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IMPRS-CS PhD Program


The International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science (IMPRS-CS) offers a fully funded graduate program in cooperation with the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science at Saarland University.

IMPRS-CS PhD Program

The program leads to a doctoral degree (PhD) and is open to students who already hold a research-oriented Master’s degree in Computer Science (or an equivalent degree).
Admitted students will receive a scholarship that covers all living expenses and tuition fees. These scholarship recipients are automatically members of the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science.
Applications should be submitted to the IMPRS-CS; members of the Graduate School are also involved in the admissions process.

The IMPRS-CS graduate program is organized in collaboration with the MPI for Informatics, the MPI for Software Systems, and the Department of Computer Science at Saarland University, all three of which rank among the very best scientific research institutions in Computer Science in Europe.

Additional Study Options:

PhD Qualification Program

Students who have a four-year Bachelor’s degree in computer science with excellent academic performance and a strong research background or research interest can apply with the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science to enter the qualification phase of the PhD program. In addition, they can apply for an IMPRS-CS scholarship; the selected students become members of the IMPRS-CS. Interested students should apply for admission and express their interest in an IMPRS-CS scholarship.

Master’s Programs

Students who have a very good Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and first want to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science or Visual Computing can apply with the respective Master’s program at Saarland University. A small number of admitted students who show excellent performance and promise are selected for IMPRS-CS scholarships and become members of the IMPRS-CS.
Interested students should apply directly for admission to the Master’s program in Computer Science and for the Master’s program in Visual Computing.


Applicants for the PhD program must hold a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree from a research-oriented institution. Successful candidates will typically have ranked at or near the top of their classes, have already engaged in research and published their results, and be highly proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants are required to deliver a 15-minute research presentation on their Master’s project, followed by a question and answer period, in front of the admission committee and other audience members. All admitted students receive financial aid in the form of a scholarship.

Applicants to the IMPRS-CS PhD program should fill in the following form:

Online Application

A successful candidate must

  • hold or be about to receive a Master’s degree in Computer Science (or an equivalent degree) from a research-oriented institution of higher education
  • have outstanding academic performance (rank at or near top of class)
  • have excellent oral and written English language skills
  • show aptitude for independent, creative work
  • have performed research and published (or submitted for publication) the results

The application must be supported by

  • a Bachelor’s or Master’s certificate
  • school leaving certificate
  • academic transcripts
  • a resume
  • three names and email addresses of professors or similar willing to give reference for the candidate
  • a personal statement explaining the candidate’s motivation and reasons for pursuing a PhD in computer science at the International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, whereby the candidate may state his/her preferred supervisor or research group
  • submission of TOEFL scores (*), TSE scores or the Cambridge Certificate is strongly encouraged but not compulsory
  • submission of GRE general and GRE Computer Science subject test scores is strongly encouraged but not compulsory
  • an abstract of your Master’s thesis (If you haven’t submitted your thesis yet, please inform us when you will submit it to your supervisors and tell us their e-mail addresses.)

* please note: TOEFL-code for Saarland University is 8399

There is no application fee.

Rules for Application

Please attach all your documents and certificates in a single, compressed archive file (in .ZIP or .tar.gz or formats) or a single .pdf document containing the above documents. Individual documents in the archive should be in PDF or PostScript formats. On each page there should be a header or footer indicating your full name, the program you wish to apply for, as well as the time and year you wish to start (e.g. “summer 2014”). In case you would like to include theses or other publications, please only send titles and abstracts in English.

Admission to the doctorate list

To get admission to the doctorate list at the university you need to pass a qualifying exam.
After this you will have to provide the following documents to the Deanery:

  • your resume
  • the letter from your doctorate supervisor
  • the originals and one copy of your diplomas
  • a letter to the dean
  • a letter certifying that you passed the qualifying exam

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Additional information

Scholarship Type


Scholarship Coverage

Eligible Applicants

Closing Date