The IMPRS provides a programme consisting of an Introductory Course and a set of Advanced Courses.
The IMPRS Introductory Course is combined with the LMU's MSc course. It is mandatory for all IMPRS students to write an exam at the end of the Introductory Course. The exam mostly provides an evaluation of the student's general astronomy background and should indicate where further learning is desirable.
The Advanced Courses consist of nine one-week morning lectures on various topics of modern astrophysics taught throughout the year. They are given by professors and lecturers from all member institutions (MPE, USM, MPA, ESO). It is mandatory to participate in at least seven of these lectures within the three year PhD period.
In addition to the courses taught at and relevant for the IMPRS, most lecturers teach other courses at the LMU or TUM in the framework of the university’s regular course programme. IMPRS students do have access to these courses.
At the IMPRS, PhD projects are carried out under the supervision of an IMPRS professor from one of the member institutes or from a research group associated with the IMPRS. A thesis committee will monitor the student's progress regularly. The official and project supervisors will automatically be members of the thesis committee. Other members will be chosen following the suggestions of the student and his/her supervisor.
A two-day IMPRS student symposium takes place twice a year. The participation in the symposium is mandatory for all IMPRS students. It is organised by the students and for the students. IMPRS students are expected to give at least two talks during their participation in IMPRS on their own research or on journal papers.
Regular student excursions are part of the IMPRS programme, too. These activities encourage IMPRS students of different age groups and institutes to develop an "esprit de corps".