PhD Study in Austria

After completing your master degree, you may be willing to pursue studies and obtain your PhD degree. For those students who want to study a PhD in Austria, here are some information on the available doctoral programs in the country.

Requirements for a PhD in Austria 

Normally, to apply for a PhD program, you will need a master’s degree in a related study subject. In some cases, you may be allowed to study a PhD with a bachelor’s degree. In that case, your PhD will take you longer and with more coursework to complete. Some other programs require passing entrance examinations to make sure the applicants have the required skills to conduct specific research. 

Documents required for your application usually include a filled application form, transcripts of your past grades, degree certificates, a reference letter, a personal statement explaining the purpose of your research. You may also need a language proficiency proof, since PhD programs in Austria are taught either in English or in German. 

Process and structure of a PhD study in Austria

Austria’s universities make the difference between a doctorate (Doktorat) and a PhD degree. PhD’s programs are open to the university’s own research associates. On the other hand, doctorates target also students who are not employed at the university. 

Typical Austrian PhD programs consist of a coursework study and training followed by an independent research. This, then, results in the submission and defense of a doctoral thesis as the core of your final assessment. 

The first part of the PhD study consists in completing courses in order for the students to advance their knowledge of their study subject and develop their research skills. At the end of the first year, they will have to decide upon the research subject they will conduct, that is fit to their program. 

They will have at least one supervisor who will assess the progression of their doctoral thesis and will provide mentoring and guidance through the PhD study.

Assessment and Duration of a PhD study in Austria

The assessment of the PhD is measured using the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). To gain the PhD qualification, you must earn at least 180 ECTS credits, among which 20-30 credits will count for courses completion. 

The remaining will count for attendance and participation and following the submission and examination of your PhD thesis. 

To complete a PhD in Austria, you will need between 6 and 8 semesters (3-4 years) as a full-time student. 

PhD programs in Austria for international students

Austria has 56 institutions of higher education that offer PhD programs. 22 of them are public universities, 21 are universities of applied sciences and 12 are private institutions. 

Learn more about the best universities in Austria

PhD in Law

  • The University of Innsbruck offers a PhD program in law. The study duration lasts for 6 semesters.
  • The program serves as training for aspiring academic researchers, in addition to acquiring scientific knowledge and developing it through researches.
  • Students gain an awareness of both legally and ethically problematic areas and their impact on society and their development. 
  • Eventually, graduates will be able to present, discuss, and analyze scientific findings. They will also acquire competence to conduct research projects in the field of law.
  • Students obtaining the PhD degree in law can work in various occupational fields, such as in highly-qualified careers at universities, research and educational institutions, diplomatic service, European and international organizations, national and international companies, and key political positions.

Visit University of Innsbruck for more information.

Doctoral Program in Social Sciences and Humanities

  • The Johannes Kepler University offers a doctoral degree in social sciences and humanities. The study lasts for 6 semesters.
  • This program aims to strengthen your skills in the research field. It will also provide solid expertise in the fields of social sciences and humanities and their relation to the societies’ cultures.
  • The student will acquire social and team skills. And they will be able to solve complex academic problems in the fields of basic and applied research.

Find more at the Johannes Kepler University.

PhD in Social Sciences

  • The University of Klagenfurt offers a PhD program in social sciences. The study duration lasts for 6 semesters.
  • The program includes studying mathematics education, geography, informatics didactics, and psychology
  • Students have to hold a master degree in a related discipline can join the program.

Learn more by visiting the University of Klagenfurt‘s website.

Doctoral Program in Linguistics and Media Studies

  • The University of Innsbruck offers a doctoral program in linguistics and media studies. The study duration lasts for 6 semesters.
  • Applicants who hold a master degree in a related discipline can join the program.
  • During the program, students master the methods applied in research in their area and acquire the ability to discuss, analyze, and develop theories.
  • Graduates of the doctoral degree in linguistics and media studies can work in university and non-academic research institutions, in addition to fields like journalism, publishing, language consulting, technical editing, and translation.

Read more at the University of Innsbruck.

PhD in engineering sciences

  • The Johannes Kepler University offers a PhD degree in engineering sciences. The study lasts for 6 semesters.
  • Applicants who hold a master degree in a related discipline can join the program.
  • The program focuses on developing the independent scientific research of the students in the fields of engineering sciences.
  • Study program is divided into two parts: a theoretical part where the student learns all the theories related to the fields, in addition to a practical part that includes investing all the learning outputs in the practical field.
  • Students obtaining the PhD degree in engineering sciences can pursue either an academic or scientific career at institutions of higher education (universities or universities of applied sciences). Moreover, they can attain a senior position in the field of industrial research.

For more information, visit the Johannes Kepler University.

Doctoral Program in Computer Science

  • Graz University of Technology offers a doctoral program in computer science. It lasts for three or more years.
  • The language of instruction is English.
  • The student graduates from the program with a degree in technical sciences, which is equivalent to the doctorate of philosophy.
  • The program includes in-depth courses in the study field.
  • Students learn to solve both scientific and applied problems in computer science.
  • The student has to conduct independent research at the highest scientific level to be published in international journals and at conferences.

Find out more at the Graz University of Technology.

Check our article about studying master programs in Austria.

About Sara

A professional Eng><Ara translator and writer.

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