PhD Studies

Skoltech gives its PhD students the opportunity to earn a PhD degree by completing a Skoltech doctoral program and defending a PhD Thesis, summarizing the research work performed during their doctoral studies.

The Skoltech PhD degree is conferred based on the PhD Defense Jury’s decision, and following the candidate’s PhD Thesis Defense.

The degrees are awarded in the fields of knowledge determined by Skoltech and are directly linked to the relevant doctoral programs. Currently, seven doctoral programs are available at Skoltech:


PhD Programs

Each doctoral program comprises 240 credits:

  • 30 ECTS credits of coursework, including:
  • 12 ECTS credits of coursework for advanced major-field courses.

Advanced major-field courses represent the advanced subject matter in a particular academic field that PhD students or established faculty members would typically be expected to have mastered.

  • 18 ECTS credits for general doctoral courses – to be taken by all Skoltech PhD students.

General doctoral courses represent methodological subject matter, pedagogy, philosophical inquiry or general academic or professional learning about research or subject matter related to research, teaching or innovation that are applicable across most or all academic fields.

  • Pedagogy of Higher Education.
  • Research Methodology;
  • Philosophy of Science, Technology and Innovation;
  • Innovation Study course;
  • Optional Courses from course catalog.
  • Minimum 0 ECTS credits, up to 60 ECTS credits.


  • 210 ECTS credits of research, professional experience, thesis preparation, and thesis defense.
  • 6 ECTS of Thesis Proposal Defense. A compulsory component of the program, whereby a student defends his or her thesis as a pre-condition for proceeding to the next stage – carrying out the research project formulated in the thesis proposal.
  • 192 ECTS credits for thesis project research, writing and revision. A PhD student is expected to start his or her thesis research at Skoltech immediately after admission.
  • 3 ECTS of Pedagogical Experience. This is a compulsory component of the program, which leads to the development of the student’s professional pedagogical skills.
  • 3 ECTS credits of Qualifying Exam. The goal of the qualifying examination is to assess a student’s ability and inclination to conduct research according to top-tier institution standards; it also provides a learning experience in which students may both strengthen their field-specific knowledge and scientific methods for conducting scholarly research.
  • 6 ECTS credits of Thesis Defense.


PhD students are expected to produce an original PhD thesis, publish the results of their independent research in peer-reviewed academic journals, and present them at reputable international conferences.

Doctoral Program Publications Conference presentation
Mathematics and Mechanics 2 papers in WoS indexed journals 2 presentations at reputable conferences
Physics 2 papers in WoS indexed journals 2 presentations at reputable conferences
Materials Science and Engineering 2 papers in WoS indexed journals 2 presentations at reputable conferences
Life Sciences 2 papers in WoS indexed; Impact Factor (IF)>2; At least one first/shared first/corresponding author publication. No review papers. 2 presentations at reputable conferences.
Computational and Data Science and Engineering

3 peer-reviewed publications, of which two appear in WoS/Scopus indexed journals/conference proceedings. At least two publications in:

(i) Q1/Q2 journals in the corresponding fields or journals with IF > 2, or

(ii) conference proceedings having a CORE rating of A/A*; one (out of two) first/shared first/corresponding author publication.

2 presentations at reputable conferences
Engineering Systems

3 papers in WoS/Scopus indexed journals,


2 papers in WoS/Scopus indexed journals and 1 patent.

2 presentations at reputable conferences
Petroleum Engineering

3 papers in WoS/Scopus indexed journals,


2 papers in WoS/Scopus indexed journals and 1 patent; at least 2 papers in Q1/Q2 journals in the field.

2 presentations at reputable conferences