Image FAQ Page

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ – concerning application

When will the next application round open and when will it close?

The next application round will open around March/April 2016.

The program has several participating institutions. Is the program based in MPQ? Do all of the lectures take place in MPQ? Can I work with groups in any of the institutions?

The program is based at MPQ, but most lectures are at LMU and TU, the two big universities in Munich. You can chose from every course they offer. All participating IMPRS groups are listed on the IMPRS web site.

Do new PhD students begin working on a specific project with a specific group as soon as the program begins or does the program encourage flexibility for the first few months?

At IMPRS, we are not as flexible because we only accept students who have found an advisor. Of course, if things don't work out students may switch groups, but this is quite unusual.

Next steps:

  1. application incoming at MPQ before scheduled deadline: 12:00 am CET (MESZ) either completely by mail or completely by email
  2. selection of candidates to be invited for the interviews; the announcement of interviews is expected a few weeks after the deadline
  3. interviews at MPQ - approximately 6-8 weeks after the deadline.
  4. final selection of the members of the IMPRS-APS will be announced (travel expenses will be covered)

I missed the deadline. What can I do?

IMPRS-APS recruits students only once a year. Therefore, please make sure that you do not miss the deadline as indicated on the application web site. If you have missed the deadline, all you can do is apply next year.

Do I need my Diploma (equivalent degree) when I send my application?

You don't need your Diploma at that time. But you must present your Diploma when you start your PhD studies at IMPRS-APS.

Can I apply without a TOEFL?

TOEFL is not an absolute requirement but it will increase your chance of acceptance. In any case, you are expected to be fluent in written and spoken English.


The students should discuss the details of their contract with their thesis advisor.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

No, there is no age limit, but most students are under 26 when they start their doctoral studies and very few are over 30.

FAQ – concerning the program

Are the lectures in English or in German?

The medium of all instruction is English; examinations are in English, too.

From where I will obtain my PhD / M.D. degree?

The Ludwig Maximilian University, the Technical University Munich or the Vienna University of Technology will award the PhD / M.D. degree.

FAQ – concerning visa

Can I apply for a tourist visa?

You can use a tourist visa only for the interview. If you arrive in Munich with a tourist visa to start your studies, you will have to leave Germany again and apply for an appropriate visa in your home country.

Where can I get my visa?

You will get an official invitation letter (in English) and a letter for the German embassy of your country in German from the coordination office. This letter must be submitted to the German embassy or a German consulate in your home country. Provided your visa application is complete, you will obtain your visa within a few days up to 2 months. In case problems arise please inform the coordination office.

The German embassy told me that I don't need a visa.

That is correct for EU countries and for some other countries (e.g. U.S.A., Canada, Mexico). People from these countries can apply for a residence permit (neither a work nor a tourist visa!) during the first three months of their stay in Germany.

FAQ – concerning general issues

What do I need to bring?

You need your visa, passport and all your original certificates. All other administrative issues can be dealt with once you've arrived here.

FAQ – Finances

What are the estimated living costs in Munich / Garching ?

The costs of living in Munich/Garching are approx. 800 Euro per month for a single person (accommodation, food, health insurance).

FAQ — concerning IMPRS-APS certificate

What are the requirements for obtaining an IMPRS-APS certificate?

You need to successfully defend your PhD degree, and you need to gather 6 IMPRS-APS credit points. At least 3 credit points must be obtained by attending IMPRS-APS lectures.

What are IMPRS-APS credit points given for?

Attending an IMPRS-APS lecture and passing the corresponding exam gives one credit point. Giving a talk at an international conference also gives one credit point. At most one credit point (out of 6) can be obtained by attending a workshop organized by IMPRS-APS.

Do non-IMPRS lectures or lectures attended during master studies count for IMPRS-APS credit points?

In general, no, but exceptions can sometimes be made for lecture courses related to the topics of Advanced Photon Science.