Research Doctorate PHD

In short



The Politecnico di Milano is one of the most outstanding technical universities in Europe, ranked 1st in Italy and 156th in the world by the “QS World University Ranking 2018-2019” [ranking]. Founded in 1863, it is the largest school of Architecture, Design and Engineering in Italy, with two main campuses located in Milan, the heart of fashion and design industries and the venue of Expo 2015, and five more campuses around the Lombardy region. Many important scientists and architects studied and taught here, among them Achille Castiglioni, Gio Ponti, Renzo Piano and Aldo Rossi, both Pritzker Prize winners in 1990 and 1998 respectively, and Giulio Natta, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry in 1963.

PhD School

The Politecnico di Milano was one of the first universities in Italy to establish a School of Doctoral Programmes in 2001 with a view to coordinating, assessing and monitoring the single doctorate programmes. The School offers courses to develop complementary abilities, such as seminars of epistemology, research policy and management, elements of scientific communication, and so on, whereas the single doctorate provides subjects and infrastructures for research, specific education and tutoring.  

The PhD degree is the highest level of university education, aimed at developing abilities of PhD candidates through training and research, as well as promoting new entrepreneurial skills.  This results in a research thesis with original contributions,  enabling them to take up research activities in industrial settings, in the public and private sectors, in public administration, in research centres and in universities. 

PhD School Key facts & figures:

  • 3 years of duration
  • 19 Doctoral Programmes
  • all Doctoral Programmes have at least one English track
  • approximately 1,200 PhD candidates (a.y.2018/2019)
  • about 30% international students (a.y.2018/2019), candidates from 60+ countries

PhD Programmes at Politecnico di Milano 

Other Information

Selection procedure 

Access to Ph.D. programmes is by selection. The University selection call is launched annually for all Ph.D. programmes and published on the website. A five year university degree equivalent to a second level Master's degree giving access to PhD programmes is required. An expert panel selects candidates based on their research project proposal, curriculum vitae, personal statement, and recommendation letter(s).   [more...]

In addition to the regular calls, international candidates may be admitted also on the basis of international agreements. [International Programmes]

Specific calls can be opened during the year for industrial scholarships.

Executive/Industrial PhD

Companies are encouraged to let their employees undertake an Industrial/Executive PhD programme which normally lasts 4 years and its aim is to establish a strong relationship of industry-university cooperation. [more...]

Selection call

Usually from April to May.
The annual call for Academic Year 2019-20 was published in April 2019; deadline for applications: 21 May 2019 (2pm, italian time)


Notifications of admissions and scholarships are given by the end of July. 


By October each year 

Starting date of the PhD programme


Tuition fees

Starting from the academic year 2017/2018, tuition fees on the PhD programmes are abolished. For further details see the "Fees" page


For the three-year duration of their studies, PhDs can be supported by grants at a current monthly amount of € 1000-1500, plus tuition fees waiver. The details are given in the Call for Admission. 

In Academic Year 2016-17, about 87% of the candidates enrolled were supported by scholarships, contracts or other funding from international agreements.


The PhD programme at Politecnico di Milano is a full time program. PhD candidates are expected to work on their research, to attend lectures, pass examinations, complete and defend a thesis on original research work. [more...]


Mail contact: 

  • PhD School

    For general information about PhD admission, industrial PhD and collaboration with the PhD School

    Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32 (Building 2- Nord 1st floor), 20133 Milano 

  • PhD Secretariat

    Via Golgi, 42 (2nd floor), 20133 Milano

    Opening hours and contacts