The artistic doctorate (Doctor Artium Program) is dedicated to innovative artistic work. It leads to the production of new knowledge and serves as an independent contribution towards the development and opening up of the arts. It assumes a diversity of forms of knowledge and understanding. The program enables its graduates to generate independent artistic research work which corresponds to international standards.
While mdw’s scientific doctoral programme (PhD / Doctor of Philosophy) goes beyond pre-professional academic training to further develop students’ ability to conduct independent scholarly research, the focus of the Dr. Artium program is the student’s own artistic practice in the context of artistic research.

What should I know about artistic research?

We recommend to have a look at our collection of literature and projects of artistic research in order to get some orientation about the following questions:

  • What is / or could be artistic research?
  • What is / was / could be  artistic research at mdw?
  • How would I position my dissertation project in this context?

This should help you to develop a good application for your dissertation.

Guidance regarding dissertation projects and possible supervisors

The artistic doctoral program at mdw promotes research that relates to and develops artistic practice and plural methods and forms of knowledge. Dissertation projects are typically characterized by inter- and transdisciplinarity, process orientation and a contextualization in cultural and socio-political realities.

The doctoral program is open to all art disciplines represented at the university (music, theater, film) as well as transdisciplinary artistic research approaches that go beyond them.

The program also motivates connections to scholarship and research at the mdw (for example, musicology, ethnomusicology, film studies, as well as theater/performance studies/dramaturgy, dance studies, music therapy, sociology of music, cultural studies, gender studies, queer studies, acoustics).

For an overview of the areas represented at mdw, please refer to the list of institutes and the master´s and diploma programmes.

The mdw is committed to gender equity, equal opportunities, critical diversity and internationalization. We especially welcome applications from highly qualified artists from groups that have been underrepresented up to now and are happy to offer counseling sessions for such applicants. If you are interested, please contact us by email at

The supervision of a dissertation project is carried out by a team of at least three professionally qualified teachers who cover the range of content of a project. Persons external to the mdw can also be part of the team; at least one person must hold a teaching authorization (professorship, habilitation) at the mdw. Applicants are entitled to name their preferred supervisors as possible members of the supervisory team. It is not necessary to clarify the question of supervision before the admission examination.

Application Process

For application please turn to

Unless you are already a student of mdw, you need to create an Applicant-Account (Bewerber/innen-Account), before you can register your application. The artistic doctorate (in German „künstlerisches Doktorat“) can be found in the category „Doctoral Programme“, in German: “Doktoratsstudium“.

Applications are handled only though the mdw Study Center (StudienCenter). 

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact StudienCenter, Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Telefone: +43-1-711 55-6900 to 6922, Email:


February 14, 2024 to April 29, 2024

Registration for admission exam for the pedagogical year 2024/25


Admission application
Type of studies: "Doctoral Programme"
Degree program: "Doctor Artium Programme"

Sending in the documents for the first part of the admission exam

April 29, 2024

Deadline registration for the admission exam

June 12, 2024

Hearings at mdw

Documents for the first part of the admission examination:

All documents have to be submitted in English in electronic form.

a) Evidence of a recognised artistic career:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Documentation of previous artistic accomplishments

b) The presentation of samples of artistic work and, if necessary, additional material from which an ability in analytical and independent thinking and reflection are recognisable:

  • audio/video material in the form of online links
  • links to websites, online documentation
  • texts
  • publications

c) A written description of the dissertation project:

  • general description of the dissertation project / overview
  • project goal(s), artistic research issues, their context and (international) relevance
  • intended methods
  • the weighting in percentages of the artistic and/or academic sub-disciplines which are relevant for the project
  • forms of documentation and dissemination which might be suitable
  • the position of your own project
    • in relation to society and social relevance
    • the potential effect of the project
    • possibly: national and international networking
  • other content-related aspects, ethical questions, added value (optional)

Information about language requirements

Knowledge of the English language is required at level C1. Evidence can be determined on the basis of existing publications and correspondence or in the course of the admission examination. In case of doubt, a language certificate must be provided for admission to study.

Language requirements, general information (in German)

Language competences decree (in German)

Required language certificates for study programs (in German)


Information about tuition fees

Please visit the website of StudyCenter

Please note that ARC is not responsible for any scholarships or financial support of students of the Dr. Artium Program. Here are some useful links regarding scholarships:

Curriculum (PDF, in german)

In case of doubt only the german version is legally valid.

Curriculum in German

Statute §37a and 39, rules of studies (PDF, german only)

Satzungsteil, Studienrecht Download

Information on Visas and Residence Permits (PDF)

Visa Download