A PhD Degree in Mathematics is an excellent career opportunity, whether you want to pursue a career in research and academia, or if you want to find a job in industry.

Our PhD programme offers the chance to study at the renowned Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana, in the vibrant and beautiful capital city of Slovenia.

Programme details

The Doctoral Programme in Mathematics is a third cycle Bologna degree with 240 ECTS credits. Students are required to have finished a second cycle Bologna degree (or equivalent) in mathematics or a related field. The objective of the doctoral programme is to prepare the students for independent mathematical research at the highest level.

The programme consists of the course work and the individual research under the supervision of an advisor, resulting in a doctoral thesis. The duration of the programme is 8 semesters (4 years).

To graduate, students have to complete the following: ­

  • Course work During the four years, a student has to take five one-semester courses, three of which have to be taken from the list of the elective courses for which lectures are organised, while the other two can be reading courses. The elective courses offered in the academic year 2023/24 are: Modules over hereditary noetherian prime rings (lecturer Daniel Smertnig, first semester); Homology, persistence and magnitude (lecturer Dejan Govc, second semester); Permutation groups and combinatorial structures (lecturer Primož Potočnik, second semester); Characteristic classes of vector bundles (lecturer Jaka Smrekar, second semester); and Numerical methods for linear control systems (lecturer Bor Plestenjak, second semester). Reading courses can be supervised by any professor at our department.
  • Predoctoral exam During the first year, the student has to pass a predoctoral exam, the role of which is to check the understanding of basic mathematical concepts. For a student with a solid background, no additional preparation is needed. Here are some examples of predoctoral exams: spring 2015, autumn 2015, spring 2018, spring 2019, spring 2020, spring 2021, spring 2022.
  • Individual study, research, seminars, and doctoral thesis The major part of the programme is the individual study and research that the student undertakes under the supervision of an advisor. (The advisor needs to be agreed prior to admission as a PhD student.) The progress is periodically reported within one of the research seminars. Individual research should eventually lead to original mathematical results, which are then presented in the doctoral thesis. Acceptance for publication of at least one article in an international mathematical journal is required before the defense of the thesis takes place.

Why Ljubljana?

We are a large department with many internationally acclaimed researchers, and we consider our PhD programme one of our most valuable assets.

We are also very proud of our city – Ljubljana is a wonderful city to live in!

Do I need to speak Slovene?

Not at all. All our professors speak English, and all the courses and exams are given in English. The University offers courses in Slovene for students who wish to learn the basics of the language. And living in Ljubljana, you will easily get by with little or no Slovene.