International Doctoral Program 'Environment Water'

This site provides information on the structure of the program, lectures, study regulations, as well as on the current doctoral researchers, and alumni.


The Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Stuttgart offers the ENWAT program in order to facilitate the education of highly-qualified water resources engineers with a global perspective and the ability for international scientific cooperation. The ENWAT program aims to thoroughly prepare doctoral researchers for their dissertation research through classes and workshops taught by faculty, mandatory participation in a seminar where research progress is discussed with all ENWAT doctoral researchers and supervisors, and the recruiting of a co-advisor, as well as the preparation of a research proposal and framework early in the program.

Program structure

The program structure provides a broad basis for research-oriented education in the fields hydraulic and water resources engineering. It aims to thoroughly prepare doctoral researchers for their dissertation research through:

  • additional research-oriented classes and workshops
  • participation in seminars where research progress is discussed with all ENWAT doctoral researchers and supervisors
  • recruiting one or two co-advisor(s) by the end of the first year (qualifying phase)
  • preparation of a research proposal and framework within the first year
  • a qualifying exam after the first year where the research proposal is presented and defended
  • focused research work after having passed the qualifying exam and discussed progress in the bi-annual doctoral seminar (research phase)
  • workshops for thesis preparation and preparation for the doctoral exam 

Duration of the Program: 3 years

Start of the Program: October in general: other dates are possible

  • Doctoral researchers take classes at the doctoral level as specified in an individually designed study plan. These courses are intended to directly aid in preparing for dissertation research.
  • The regular curriculum is supplemented through workshops and short courses taught by faculty from universities worldwide.
  • Aside from the classes, the doctoral researchers will mainly focus on preparing a detailed research proposal and a projected time line.
  • ENWAT doctoral researchers also participate in a seminar twice a year where their research or proposed research is discussed with other ENWAT researchers and supervisors.
  • The first phase is concluded with a qualifying exam. A passing grade in the qualifying exam will allow doctoral researchers to enter the second phase.

Once you have fulfilled all the required courses in your study plan and have regulary participated in the doctoral seminar, you should prepare to take your qualifying exam. The qualifying exam certifies that you are well prepared in terms of your background knowledge and your ability to conduct the proposed dissertation research. The qualifying exam also requires that you have developed a detailed research plan that you have discussed with your supervisor. Aside from your supervisor, one or two co-examiners, who were suggested by your supervisor and confirmed by the faculty committee, will be present. The co-examiners at your qualifying exam will also be the co-examiners for your oral dissertation. They will serve as your co-advisors and you will be able to discuss your research progress with them. This will help you to approach your dissertation in a more structured manner, to get feedback from co-advisors early in your doctoral studies, and to finish your thesis in a timely manner. Passing the qualifying exam means that your supervisor and co-examiners have agreed on your research topic and the scope of your thesis research, and that you have guaranteed supervision.

  • The focus now is on the dissertation research and the preparation of a doctoral thesis. The thesis research may be undertaken either at a participating institute or a research facility of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences.
  • In addition, the candidates continue to participate in the doctoral seminar twice a year.

The final steps at the end of the second phase are:

  • Completion of the doctoral thesis
  • Defense of the thesis research
  • Oral dissertation exam

When you have completed your dissertation in either German or English, submit it for assessment to the Office of the Dean of our faculty along with a declaration that you have completed the dissertation independently. Your supervisor and the co-advisor(s) will submit their official reviews on your thesis directly to the faculty. After an internal circulation procedure you will have to organize the date and time of your doctoral examination with the members of your examination board.

Your presentation about the research topic should last 30 to a maximum of 45 minutes and will be followed by an oral doctoral examination of one to a maximum of two hours.

Before you can publish your dissertation you have to fulfill any changes suggested during the circulation procedure, the expert opinions, etc. . Within one year of the doctoral examination, you need to hand over a copy of your updated dissertation to your supervisor. The supervisor will check the correctness of the dissertation and release it for printing.

The doctoral procedure is finished when the doctoral certificate is handed over to you by the faculty office. Now – no moment earlier – you can use the doctoral degree – congratulations!


In principle, all lectures taken from studies specialising in Civil Engineering, Environmental Protection and Water Resources Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart will be recognised.

In exceptional cases, lectures from more basic courses may also be recognised. However, the requirement for this, and indeed the very purpose of taking lectures at a doctoral level, is that the lectures chosen provide support for the work being carried out.

For a list with all classes offered by specific programs at the University of Stuttgart, please visit their websites:

For classes taught within other departments, please check:

Only courses that have not previously been taken and recognised as part of a previous study can legitimately be considered as part of the doctoral degree.

For the current short courses offered by ENWAT please see the academic calendar.

The Graduate Academy of the University of Stuttgart (GRADUS) is the central institution at the University of Stuttgart for the promotion of early career researchers and offers a wide range of qualifications.

In addition to the subject expertise which you are developing or already have, the Graduate Academy offers a qualification program, with which you can also expand your interdisciplinary skills in order to give yourself the best possible preparation for the next stage in your career, whether it is in business, industry, or in society. Likewise, the program also varies depending on the target group. The events put on by the Graduate Academy are open to all junior researchers and free of charge.

The Language Center of the University of Stuttgart offers different specific German classes (Phonetik, Reading of scientific literature, etc.). The Welcome Center Stuttgart also helps to find appropriate offers.

If you would like to improve your German or practice another language together with a native speaker, the Language Center of the University of Stuttgart can help you find a so-called Tandempartner.

The Volkshochschule, Stuttgarts community college, offers a large range of inexpensive language courses. German as a foreign language is offered on all levels.

The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) is specialized on German as a Foreign Language. Other private language schools can be found on the homepage of the city of Stuttgart.

Additionally, the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband offers a learning portal "ich-will-deutsch-lernen" to support verbal, social and work-related integration.

The radio program Deutsche Welle provides free online German courses and a number of additional services (e.g. slowly spoken news in German). Use interactive, free apps like Duolingo as vocabulary trainer.

Administrative steps

for registered ENWAT doctoral researchers

can be found on the next site with the password you will receive once you are registered.

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