Getting your Degree
The MPI model is different from a standard university. Students do their PhD at Max Planck, supervised by an MPI scientist, but receive their official degree from an affiliated university. This arrangement exists because Max Planck does not grant degrees. It sounds more complicated than it is.
Students in Perceiving Systems currently have two options for where they get their degree: ETH Zürich or the University of Tübingen. The ETH is the top technical university in Europe. The University of Tübingen, founded in 1477, is one of Germany’s “Excellence” universities.
The ETH option requires some coursework, which can be satisfied in a variety of ways, including through formal courses, summer schools, and presentations at conferences. For students with a Masters in computer science or related discipline, the Tübingen option typically has no course requirements.
Typically students come with a Master’s degree and then the PhD takes 3-4 years. If you do not have a Master’s already, there are several options for how to deal with this, depending on your particular situation.