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Details on the Elite Graduate Programs

Elite Graduate Programs are established as an alternative option to already existing courses; in other words, they do not supplant any current program of study but are instead meant to differentiate and extend the overall academic program of Bavarian universities. 


The Elite Graduate Programs are designed to stimulate top academic performances of outstanding students, and simultaneously develop open-minded and upright personalities who, after their graduation, are prepared to take on extraordinary challenges in academic research or leading positions in the professional world. The courses are basically organized as Master’s degree programs with particularly challenging qualification objectives. Students and faculty members are both selected according to strict excellence criteria. Special and serious commitment is demanded from both sides.

Characteristics of Elite Graduate Programs

  • transparent and performance-related selection process of the students
  • intensive tutoring system
  • markedly distinguished academic features with an attractive thematic focus and integration of interdisciplinary curricular components
  • high level of internationalization through studies and practical training abroad, foreign-language courses and seminars, foreign faculty and staff members 
  • special extra-curricular courses towards personality development, for example soft-skill seminars
  • targeted introduction of the students to academic research as well as integration of hands-on components to pave the way for postgraduate studies or professional academic careers in leading positions
  • integration of students into a strong interdisciplinary network across numerous universities

The established curriculum of the graduate study period is further supplemented by weekend seminars, excursions and summer school. The intention is to encourage communication and interaction between the students and confront them with impulses and challenges on the highest levels.

Please submit your application directly to the spokesperson or coordinator for the individual Elite Graduate Program. They are also responsible for the selection of the applicants.

Elite Gradute Programs are funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts for a maximum of two funding periods of ten years altogether. Since 2013 universities have the possibility of continuing the established Elite Graduate Programs by taking charge of concept and facilities themselves. Quality assurance is still carried out by the Elite Network of Bavaria.

The acquisition of soft skills is a major partof the education within the Elite Network of Bavaria. Therefore also the students of the Elite Graduate Programs that are not funded by the Elite Network of Bavaria anymore can take part in the soft skill seminars. These seminars are offered either by the Coordination Office of the Elite Network of Bavaria or the Elite Graduate Programs themselves. As far as there are enough capacities these students can also take part in the networking activities of the Elite Network of Bavaria (e.g. Get together of the new members, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, events of the series Elite Network Bavaria FORUM).

„Anfangs bin ich dem für mich ungewohnten Begriff Elite noch etwas scheu und zurückhaltend entgegengetreten. Doch die familiäre Atmosphäre hat mir schnell gezeigt, auf welch gelungene Weise das Elitenetzwerk und seine Studiengänge diese Philosophie interpr