Doctorants - inscription étudiante à l’université/en

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This chapter is for all the students coming to do or finish their PhD Thesis in Germany, and having to register at one of the universities of Munich (LMU ou TU).

General Considerations

In Germany, every PhD student needs a supervisor from a university (that means, a "Professor" who is a faculty member) for his/her thesis. While this often can be your direct supervisor or the director of your laboratory, sometimes you need an external supervisor. In this case You can ask your boss if he can recommend somebody (usually somebody from the same field or a colleague of your supervisor) or ask the supervisor at the university where you'll obtain your PhD diplom. This person usually determines at which university or at which faculty you will do your PhD.

There are afterwards several things to consider before registering somewhere as a PhD student.

You should have a close look at the regulations for examinations, and have to be aware of:

  • Is there one or several exams? If yes, is the exam about your thesis or about a general subject, for example, if you do a thesis in Biochemistry, you can have to pass another exam in biology, chemistry or whatever.
  • Do you have any teaching responsibilities (do you have to teach a lab course for example?) and this, how often, when, where? It depends on the university where you are registered, but also on the working theme of your official supervisor. At the TU (Technische Universität), the PhD student is not theoritically obliged to teach. On the other hand, at the LMU (Ludwig Maximilian Universität), and only depending on the specialisation of your official supervisor, you would absolutely have to teach some lab courses, in order to receive some "points", points necessary to have the right to take your PhD thesis, that means to register for the final exam, the "Doktorprüfung".
  • You could also need some additional qualification (is your diploma sufficient or do you have to take additional courses or exams?). Although the new european reform of the system of studies will be normally applied in 2004, that is possible that you get some problems according to the equivalences with the german system. There is here 6 marks for the diplom, the best one is the 1. Some problems can come from this particular point: if the secretaries are not aware about the equivalences or the new system, you can have some problems to make them re-ajust the two different systems, and to proove that you have the right level to begin a PhD. If that's not possible, you would have to proove your level by doing some additionnal exams or to follow one year of courses at the university with an exam at the end.
  • Also you should consider that you might have to talk to your external supervisor once in a while, so a university in München would mean less travel and an easiest organisation.

Here below the Homepages of universities in Munchen,

but also in Heidelberg and Tübingen, where a lot of german PhD students are registered:

Concerning the registration at the LMU

Please be aware of registration deadlines!

Length of registration

The LMU requires any PhD student to be registered for at least two terms (two semesters) so one year, before being allowed to hand in a thesis and take the exam. You can be registered for a maximum of 6 terms, but can still hand in your thesis after this period. Information for foreign EU-students at the LMU can be found here and also here. Non-EU citizens will find a list of the required documents here.

Fees for the registration

Costs are € 35 term (each semester) at the LMU, plus € 50 for administration fees.

Why being registered at a university is good for you

Being registered as a PhD student has many advantages, as you well know; even though at the LMU you only need to be registered for one year, it might pay off to be registered longer because:

you get a student ID, and it entitles you,

  • as a student, to pay less for your monthly bus ticket (see Public Transportation)
  • you can participate in the university's sport activities and use all sports facilities for very little money. More informations here
  • you can use the LMU library
  • you get reduced admission in many museums and reduced cost for bus/plane tickets
  • you can use the student offices for foreign students if you need help. And There is really useful services at the "Studentenwerk", see online.

Exams

The extent of your thesis and the kind of exam depends on the faculty you are registered at (see general considerations). For Science like Biology, chimy..., regulations for the LMU can be found at:

Chemistry, Pharmacy and Biochemistry

see the Web site.

Biology

see the web site.


But do not panic, when you will register at the university ! For a foreign student as for a german student, a registration made in the right way, without any lacking papers or stamps, takes about 3h00 to 4h00 to be done, to go from an office to another one, having to wait ages in queues for each of them, and this, only if you have luck and if there is not a lot of people...

But, well, that's not the hell... Good Luck !



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Anna Le Bris