The MPGC curriculum combines research with education. The major obligation of a doctoral student enrolled in the MPGC is the work on his or her PhD thesis. While about 80% of the regular working time should be spent on this, the Graduate Center aims also at further education of its doctoral students. Therefore, it includes a personal program with fixed obligatory and variable obligatory parts (roughly 2/3 and 1/3 of the remaining 20% of the PhD time).

The education curriculum and the research aspects of the PhD will be agreed upon between the PhD student and the doctoral advisory group for that student in his/her supervision agreement, and is personalized for each student separately.

Research Program

The bulk of the PhD time is devoted to research, including learning specific knowledge of relevance to the research topic chosen. Furthermore, regular reports (once per year) need to be prepared about the scientific progress of the PhD research and discussed with the doctoral advisory group to identify any problem. At the end of the research, a written thesis needs to be prepared and defended before a committee. Further dissemination of the work is expected through the publication of scientific papers or the participation in conferences.

Education Curriculum: Fixed parts

The individual program may vary and will be determined by the doctoral advisory group of the student, consisting of two supervisors and up to two mentors. It will be noted in a supervision agreement. 

A major fraction of the fixed part may be dedicated to courses at the university, in lectures, tutorials, or supervision of laboratory or other work of regular students. 

Another fraction will be dedicated to participation in three research schools/workshops and participation in the MPGC lecture cycle, where experts present in a common way the latest results of their interdisciplinary research and students present short talks to each other. These presentations offer excellent opportunities for feedback on scientific results and presentation techniques and for informal discussions and networking.

Edcuation Curriculum: Variable Parts and Credit Points

In the variable part, the student can accumulate further credit points (CP). At least 12 credit points are mandatory during the PhD time.

There may be certain lectures imposed by the doctoral advisory group depending on the precognition of the student. They can be credited in this system. Furthermore, oral presentations or posters during international conferences or an additional summer school can be awarded by credit points according to the credit point system given below. The participation has to be confirmed by the lecturer or organiser of the event.

The graduate center offers several soft skills seminars each year like scientific writing, oral presentation, time management, job application, intercultural culture.

Participation in the MPGC lecture cycle, per year

  1 CP

Participation in a lecture (at least 2 SWS*)

  3 CP

Participation in an exercise (at least 2 SWS*)

  3 CP

Participation in a research school/workshop 

  2 CP

Oral presentation on international conferences

  2 CP

Poster presentation on international conferences

  1 CP

Participation in soft skills seminar

  1 CP

 *The abbreviation SWS means (German) "Semesterwochenstunde" = academic hour during the term. 1 SWS corresponds to one course unit of 45 mins per week in the lecture time, which lasts usually for 14 weeks per term.

loading content