PhD in Solar System Science

University of Göttingen

Program Description

PhD in Solar System Science

University of Göttingen

PhD in Solar System Science

The International Max-Planck Research School (IMPRS) on "Physical Processes in the Solar System and Beyond" offers a first choice possibility for graduate students to obtain their PhD degree in a major scientific discipline with exciting career opportunities.

The school is located at the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research (formerly MPI for Aeronomy) in Katlenburg-Lindau and the partner institutes at the University of Göttingen (Institute for Astrophysics, Institute for Geophysics) and the Technical University Braunschweig (Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Institute for Theoretical Physics). These institutes are uniquely positioned in the fields of solar system physics with excellent facilities, internationally renowned researchers and experienced teachers.

The school offers a research-oriented 3-years graduate program. A prerequisite is a diploma or a masters degree in physics. Teaching language is English.

The program covers the full range of physics inherent in the rapidly growing field of solar system science from geophysics and planetary physics to solar physics as well as the underlying fundamental physics. The science program is complemented by training in computational physics, space technology and project management.

High-profile space missions, outstanding projects for ground-based instruments and data analysis as well as theoretical and extensive numerical modeling provide a wide range of research possibilities for PhD students.

The program issues a call for applications once a year. Successful applicants will receive adequate financial support.

PhD Projects and Thesis

PhD projects are offered and supported by any one of the institutes in the Research School. Supervising scientists not affiliated with one of the partner universities share the supervision with a faculty member. The thesis will be written in English; students are expected to publish at least two papers in refereed journals during their PhD period.

A Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC), to be named at the beginning of the thesis work, guides the student through the preparation period and monitors her/his work. The TAC consists of the thesis supervisor and one or two other senior staff members of the institutes involved in the research school. At least one of the members must be a regular professor at the university at which the student is inscribed.


  • A keen interest in Solar system research topics
  • A record of academic excellence
  • MSc or equivalent degree in physics or a related field including a written Master thesis
  • GRE Physics test scores or equivalent required for applicants who have obtained their MSc degree from a university outside of Europe
  • Good command of the English language (TOEFL / IELTS test scores or equivalent required for applicants whose native language is not English or German)

Starting date: September 2014 or later

Last updated May 23, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
6 semesters
Full time
Start date Oct. 2016
Germany Göttingen, Lower Saxony
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End date Request Info
Germany Braunschweig, Lower Saxony
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 6 semesters
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