Informatics, TU Vienna

PhD School Program

The program consists of Fundamental Courses and Area Courses. The specific form of each course will be defined by the lecturer as well as the Commission of the PhD School of Informatics.


PhD students are required to take 6 courses during the first two academic years. This corresponds to a minimum of 18 credits, where the number of credits acquired with each of course depends on the course's difficulty and/or intensity.

In addition, 162 credits are assigned to the PhD thesis.


Fundamental Courses

Students have to take 2 fundamental courses, to be chosen from the areas of Philosophy of Science, Research Methods, Research and Career Planning for PhD Students, PhD seminar (conference-like system), or Innovation. At least one course is expected to be related to methodologies.


Area Courses

Area Courses are research domain specific, following the faculty’s main research areas:

Business Informatics
Business Informatics at the TU Vienna has a strong background in information technology. Its main focus is on the design, development and controlling of information systems, with a spectrum ranging from advanced software engineering concepts (model engineering, services engineering, Web engineering, semantic technologies, integration technologies) to business-centered applications (business intelligence, business process management, electronic/mobile commerce, e-Government).
Logic and Computation (Computational Intelligence)
Logic and Computation (Computational Intelligence) at the TU Vienna focuses on logic, algorithms and complexity in computer science. Based on solid mathematical foundations, we focus on both applications and theory in databases, information systems, knowledge representation, artificial intelligence, hardware and software verification, semantic web, intelligent agents, optimization, natural computing, and other areas.
Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering at the TU Vienna focuses on “Dependable Embedded Systems”, with a spectrum ranging from hybrid cyber-physical systems over network-coupled fault-tolerant distributed real-time systems to dependable systems-on-chip & VLSI architectures for mission-critical applications.

Distributed and Parallel Systems
Distributed and Parallel Systems at the TU Vienna focuses on Service-oriented Systems and Internet Computing. The spectrum ranges from Architectures, technologies and platforms for the development of distributed systems, to the development of tools and methods which are suitable to ensure optimal use of the Internet.
Media Informatics and Visual Computing
Media Informatics and Visual Computing at the TU Vienna focuses on virtual and augmented reality, computer supported cooperative work, computer vision, hypermedia information systems, information visualization, as well as real-time rendering.


Courses are offered from beginning of October to the end of June. Each activity allowing for the acquisition of credits is evaluated. Three types of courses are offered: advanced courses, PhD courses and outside courses.


PhD Courses

The school organizes PhD courses covering advanced state-of-the-art and research topics whose goal is to…

  • allow students to develop appropriate skills in a number of the faculty’s research areas – a primary and a secondary area (thus two areas),
  • develop depth in their own research domain, and
  • gain competences concerning fundamental methodological and epistemological research questions.


Visiting professor courses

The PhD School invites every year a serie of distinguished professors from international prestigious universities for each main research area of the PhD School. A complete list of our guest professors can be found here.


Advanced Courses

Advanced courses are taken from the faculty's master programme, they are chosen on an individual basis with the objective to bring all students to an equal level.

Outside Courses

As a special form of PhD courses, a student can – upon approval by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School and his/her advisor – take courses at summer schools, or at other universities offering a PhD-level programme.

Such courses may also be specifically designed for exchange programmes with other universities. The courses attended abroad must either be within the framework of formalized agreements or approved in advance by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School. Also, they must assure a number of credits to the student.


Vienna PhD School students will have to pass two exams: the qualifying exam and the final exam. Exams are administrated by the Commission of the PhD School and may consist of a written test, an oral test or other types of procedures defined by the commission and the lecturers.


Qualifying Exam

Students’ progress on their research activities is evaluated through the qualifying exam, which is to be taken at the beginning of the second year. The qualifying exam is essentially the PhD proposal for an innovative research contribution with a clear and detailed description of the research directions and objectives as well as the methodological approach (approx. 10 pages). It includes:

  • Introduction
  • Problem description
  • Expected result
  • Methodological approach
  • State of the art (incl. references)
  • Work plan
  • List of student publications (if already available)

This proposal is first assessed by the advisor, then by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School.
Students will be then invited to discuss their proposals.


Final Exam

At the end of their studies, students will have to defend their work, which is previously evaluated by the advisor and two external reviewers. Based on this evaluation a defense board of examiners will decide on the final mark.