If you hold a Master degree in engineering, you can apply for a doctorate position. We do not offer a standard <PhD> programme. Instead, our doctorate programme leads to the degree of "Dr.-Ing.".

General information about a doctorate at the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering can be found here.



How long does it take to get a doctoral degree?

5 years

What are the requirements when applying for a PhD position?

  1. A Master's degree in mechanical engineering or textile engineering (with a strong focus on technology not fashion or design).
  2. An excellent command of German (level C2).

I do not speak German. Can I learn German at RWTH Aachen?

That would be too late. It is an absolute necessity that you already have an excellent command of German when applying. The main reason being that you

  1. need to communicate with our research partners in German
  2. will have to apply for funding for research projects in German
  3. will have to supervise students in their scientific projects which are written in German

What is special about getting a doctoral degree from ITA?

In general:

  1. In the first year, you will work on an ongoing research project so that you can gain first experiences in your field. Parallelly, you will probably need to pass exams in mechanical or textile engineering depending on your prior qualification.
  2. In the following years, you will need to apply for funding for subsequent projects which will provide your funding and that of our technical staff involved.
  3. One of these projects will be the basis for your actual doctoral thesis.
  4. Parallel to publicly funded projects, you will also work on direct R&D projects for industry partners. These projects you will acquire yourself.
  5. We put great emphasis on the constant education of our staff members. Hence you are strongly encouraged to partake in the courses offered by the Center for Doctoral Studies of RWTH Aachen.
  6. During your doctorate, you will supervise students in their scientific projects which may form part of your doctoral thesis.

Hence, our doctorate does not consist of just one topic on which you work exclusively and closely supervised as is the case in a PhD programme. In the contrary, you will have to develop your own doctorate topic, apply for the respective funding, also work on other projects in or outside your doctorate field, you will be in close contact to industry and you will also gain first experience in supervising students. This qualifies you to directly take up a managing or research position in industry after you completed your doctorate.

What about payment?

We pay researchers while they do their doctorate according to TV-L 13. This salary comes through the research projects on which you work. For these projects, you have applied the respective funding.

There are no scholarships available.

I hold a scholarship which covers all my costs. Does that affect my chances of being accepted?

No. Your scholarship will by far not cover all costs arising during your doctorate. Hence you will have to apply for research projects like everyone else. In addition, applying for funding and also doing R&D projects for industry is an integral part of our doctoral system. A scholarship does in fact complicate things a lot as most scholarships require that you obtain your degree within 3 - 4 years while it takes 5 years on average to complete it.

How and where can I apply?

If you meet the above mentioned requirements, please send your complete application in German in 1 pdf-file to .

There is no application deadline.

If you have any questions prior to applying officially, please do contact Dieter Veit via email.