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Application - Requirements

A. Mandatory Documents for all applicants 

The application procedure applies to all degrees of choice (Dr. and PhD). Regardless of whether they are interested in pursuing a PhD or Dr. phil./Dr. med./Dr. rer. nat/... title, candidates are required to submit the following documentation (1. - 7.) via the Online Application Tool (available from Mid January until March 01):

1. MCLS Recommendation Letter issued by a MCLS member.
The most important requirement for the application is that one of the MCLS members expresses interest in the supervision of your studies.

The MCLS Recommendation Letter must be submitted by an MCLS member him/herself. There are two ways to obtain the document:

  • Get in touch with potential MCLS supervisors directly and try to come to an agreement with one of them.
    If an MCLS supervisor is potentially interested in supervising your doctoral studies, he/she should provide an MCLS Recommendation Letter for you through an upload form in the online application tool. In this case enter the contact information of the intended prospective supervisor in the online application tool and "save and submit" your application. Submitting your application automatically generates an email to the professor with further instructions. Please note that you MUST contact your prospective supervisor prior to entering their contact information in the application system.
    In case that your supervisor already confirmed the supervision of your studies, please upload the Supervisory Agreement (Betreuungszusage) instead of the MCLS Recommendation Letter.
  • Participate in the pre-screening period.
    In this case you submit your application earlier than the final application deadline (check the Application-Procedure page for exact dates). During the pre-screening period your application will be made available to all potential MCLS supervisors. In the event that one of the MCLS members considers supervising your doctoral project, he/she will upload an MCLS recommendation letter before the deadline. We will inform you about the final result as soon as possible (presumably end of March).

 If you want to work towards the first option, you should take the following steps:


  • Check the fields of research of the MCLS professors and find a topic that is relevant to your academic interests. This information is available in the RESEARCH section of the homepage:
  • Contact the corresponding professor (the contact information for each professor involved in the MCLS can be found in the ABOUT US section of this homepage or also easily via search engines in your browser) and discuss with him/her your proposed research ideas. Please make sure to write an individualized, polite, and concise e-mail and to include at least your CV and a research proposal that is related to the professor's interests.
  • The degree of choice (PhD or Dr.) should be discussed during this time (more information on the degree choices and the respective templates for the documents can be found here).
  • If the professor is potentially interested in supervising your research, ask him/her for an MCLS Recommendation Letter in which he/she confirms his/her general interest in your research and he/she agrees to conduct an application interview with you. The final decision about accepting you as a doctoral candidate will be made after the interview.

It is highly recommended that prospective students begin discussing MCLS supervision as early as possible!

2. One reference letter (e.g. issued by a previous professor)
The reference letter must be provided by a researcher from a discipline associated with the Learning Sciences who holds at least a doctoral degree (e.g. a previous professor).
Attention: The reference letter must be submitted by the referee him/herself thorugh an upload form in the online application tool by the following deadlines:
- February 25, if you want to participate in the pre-screening period
- March 15, if you already found a potential MCLS supervisor
Applicants have to enter the contact information of the intended referee in the online application tool. Submitting your application automatically generates an email to the referee with further instructions. Please note that you MUST contact your referee prior to entering their contact information in the application system.  

Important note: The reference letter (point 2) and the MCLS Recommendation Letter (point 1) 
     are two independent criteria! A complete application comprises two separate letters, issued by 
     different professors (one from a previous professor and one from a potential supervisor). 

3. Certified copies of the Bachelor's and Master’s certificate (or equivalent) and of the Transcripts of Records.
    Applicants who have not yet finished their Master’s studies are required to upload a letter from their university, confirming the expected date of graduation. 

4. Research proposal (500 words)
    Download Research Proposal Guidelines

5. Letter of motivation (one page)
    Download Letter of Motivation Guidelines 

6. Curriculum vitae (CV) with up-to-date information

7. Proof of English proficiency of at least Upper B2 Level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for non-native English language speakers.
Note: German proficiency is no requirement, as our program is exclusively taught and assessed in English. Different information on the International Office's website can be ignored (they apply to German programs exclusively).

                          Correspondence table for upper B2 level of English proficiency
    The minimum required score is reported for each language test or higher-education examination.

FCE Schriftliches Englisch- Abitur
6.5 211 79 105 177 B 10

This list is not exhaustive and any other proof of English proficiency will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis by the selection committee. Usually previous studies conducted in English are sufficient if you can provide some form of proof for it. Additionally, your English skills will be validated during the interview.


Available templates are provided on the "Application - FAQ & Docs" page.  

The documents need to be submitted via the Online Application Tool (available from Mid January).
The coordination team would be happy to assist with any question that might arise during the process, unless they are answered on the website or in the FAQ already. Please visit our contact section. 

B. International Students need to additionally apply to the International Office
(Mandatory for all international applicants not holding a German citizenship and/or a German university entry qualification or German university diploma).
!! We highly recommend to apply via the DTP coordination office!!

      • In case that you want any assistance with the request for admission to the International Office, you must send your complete hardcopy application to the Doctoral Program Office.
        Only if you send the documents by May 15 (preferably in April) will we assist you in the process to obtain your admission letter from the international office (you need this letter to apply for your VISA - usually the program acceptance letter alone is not sufficient).
      • Please send all necessary documents to the Doctoral Program Office via post 
        • Postal address:
          Doctoral Training Program in the Learning Sciences
          c/o Studiengangskoordination
          Department für Paedagogik und Psychologie
          Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
          Leopoldstrasse 13
          80802 Muenchen
      • Please check the "Application - FAQ and docs" site and especially the documents "Overview of all necessary documents" and "FAQ- General Application Information" for information on the necessary documents, tipps and tricks
      • If you are not able to have all necessary documents ready by May 15 (deadline), please contact the Program Coordinator to arrange further steps.
        For all applicants who were accepted to the Program, we will check the documents for completeness, add the Program's acceptance letter to the package and hand it over to the International Office well before their deadline (July 15).
        Sending the documents to the Program ensures that your documents definitely arrived at the LMU (we confirm their arrival), are complete and are processed according to their priority (especially important for applicants who need a visa). 
        If you do not send your documents to the Program's Office but directly to the IO, we will not be able to help you with the application process in the International Office, should any problems occur.
      • Since the Doctoral Training Program in the Learning Sciences is offered in English, there is no need for proof of German language fluency.
      • If you want to double-check our information on the necessary documents, information about the required documents can be found on the International Office official webpage:

Useful link: Further information on preparing all aspects of an application can also be found on the official website of Jobline, an online resource offered by the University of Munich’s Language Center (Sprachenzentrum der LMU München). Although intended for German applicants, Jobline serves as invaluable information source and also contains template examples of various application documents.