Why study for a doctorate at TU Wien?

TU Wien is one of the leading universities of technology in the German-speaking world. Doctoral students at TU Wien tackle challenging scientific issues and are supervised by academics who are proven experts in their field of research. At TU Wien, an ideal research and teaching environment is promoted in which the acquisition of scientific knowledge, qualification for teaching posts and professional qualification can best meet and interact.

What can I expect ?

The core element of doctoral studies at TU Wien is the acquisition of knowledge through independent research. Doctoral students are the next generation of researchers (Early Stage Researchers) who will represent an essential pillar of the university’s research output. Through their training and education, they acquire a systematic understanding of a subject area and master the associated techniques and methods, together with the skills of autonomous scientific problem-solving. This education provides a substantial research output that meets high international standards.
The doctorate is based on a research project carried out independently but supported and supervised by a qualified academic scientist. This supervision plays a key role and is an essential condition of studying for a doctorate at TU Wien.
Doctoral students are under an obligation to extend their depth of education further as part of their study, both within and outside their specialist field. Another important element of a doctorate is training in teaching, which is why most doctoral students take an active part in the teaching activities of their institute.
The normal duration of study for a doctorate is three years (= full-time equivalent). At the heart of the study is the composition of an independent dissertation, supported by participation in academic workshops, conferences and seminars.
The results of the student’s research project are ultimately compiled in the form of a written dissertation which the student then defends in an oral examination. Once the studies have been successfully completed, one of the following academic degrees is awarded depending on the subject:
Doctor of Technical Science (abbreviated to Dr.techn.)
Doctor of Science (abbreviated to Dr.rer.nat.)
Doctor of Social and Economic Sciences (abbreviated to Dr.rer.soc.oec.)

Finding a supervisor

In order to complete a doctorate at TU Wien, a qualified academic at the university must be prepared to supervise your dissertation. For this purpose you should visit the website for the institute of the faculty in which you would like to study and contact the relevant professor directly.

Please note that it is your responsibility to seek out a potential supervisor. Being accepted for a doctoral course does not automatically guarantee that someone will agree to supervise you!

Conditions of admission and application

  • Please get informed if you  meet all necessary requirements  in order to start a doctoral study at TU Wien.
  • If you meet the necessary requirements than your next step is finding a supervisor.
  • For information on requesting admission to doctoral study and on the admissions process, please contact our Admission Office.

Additional useful information

1. Nationals of EU/EEA states

Nationals of EU/EEA states need only a valid travel document (passport or identity card) to enter and stay in Austria.
A stay of longer than three months, however, must be notified to the relevant registration authority (Vienna: Municipal Department 35) within four months. You will then receive a registration certificate. The registration certificate acts as your documentation under Community rights of settlement.

2. Nationals of Non-EU/EEA states (‘third-country nationals’)

The following details apply to a stay of more than six months. A distinction is drawn between:

a. Doctoral students not required to take an admission examination:
Nationals of third countries will be issued a ‘Student residence permit’ if they are enrolled on a regular or special study programme at a university. A personal application must be made to the professional diplomatic mission before entering the country from abroad. The applicant must remain abroad while awaiting a decision.

The application will be forwarded by the diplomatic mission to the responsible national authority (Vienna: Municipal Department 35). If the application is accepted by the national authority, you will be notified by the diplomatic mission and must, within three months, submit an application for the issuance of a Visa D for entry into Austria. The residence permit can subsequently be collected from the registration authority in Austria within six months of notification.
If your nationality entitles you to enter Austria without a visa, you may submit an application for a ‘Student residence permit’ giving you the right to stay in the country to the registration authority responsible within Austria.

b. Doctoral students who are required to take an admission examination:
If you are required to pass an admission or entrance examination in order to be accepted at the Austrian university, the procedure is as follows:
You will require a conditional admission decision from the university, which it will issue on request. With this conditional admission decision, you can then make a personal application for a ‘Student residence permit’ from the responsible Austrian diplomatic mission, in which financing and accommodation need only be ‘plausibly’ (rather than definitively) stated. You must remain abroad while awaiting a decision.

The application must therefore be submitted at least three months before the date of the admission or entrance examination.
 If the application is accepted by the registration authority, the diplomatic mission will issue a Visa D, valid for four months.
You then use this visa to travel to Austria to complete your admission examination. Once you have passed the admission examination, you must present your confirmation of admission from the university to the registration authority. In addition, you must also provide evidence of finance for your stay at this point. The residence permit must then be collected while your visa remains valid.

If your nationality entitles you to enter Austria without a visa, you may do so in order to participate in the admission/entrance examination and then submit your application for a ‘Student residence permit’, giving you the right to stay in the country, to the registration authority responsible within Austria.

c. Where your stay forms part of a European Union training and continuing education programme or research programme, or part of a reciprocal exchange programme:
For nationals of third countries who are taking part in European Union exchange programmes, training and continuing education programmes or research programmes (mobility exchange students and scholarship holders), a ‘residence permit – special cases of paid employment’ will be issued for their stay in Austria.

The application can be made in Austria. In order to be able to enter Austria, a personal application for a Visa D must be made in advance at the Austrian diplomatic mission responsible (embassy, consulate-general) in the applicant's country of residence. If the employment is to be taken up immediately on entry, the Visa D must be applied for as a work visa (“Visa D – employment”).

When applying for the visa, all documents required for issuing a residence permit must be presented. As long as the documents are complete, the visa will be issued with a validity of six months. Following entry into Austria, the application for a ‘residence permit – special cases of paid employment’ can be made with the responsible registration authority in Austria.

If your nationality entitles you to enter Austria without a visa or if you are entering with a valid residence permit from another Schengen state, you may submit an application for a ‘residence permit – special cases of paid employment’, giving you the right to stay in the country, to the registration authority responsible within Austria.

Please note: If you enter Austria without a visa or with a Travel Visa C or Residence Visa D that does not have an ‘employment’ endorsement, you are not permitted to undertake paid employment in Austria.



The question of whether you are allowed to work in Austria depends on your nationality, the nature of the work and the type of residence permit.

  • Students with a ‘Student residence permit’ have a basic right to undertake paid work during their study period.

A work permit is necessary for paid employment (working under an employment contract or in a quasi-employed relationship). For students at Austrian universities, however, the labour market test is not applied. Students receive a work permit for employment that does not exceed a limit of 20 hours’ work per week.
A student intending to work as an academic (e.g. as a study assistant) does not need to obtain a work permit from the AMS (Labour Market Board).
 If the nature of the work changes, however, or if work is undertaken in a non-academic field, the necessary permits must be obtained and an application made for a change in the general purpose on the residence permit.

Who needs what?

Nationals of EU states (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus) and EEA States (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein): No work permit:

Swiss nationals No work permit

Croatian nationals: Work permit (transitional arrangements until 2020) – except for work in academic teaching and research

Nationals of all other states (‘third countries’)
Work permit – except for work in academic teaching and research



Taking your Doctorate (PhD) at TU Wien

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