International Programmes 2023/2024

Doctoral Programme Environment and Society Doctoral Programme Environment and Society

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München • München

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, one of the following degree titles can be awarded: Dr rer nat, Dr phil, Dr iur, Dr oec publ or Dr theol. The doctorate is awarded by the faculty of the candidate’s primary supervisor.
Teaching language
  • English
  • German

The main language in the programme is English. Some faculties also require proficiency in German. Prospective applicants should check with the relevant faculty about their requirements.

Programme duration
6 semesters
Winter and summer semester
Application deadline

Applications have to be admitted via the online application portal by 15 May for the winter semester and 15 November for the summer semester. Please check the website of the programme for further information.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The environment and its problems are one of the greatest challenges facing us this century. Since human action is one of the major influences on the environment, society and the environment are inextricably linked. Ecological changes feed back into society, altering the structures of power and the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. The complex interrelationship between environment and society cannot be explored purely from the perspective of a single academic discipline. A full understanding of the issues requires dialogues between natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The aim of the doctoral programme in Environment and Society is to open up a new field of research for candidates, one that promotes both disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary approaches while offering opportunities for international network building. In this context, the juxtaposition of research methods that are firmly anchored in established disciplines, on the one hand, and the openness characteristic of interdisciplinary research, on the other hand, are not seen as contradictory. Rather, they are seen as complementary. Candidates will develop the skills to recognise natural and social processes both in their inception and in their interrelationships. To this end, the doctoral programme links a number of university faculties and additionally draws on the expertise of non-university research centres. The doctoral programme in Environment and Society is conceived as a research-oriented, structured programme. The regular colloquia and workshops with visiting fellows provide candidates with a forum in which they can present and discuss their research. The close affiliation to leading international lecturers and academics, strong ties to international networks and research projects, and the excellent institutional and research-oriented infrastructure provide ideal conditions for doctoral research.

Additional support is offered by the GraduateCenter.

Course organisation

Doctoral candidates in the programme must fulfil the requirements for a doctorate in their chosen discipline. These requirements vary from subject to subject, but usually involve attending a graduate seminar ("Oberseminar" or equivalent) over a minimum of three or four semesters. This course will usually be taught by the candidate's main supervisor. It will provide opportunities to present and discuss research ideas. Doctoral students must also write and publish a doctoral thesis. or, in some cases, a series of articles (cumulative thesis).

The doctoral programme in Environment and Society is designed to offer candidates a range of academic activities to strengthen both their academic profile and their soft skills. It goes beyond the range of an individual doctoral degree in a particular discipline, preparing them for careers in academia and beyond. In addition to the requirements for doctoral study within their chosen discipline, members of the doctoral programme are required to do the following:
a) They must attend the international and interdisciplinary "Lunchtime Colloquium" series, which takes place weekly during the semester at the Rachel Carson Center, for at least four semesters (totalling around fifty sessions) over the course of the programme. The Lunchtime Colloquium provides insights into the field of environmental studies, facilitates networking with experts from all over the world, and ensures that doctoral researchers are a key element of the wider academic community.
b) They must attend the doctoral workshops ("Doktorandentage", doctoral retreats) organised within the programme. The aim of these workshops is to provide an opportunity for networking and to give candidates a platform to present their research to fellow students, members of the wider RCC community, and other interested parties. Candidates should present their work at a minimum of two such workshops over the course of their membership in the programme, and should be involved in organising at least one such workshop or equivalent event.
c) Attend at least one soft skills workshop (e.g., Academic Writing in English, Didactics, Project Management, etc.) offered by the LMU GraduateCenter, the LMU Center for Leadership and People Management, or another provider. Certified participation in one of these workshops is a programme requirement, but participants are encouraged to attend as many as they find useful.
d) They must attend a minimum of two academic conferences, preferably presenting their own research.
e) They must attend regular meetings (individual progress meetings and information meetings) with the programme coordinator. These meetings give candidates the opportunity to exchange information about the programme and also about individual challenges and progress made. By the end of their first semester in the programme, candidates should submit a timetable for their dissertation to their supervisors and the programme coordinator. This timetable will form the basis of progress checks.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Study trips
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

Basic fee of 75 EUR + additional fee for the Deutschlandticket

Costs of living

Living costs (including accommodation and health insurance) in Munich range from 800 to 1,000 EUR per month.

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

LMU Travel Grant, LMU Completion Grant, etc.

Academic admission requirements

Candidates must have an excellent Master's degree or equivalent (with thesis), and they must fulfil Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München's doctoral programme admission requirements.

Language requirements

In order to be accepted to the doctoral programme Environment and Society, applicants need to have a good command of English.
Please consult the respective doctoral regulations ("Promotionsordnung") for specific requirements.

Application deadline

Applications have to be admitted via the online application portal by 15 May for the winter semester and 15 November for the summer semester. Please check the website of the programme for further information.

Submit application to


The International Office helps visiting academics, PhD students, and postdocs who are travelling to Munich for a set period of time to find accommodation.

For further information, please visit the following link:

Rooms in shared flats are popular on the private market and reasonably priced at 500-800 EUR per month if located in central parts of Munich.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Buddy programme

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

University location

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