FAQ – Frequently asked questions

How can I apply?
Application to the program is a three step online procedure: First, you will fill in the online application form, then you can upload your certificates and finally you must arrange for two reference letters submitted directly to our online system. For further information, please visit How to apply at our website.

Which institution will award my doctoral degree?
The Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen will award the doctoral degree. International PhD students may also choose to have their doctoral degree awarded by a university of their home country.

Must my MSc degree be completed at the time I submit my application?
You don't need your MSc degree certificate at the time of application, we only require your latest transcript. However, by the time you start your PhD studies at our institutes, you must have completed all studies and exams, and be able to provide official, written evidence of this. If the final certificate has not been issued at this point, a letter from the program office or director of studies will suffice.

I have only a Bachelor degree, no Masters, can I apply?
An exceptionally talented student with extensive, relevant research experience, but who holds only a 4-year Bachelors (Honors) degree, may in principle be admitted to our IMPRS. In such cases, additional study requirements – to be fulfilled during the first year of IMPRS participation - may be assigned. These could involve attending lecture courses, plus writing up a research thesis for examination on the work accomplished in the first year, and would need to be completed alongside the regular IMPRS program. Because of these demanding requirements, the IMPRS offers this chance only in very rare cases where the applicant already has a very strong research background. 

What is a GRE General Test score?
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. Here you can find further information about performing the GRE General Test in your country. 

Do I need to submit a General GRE Test score?
The critical point is not your nationality, but rather the country where you gained or will gain your Masters degree or Diploma. We require GRE scores if this is NOT in the European Higher Education Area.

Why do you require GRE scores?
Within the European Higher Education Area, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) lets us compare different degrees easily. For candidates with degrees from other countries, we need the additional information from the GRE scores to process and compare the applications.

How do I handle visa formalities?
Invited or accepted candidates will receive an official invitation letter and a cover letter for the German embassy. This letter must be submitted to the German embassy or a German consulate in your home country together with your visa application. Issuing a visa may take anything from a few days to two months, depending on country of origin and your circumstances. In case problems arise, the IMPRS office will provide assistance. For further details, please visit the website of the Federal Foreign Office. National visas for travel to Germany to take up doctoral studies are issued in the home country, usually for a duration of three months, and converted into a longer term residence permit after arrival in Tübingen.

Are the lectures in English or in German?
The language of all lectures at the IMPRS is English. In fact, English is used for all communication within the school.

Is there an age limit for applicants?
No, there is no age limit. Most students are under 26 when they start their doctoral studies and very few are over 30.

What are the estimated living costs in Tübingen?
The estimated costs of living in Tübingen are approx. 1000€ per month for a single person (living expenses, travel and rent).