Doctoral students of the MPGC are awarded with a PhD certificate of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz amended by the Max Planck Society after their successful defense. Therefore, you need not only be admitted by the MPGC but also need to be approved by the universities foreign office. To start at the MPGC, you thus need to pass all eligibility requirements listed below.

Promotionsordnung of the MPGC

The German "Promotionsordnung" represents the rules according to which the degree of a PhD can be awarded. You can download the full Regulations for Attaining the Academic Degree of "Doktor rerum naturalium" (Dr. rer. nat.) in the MPGC as PDF either in the original German version or the English translation. 

The regulations define, in addition to the scope and the organisation of the MPGC and the rules for the PhD thesis and its defense, also conditions you need to fulfill when you apply or you need to consider soon after your admission. This includes for example regulations about:

  • Application for and admission into the doctoral program
  • Process of selection
  • Organization of the doctoral program
  • Supervision of the doctoral program

If you have a master in natural sciences, you probably fullfill all the requirements. For masters in other fields, and for bachelors, we recommend to read the relevant parts of the regulations before you apply.

Approval for graduation and studentship at the Mainz University

Most of the MPGC students will graduate at Mainz University. The approval for graduation and studentship is independent from, and additional to, the admission by the MPGC boards.

After approval of your application form and the selection of a supervisor at the MPGC, you will be asked by the MPGC staff to hand in your full application documents to the International Office of Mainz University. Here, they will be checked for eligibility. The application fee for this step will be reimbursed to you by the MPGC. Please check for details on admission to doctoral studies at the Mainz university on the website of the International Office's website .

Language skills

To apply at the MPGC you should be able to communicate with your co-workers and to attend lectures and seminars in English language.

While we assume that the required basic knowledge is given if you have a German "Abitur" and certainly if you are English native speaker, we ask all other applicants to verify English language skills. As proof serves a TOEFL-Test with a minimum of 60 points in the iBT (total score: 0 - 120 points).

Although we do not ask for German language skills when you apply, we recommend to take a German course before or immediately after your start as doctoral student. Basic German skills will significantly facilitate your daily life, even if it should not be necessary for your scientific work. Free courses are offered for MPGC students in a cooperation of the University of Mainz and the Max Planck Institutes.

Admission of candidates to the MPGC

The Steering Committee holds the scientific supervision of the MPGC. It decides on admission to the MPGC in agreement with the Joint Board.

The SC shall decide whether candidates are

  • approved without reservation
  • approved with reservation
  • not approved
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