Elite Network: TopMath – Doctoral Program in Mathematics

TopMath – Doctoral Program in Mathematics

The Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “TopMath – Doc­toral Pro­gram in Math­emat­ics“ ena­bles nota­bly talent­ed stu­dents to learn inde­pen­dent­ly, to work on their specif­ic math­emati­cal inter­ests, and to further their abili­ties in a re­search-orien­tated envi­ron­ment from the start of their Mas­ters’ stud­ies. Stu­dents with excel­lent results start work­ing on their PhD thesis before the end of their first mas­ter’s year, and attain their PhD in math­emat­ics within just 4 years of doing their bache­lor quali­fica­tion.

The Elite Graduate Program at a glance

DegreeMaster of Science, Dr. rer. nat.
Duration of studyFour semesters
Place of studyMunich, Augsburg
Admission requirementsBachelor in the field of mathematics
Language of instructionGerman, English
Application deadlineDecember 1st
Apply now
Begin of studiesWinter semester, summer semester
HeadProf. Dr. Marco Cicalese
CoordinatorDr. Katja Kröss
Contact the coordinator
Further informationWebsite TopMath – Doctoral Program in Mathematics

Faster acquisition of a PhD through early research

The Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “TopMath – Doc­toral Pro­gram in Math­emat­ics” aims at ex­cellent and highly moti­vated stu­dents of math­emat­ics, who show the ability for inde­pen­dent scien­tific work al­ready at an early stage of their stud­ies.

The aim of the pro­gram is to enable stu­dents to attain a PhD quali­fica­tion in math­emat­ics within 4 years after com­pleting their bache­lor’s de­gree, and there­by to quali­fy junior scien­tists in high-level sci­entific re­search, pre­paring them for lead­ing posi­tions in re­search and econ­omy. To achieve this, the key fea­tures of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “TopMath – Doc­toral Pro­gram in Math­emat­ics” are an early in­volvement in an active re­search envi­ron­ment, as well as an indi­vidu­ally de­signed study plan.

From their first mas­ters’ year on­wards stu­dents spe­cialize in an area of math­emat­ics which corre­sponds to their abili­ties and inter­ests. To this pur­pose, the so-called “In­de­pen­dent Stud­ies” have been creat­ed:

In inten­sive inde­pen­dent study, stu­dents of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "TopMath" work on a select­ed math­emati­cal theme, there­by incor­porat­ing cur­rent re­search and im­ple­ment­ing scien­tific meth­ods to solve math­emati­cal prob­lems. Here they accu­mulate be­tween 15 and 45 cred­its. Ideal­ly, they inten­sify the spe­cialisa­tion on their specif­ic theme within the period of their stud­ies.

Portrait photo: Prof. Dr. Marco Cicalese

TopMath enables excellent students to attain their doctorate degree within a very short time frame, whilst offering the best possible individual support from internationally acclaimed professors.

Prof. Dr. Marco Cicalese

In addi­tion to the early spe­cialisa­tion, stu­dents ac­quire a broad math­emati­cal educa­tion: at least 15 credits must be achieved in fields of math­emat­ics unre­lated to their own field of re­search. Inter­disci­plinary cours­es, for exam­ple for the devel­op­ment of com­muni­cation, social and lead­ership skills round off the curric­ulum.

Intensive Mentoring

All stu­dents are ac­com­panied by men­tors from their fields of math­emat­ics, who give advice in mat­ters such as the direc­tion and struc­ture of their stud­ies, guid­ing them throughout their scien­tific work. The men­tors are uni­versity tutors from the de­part­ments of both Top­Math uni­versi­ties, the Tech­nical Uni­versity of Mu­nich and the Uni­versity of Augs­burg. They assist the stu­dents in plan­ning their indi­vidual curric­ulum, inte­grate them inten­sively into their scien­tific envi­ron­ment and sup­port them in net­work­ing within the whole scien­tific com­muni­ty.

Snippets of the program

Christmas talk

How much Christmas wrapping paper to buy? All just a question of mathematics. 

Read the report

The lecturer Nathanael Schilling is speaking in front of a screen.


TopMath students and graduates received awards for their achievements in 2019. 

Read the report

The Dean of the Department of Mathematics and the prize winner of the TopMath Award 2019 are stood in front of a grey wall in the lecture theatre. They are smiling. The awardee Johannes Bäumler holds a blue folder with the logo of the Department of Mathematics.

Snippets of the research

Frustrated spin systems

Marwin Forster investigated a physical model for a frustrated lattice of spins.

Mixing times

In his master’s thesis, Dominik Schmid considered mixing times for the exclusion process in random environments.

Fast and Slow

Luca Arcidiacono investigates in his master thesis the behaviour of fast-slow systems in the vicinity of singular points.