for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Research
Room FH 719
Address Fraunhofer Straße 33-36
10587 Berlin