Who is qualified to apply?
Typically, applicants must have (or expect to have) a degree equivalent to the MSc in Physics (e.g. a "Laurea" etc.) including a Master's Thesis in order to be acceptable for doctoral studies at the University of Heidelberg.
Heidelberg University also requires a sufficiently deep & broad physics education during the undergraduate studies. Please, check the webpage of the Department concerning formal pre-requisites for PhD studies in physics and astronomy.
Among the courses required are (see also the BSc and MSc webpage) Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Quantumdynamics, Solid State Physics, Nuclear Physics, Atomic Physics, Theoretical Mechanics, Theoretical Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics. If a few courses are missing they may be studied (and must passed) in Heidelberg during a so-called probation year. If too many are missing, an application can not be considered further.
Exceptional applicants can be accepted for PhD studies with a 4-yr BSc degree in the so-called 4+4 PhD program. or fast-track program. However, a number of conditions may be imposed by the Department - such as e.g. attending certain lectures or the delivery of a research report after the first year. Information about the 4+4 PhD program could be found here. Just submit a usual IMPRS application, the department will then decide whether an applicants accepted into the 4+4 program. Your PhD research should not be affected by the fast-track program. You maystart with your PhD research right from the beginning, however you have to study the selected courses.
Heidelberg University requires a "very good" final grade comparable to a grade of 2.0 or better in the German grading scheme (equivalent to B+ or better in the US lettergrade system).
Most of the applicants do not have a MSc degree already at the time of the application deadline. We encourage applications in particular if the university degree is awarded after the deadline for applications. However, the final degree must have been awarded before the start of the PhD studies (see above the policy concerning BSc degrees).
In exceptional cases, applicants who do not have a full MSc thesis can be accepted if they can demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research otherwise, for example by first-authorship in refereed publications.
IMPRS-HD does not require a test of English language proficiency. We prefer to check communication skills during the interviews. However, for international applicants whose mother-tongue is not English or German it could be beneficial for the application to provide some proof of language proficiency.