Degree programme

The Vienna Graduate School on Computational Optimization (VGSCO) is a project funded by third-party sponsors – in this case by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

This doctoral programme is a cooperation between the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology and the Institute for Science and Technology (IST Austria). The University of Vienna is represented by three faculties (Faculty of Business and Economics, Faculty of Mathematics, Faculty of Computer Science).

Candidates acquire a wide range of competences in optimisation with particular focus on algorithmic and computer-aided aspects. The programme places special emphasis on the aspects of modern optimisation (combinatorial optimisation, global optimisation, heuristic optimisation, non-linear optimisation, stochastic optimisation, dynamic optimisation, optimisation in game theory and data analysis).
The topics that our students deal with are based on concrete practical questions. Our candidates’ intended research projects aim at addressing these issues.

The differences between the VGSCO and a degree programme offered by the University of Vienna are: The VGSCO is not a degree programme in the strict sense, but rather a sponsorship opportunity. The project is scheduled to run for 3 to 3.5 years. The students will be enrolled on the doctoral programme of the faculty/discipline they are working with (e.g. PhD programme in Statistics and Operations Research, doctoral programme in Mathematics, etc.). Candidates have to fulfil the conditions and requirements outlined in the doctoral curriculum, same as all other doctoral candidates. Candidates are employed as project staff and are financed by third-party funds (in comparison to predoc university assistants).

Fields of activity

The main aim of the Graduate School is to prepare students for an academic career in Mathematics and Computer Science.


The doctoral programme consists of the modules of the respective doctoral curriculum. VGSCO also offers its own courses with guest lecturers from the field of optimisation. These courses are also open to doctoral candidates from other doctoral programmes and can be recognised as part of their degree programmes.

Additional information about the structure of the different degree programmes can be found at:

Personal requirements

The accepted doctoral candidates have to possess the qualifications and meet the requirements listed in the job announcement. These include:

  • Master’s degree/diploma degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science or a related discipline
  • Extensive knowledge of English
  • Intended research activity in the field of computer-aided optimisation


New entrants were admitted in the academic year of 2016/2017. Currently, there is no admission of new students.

For further information, please refer to the website of the StudiesServiceCenter.

Financial support

Candidates must be enrolled at the respective university and have to pay the tuition fees. Candidates will be employed as project staff by one of the three participating research institutes.

Contact and help

For questions regarding the degree programme, please contact:

Project leader:
Georg Pflug
Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of Vienna

Deputy project leader:
Monika Henzinger
Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna