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"What is the goal of my doctoral studies?"

Before beginning with your doctoral studies, you should reflect on your personal motivation  and check if you fulfil the requirements. The following questions will help you with your decision.

General questions:

  • What is the goal of your doctoral studies: Would you like to pursue an academic career in the future, or can the research you conduct as part of your doctoral studies help you at your current job?
  • What are the chances of starting an academic career in your chosen field after receiving your doctorate? Would you be willing to leave your home university and go abroad for an academic position?
  • Are you aware of the formal qualifications/previous studies required for doctoral education in your chosen field and do you fulfil them?
  • Are there other options that are quicker and more suitable than doctoral studies for acquiring the qualifications you need in your specific professional situation (internships, practical master’s programmes)?
  • Do you already know, perhaps, how you plan to finance the work on your doctorate, and are you aware of available scholarships, grants, job opportunities etc.?
  • Are you interested in traditional individual doctoral studies or in structured doctoral education?

If you plan to do a doctorate while you continue to work, you should also keep the time factor in mind. A full-time doctoral thesis takes a minimum of three years, so if you only plan to work on it part-time, you should be aware that it usually takes much longer to finish the thesis.

Therefore, you should calculate the following:

  • How much time can I spend per day working on the doctoral thesis?
  • How much time will I need for the individual stages of writing the doctoral thesis?
  • How long will I need in total, and how old will I be then?
  • Does it make sense personally and professionally to put so much time and effort into writing a doctoral thesis?

Field related questions:

  • In which field and on which topic do you plan to do a doctorate?
  • Have you already written a diploma/master’s thesis or a bachelor’s essay on this topic that you would now like to research in more detail?
  • Do you know of any potential supervisors (persons with the habilitation qualification, i.e. Univ.-Doz. (associate professor), Univ.-Prof. (full professor), at the University of Graz, who have already published on your chosen research topic?
  • Do you happen to know a potential supervisor personally?
  • Have you already spoken to this person about your intention of doing a doctorate and the specific topic of your intended doctoral thesis?


Department of Academic Services - Heinrichstraße 22/2 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 1212


Personal Consultation by appointment. Via Skype4Business/Phone, or on campus in the Meeting-Room, Heinrichstraße 22, 2nd floor (elevator), or the Room 0062, UB-Gebäude, Universitätsplatz 3a, 2nd floor (wheelchair accessible).

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