Who is Eligible

Eligibility Criteria: Which degrees are accepted?


a) Entry with a MSc degree

Entry level for doctoral studies at IMPRS-LS usually is a Master of Science degree or an equivalent degree. Most applicants either have a combination of BSc and MSc (with a total equivalent of 300 ECTS credits) or a five-year integrated MSc. We expect your academic background to be either in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, neuroscience or related disciplines.


b) Entry with a 4-years BSc hons (or equivalent degree)

Applicants with a 4-year first class BSc hons or MSci degree from UK and applicants with a first class BSc degree awarded by European Universities (equivalent to 240 ECTS credits) are eligible to apply. Dependent on the specifics of your curriculum and your academic background you may be assigned an additional courseload of 15 to 60 ECTS credits by the Munich universities. You will have to fulfill these additional course requirements during your doctoral studies. Some university departments will also ask you to take a qualifier examination in the first year of doctoral studies.

Applicants with a 4-year BSc degree awarded by Universities outside the European Bologna System typically are not eligible to apply. This includes BSc degrees awarded by universities from USA, Asia, Africa and Turkey. However, in some cases,  it is possible to apply for the fast track program with such a degree (see below).


c) Fast track program

Applicants with a three-year BSc degree (equivalent to 180 ECTS credits) typically are not eligible to apply directly for doctoral studies, unless they intend to join a research group that is affiliated with the school's research branch "Circuit Neuroscience". In that case, a cooperation with the LMU-Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences will allow enrollment as doctoral student (and joint affiliation with both PhD programs). The so-called Fast track program includes an intense additional year comprised of lectures, courses, practicals and lab-rotations. The goal is to bring fast track students up to the level of MSc students within the first year of studies. PhD thesis research will commence in the second year.


Entry options for doctoral studies at IMPRS-LS



Please note that students that will start or have started their PhD in the lab of an IMPRS faculty member before January 1, 2023 are not eligible to apply to the program in the coming round of application.


Medical degrees:

Candidates with a medical degree such as a MBBS degree (or an equivalent degree) and medical students from Germany are not eligible to apply to our PhD program. We recommend applying to specific MD/PhD programs instead.
Likewise, candidates with a degree in veterinary medicine typically are not eligible to apply.


Recognizing international degrees:

Please keep in mind that your university needs to be recognized by German authorities. This is the case for most European public and state universities and only very few private universities may not be recognized. If you apply from overseas, we recommend to visiting the governmental Anabin website that allows you to check whether your university and your degree program are recognized in Germany.
A full assesment regarding eligibility is only possible after submission of a complete application and typically requires the approval of university officials.


It is not necessary to already hold the relevant degree at the point of application. However, accepted candidates need to hold their degree prior to start of doctoral studies and enrollment at IMPRS-LS.

Should you have questions regarding eligibility that can't be answered in this section, please get in touch with the IMPRS-LS coordination office.