The Doctoral Programme at IMT Atlantique

With a team of more than 90 researchers and teachers authorised to supervise research, IMT Atlantique’s doctoral students benefit from top quality thesis supervision.

After admission to the doctoral programme on specific scientific criteria and endorsement of the proposed topic and context of the thesis, throughout their three years of study doctoral students select relevant professional training courses which allow them to supplement their research training and define their career plan.



Doctoral applicants must meet certain general criteria for enrolling in a doctoral programme, as stated in the May 25 2016 French by-law outlining the national requirements for training programmes and the terms and conditions for granting PhDs.

All students with a national master's degree or another diploma equivalent to a master's degree from a training course, or professional experience confirming their aptitude for research may be admitted to and enrolled in the doctoral programme.

A master's degree ensures that the doctoral applicant is trained in:

  • research and prepared for research activities
  • technology and prepared for in-company R&D positions

Before enrolling in a doctoral thesis, students must find a thesis supervisor with whom they develop a research project, which may evolve during the first months of the programme. IMT Atlantique is careful to accept doctoral students who have a sufficiently developed thesis topic. It is important for candidates to acquire a clear understanding of their thesis topic and the consequences of this choice of topic for their research and their chosen career path.

If the criteria for the degree are not met, the school director may through special exemption and on the recommendation of the doctoral school board, enrol students having completed studies to an equivalent level or with accreditation of prior experiential learning as per article L.613-5 of the French "Education Code" (cf. Article 11 of the May 25 2016 by-law).



Thesis proposals are put forward by the thesis supervisors of IMT Atlantique's research departments or directly by laboratories. Thesis supervisors, authorised to supervise research, also seek funding. There are several types of funding: a short-term professional contract with IMT Atlantique in the form of a doctoral contract, a CIFR (French Industrial Research Training Convention) contract, a French or foreign government scholarship, etc.

At the time of their initial enrolment, candidates fill out their application electronically after providing the school administration and the Department of Research and Innovation with the necessary documentation and paying their tuition fees.

The duration of the doctoral programme is three years. Doctoral students are granted entry to the following year upon recommendation from the thesis supervisory committee, made up of experts external to the doctoral school.

For more information, contact the "Doctoral Programme Hub"



To obtain their PhD, doctoral students follow free supplementary training courses concurrently with their research work, for a minimum volume of 100 hours, organised either by the institute, the doctoral schools or the on-site doctoral college. These training courses are offered by the doctoral schools in scientific fields, and also by the on-site doctoral colleges in the area of transverse training.

The Doctoral Programme offered by IMT Atlantique is part of the regional training programme offered by the University of Bretagne Loire (UBL).It is structured around five themes: higher education, entrepreneurship, international, scientific culture and lecture series.