In computer science many conferences provide a fee discount for PhD students. Currently I am also a PhD student in Germany. In Germany there is a program in which you are registered as a PhD student at a university, but not matriculated.

Can I still register for conferences via the student discount?

  • 2
    In my experience, if you claim to be a student, the organizers will just believe you. – JeffE Jan 17 '19 at 11:04

You're a PhD student, so, yes, you can register for the student discount.*

*Ultimately, conferences make their own rules, so this may not apply to every conference. In such cases, just ask the organisers.

  • Exceptions might exist. But, even when an exception is made, you can always ask. – user2768 Jan 17 '19 at 8:36

Whether you are seen as a "real" student when you are a PhD student may differ between conferences. I have exactly the situation: I am a PhD student but not matriculated.

If there is any uncertainty whether you are considered being a student, just ask the conference organizers. I have written an email to them exactly for this reason and the answer came back positive, saving me some money thereby. Additionally, you have the advantage that you have a definitive answer you can rely on without running into (potential legal) issues.


In my personal experience, even if you are not enrolled, you can get a letter from the university that you are indeed a PhD student and in my case this has always been accepted as a valid proof of being a student.

  • I have such a letter that certifies me as a doctoral student. However, this letter was only given to me in German. Was that your certificate, too? – MerklT Jan 17 '19 at 15:05
  • I had one in English, I do not think a german one will be accepted on a non-german conference. Maybe write your own with the official university letter head and get your professor to sign it? – Claude Jan 18 '19 at 10:31

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