About doctoral studies

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The doctoral programmes provide you with a research specialisation based on fundamental scientific concepts, principles and methods. As a doctoral student at Chalmers, you will develop skills that can lead to future opportunities in both academia and industry.

Chalmers’ doctoral programmes are organised in subject-oriented graduate schools which are owned and developed by the departments. Each graduate school corresponds to a doctoral programme subject and for each graduate school there is a general study plan that describes the required qualifications, the specialisations available in the graduate school, the courses included in the programme, etc. All doctoral students must belong to a graduate school at Chalmers.


To be admitted to doctoral programmes at Chalmers, you must have completed a degree at second-cycle level, i.e. a Master’s degree with 120 higher education credits or a Master’s degree with 60 higher education credits. Your degree should also have a specialisation that is sufficiently related to the subject of the doctoral programme. In addition to this basic qualification, there are specific qualifications for the subject, which you can read about in the study plan for the graduate schools available at Chalmers. Corresponding requirements apply to students who completed their undergraduate education at a foreign university.

How are the programmes organised?

Doctoral programmes are a combination of individual research, courses and teaching. The work is carried out in established research teams, with a team of supervisors led by an experienced researcher. Doctoral students choose their own activities with the help of their supervisors. Chalmers’ research teams work internationally, creating great opportunities for you to carry out part of your studies abroad. The programme can lead to a licentiate degree after about two years and a doctorate after four to five years. The degree is awarded in the subject of your graduate school and your research work is presented in a doctoral thesis.
Graduate schools

The total study period for a licentiate degree is two years and for a doctorate four years. Doctoral students must devote at least half of this time to their research assignment, and the rest to their own education. As a doctoral student, you are employed by Chalmers. A doctoral position is a full-time, fixed-term position, generally limited to a maximum of five years. As an employee, you receive a monthly salary, and doctoral programmes incur no fees. In your employment you will also teach on Chalmers’ educational programmes, usually as a calculation exercise leader or laboratory supervisor. You may also have other duties in the departments. Teaching and other departmental work may account for a maximum of 20 per cent of working hours.


Development of generic skills

Chalmers has designed a program of courses and activities for doctoral students for the development of generic skills, Generic and Transferable Skills (GTS). With these competencies Chalmers' doctors become more attractive in the labor market and better equipped for future leadership assignments, to address societal challenges and to collaborate across borders. GTS offers education to doctoral students in areas such as communication, pedagogy, leadership, and research ethics. 7,5 credits are mandatory, but doctoral students have a guarantee to take additional courses up to a total of 15 credits, if desired.

Apply for a doctoral position 

Admission to Chalmers’ doctoral programmes is primarily by applying for a doctoral position.
Find Vacant positions at Chalmers.

Industrial doctoral students 

Chalmers also collaborates with various companies and public organisations (such as authorities, municipalities, county councils and trade unions) on doctoral programmes. Of Chalmers’ approximately 1,100 doctoral students, around 180 are industrial doctoral students. An industrial doctoral student is a person who has been admitted to the doctoral education at Chalmers and pursues doctoral studies within the framework of the employment at an external organisation. By organisation the following is included; a company, institute, authority or other organisation. The industrial doctoral student is employed and normally receives their entire salary from the external organisation.

For industrial doctoral students, research projects are chosen in consultation with the doctoral student’s external organisation. Industrial doctoral students follow the general syllabus for the admitting graduate school with specified course requirements and participate in teaching for pedagogical training. The industrial doctoral student must have a main supervisor and examiner at Chalmers. An assistant supervisor must always be present at the external organisation.

Admission of a doctoral student with an employment other than at Chalmers requires that a written agreement be drawn up with the employer regarding the compensation amount for the doctoral education. Industrial doctoral student agreements may be signed for Chalmers University of Technology AB by the head of department. Chalmers have a centrally developed agreement that shall be used in this case.

To become an industrial doctoral student

You need to anchor your plans with the employer you work for. Your employer can then contact one of Chalmers’ departments to discuss research projects and how the doctoral education can be arranged for you. There are usually possibilities for individual adaptations so that the training can be carried out smoothly.

Find the right one via the list of departments at Chalmers and their research groups. General entry eligible for doctoral education at Chalmers is anyone who has completed a degree at advanced level (ie a degree of at least 240 HP or equivalent) with a focus that has a sufficient connection to the doctoral education subject.

Contacts for doctoral programmes

For more information about doctoral programmes, graduate schools, possible research projects, the possibility of gaining a doctoral position or becoming an industrial doctoral student and other questions, please contact Chalmers’ graduate schools, departments or research supervisors directly.

For general questions about Chalmers’ doctoral programmes, please contact doctoralstudies@chalmers.se.

Educational support

Doctoral students may be granted educational support linked to their study situation. Doctoral students apply by logging in to www.nais.uhr.se. The immediate manager where the doctoral student is employed is responsible for support related to their working environment or duties.

Doctoral students’ organisation at Chalmers

The doctoral students’ guild is the organisation for collaboration between doctoral students at all Chalmers departments. It represents the interests of doctoral students on several boards and committees at Chalmers. To help doctoral students who experience problems during their doctoral programme, the doctoral students’ guild has a neutral, independent representative attached to it, the Doctoral Students’ Ombudsman (DOMB).