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Here, your questions about the enrollment (Which documents do I need ... ...), the course of the doctorate/PhD study (What is the doctorate study, what is a doctoral/PhD thesis agreement, ...) and the potential supervisors are answered.


  • Inscription/enrollment

How do I enroll a doctoral/PhD program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna? Is there an admission exam?

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). The first three (the philosophical doctorate, the technical doctorate in Architecture, and the scientific doctorate) can be enrolled without any admission exam, although applicants need to fulfill certain admission criteria. These may vary according to the doctoral program chosen. Please find out the exact admission criteria by clicking on this link - especially the study plans also listed on this site. 


For the PhD-in-Practice Program, which combines arts-based research PhD projects at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, there is an admission examination. Please find more detailed information on this program and the application procedure in the FAQs of the PhD-in-Practice homepage.

As a doctoral candidate enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, you are entitled to study here according to the curriculum selected, but you are not entitled to any financial support (scholarships or grants).

Which documents do I need to enroll for a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna? What are the deadlines?

Please find any information on admission and enrollment as well as on the documents required here.
The respective deadlines for admission (so-called Continuing Registration) are provided on the following homepage.
If you have any further questions, please contact our Registrar's Office.

Do I have to enroll personally?

You have to enroll your studies personally at the Registrar's Office. Please find further information on admission procedures here.

If I hold a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) or an MA, can I enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna?

To receive an answer to this question, you will first have to decide on a specific doctoral program. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). The respective curricula specify the respective admission criteria. In summary, admission to each doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts is based on a subject-specific Diploma, Magister or Master's degree. In addition, the admission of graduates from similar studies at approved Austrian or international institutions of post-secondary education is possible. This also applies to graduates of Diploma or Master Studies at a University of Applied Science (Fachhochschule). Such graduates may have to take additional exams before admission. For further information, please study the respective Curricula before consulting the Registrar's Office for further details.

I hold a degree in XY. Does this entitle me to enroll one of the doctoral programs?

Please read the answer to the previous question (please scroll up).

I hold a degree issued by a foreign university. Does this entitle me to enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna?

Please read the answer to the previous question (please scroll up).

Can I have my study certificates checked for equivalence in advance?

Yes, please send a scan of your documents via email to our Registrar's Office and let us know in which of the doctoral programs you are interested. If the documents were not issued in either German or English, we shall also require a translation. Please note that the examination of the equivalence of international qualifications can take at least two months of processing time and plan accordingly.

  • Course of doctoral/PhD studies

What needs to be done in the course of doctoral studies from the beginning to the end?

All phases of doctoral studies are explained in detail on this site.

What is the dissertation agreement?

For everyone newly enrolling one of the doctoral programs Dr. phil., Dr. rer. nat. and PhD in Practice (that does not apply to the Dr. techn. program) starting from the winter term 2014, the new curricula apply. This means that, during their first year after admission, doctoral candidates are required to apply for the approval of their dissertation project (or PhD project), and to submit it, together with a dissertation / PhD Project agreement (you find the template in the section in Forms and Documents) also comprising the respective supervision confirmation, to the competent body responsible for study matters, which is done via the Registrar's Office.
The dissertation or PhD project agreement is concluded between the doctoral candidate and her/his thesis supervisor(s) and is expected to specify the scope of work and the relationship between the supervisor(s) and the respective candidate. This would include, for instance, the number and interval of meetings, deadlines for submitting single chapters, details on courses the candidate is to attend, especially where the curricula allow some leeway, etc. Please find more detailed information on the dissertation agreement in the respective curriculum. You will find it by clicking on your study program here.

How do I find a topic for my doctoral thesis or PhD project? Is there a list with suggestions? Do I choose the topic myself?

On principle, topics of doctoral theses or PhD projects can be chosen freely. However, there are two restrictions: firstly, the topic should lie within the thematic scope of the respective study program (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). Secondly, the topic must be agreed with a supervisor, whom you should only choose after you have determined your own interest in a chosen topic. Moreover, doctoral candidates have the possibility to write their doctoral thesis in the context of a research project.

  • Supervisors

Where do I find potential supervisors?

The homepage of the Center for Doctoral Studies provides you with a list of potential doctoral and PhD-project supervisors, which also comprises their respective Venia (teaching subjects). In the section forms and documents you find a list of potential supervisors .

How do I find a supervisor?

Before you start looking for a supervisor, you must choose which doctoral program you would like to enroll. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (the philosophical doctorate, the technical doctorate in Architecture, the scientific doctorate, and the PhD-in-Practice program, which is an arts-based research program). Furthermore, before consulting our supervisors you should have a concrete idea of the theme you would like to work on as you should then choose a supervisor who has the best qualifications to support you in writing your doctoral thesis. Ideally, you already know one of the supervisors from your studies and ask them whether they would be ready to supervise your work in the respective field. Should you, however, not know the person you would like to have as your doctoral supervisor, we recommend that you summarize your field in a short abstract and send this by email to the potential supervisor, together with a request for an appointment.

The homepage of the Center for Doctoral Studies provides you with a list of potential doctoral and PhD -project supervisors, which also comprises their respective Venia (teaching subjects). In the section forms and documents you find a list of potential supervisors .


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