Types and doctoral degrees

The faculty only awards doctoral degrees after the submission and successful public defence of a dissertation, in which you demonstrate that you can answer a scientific question within one or more disciplines adequately. The dissertation can be original or can be based on your own published articles (or some articles that are still to be published) in academic journals.

Doctoral degrees at the faculty

The following doctoral degrees can be obtained at the faculty:

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Moral Sciences
  • Doctor of Linguistics
  • Doctor of Literary Studies
  • Doctor of Linguistics and Literature
  • Doctor of Translation Studies
  • Doctor of History
  • Doctor of Art Science
  • Doctor of Archaeology
  • Doctor of Comparative Science of Cultures
  • Doctor of Oriental Languages and Cultures
  • Doctor of East European Languages and Cultures
  • Doctor of African Languages and Cultures
  • Doctor of Arts: Visual Arts
  • Doctor of Arts: Audiovisual Arts
  • Doctor of Arts: Music
  • Doctor of Arts: Drama
  • Doctor of American Studies
  • Doctor of Gender and Diversity Studies

Language of the doctorate

Doctoral dissertations are to be written in Dutch or in English. However, after a substantiated request from the doctoral student, permission may be granted by the faculty for the dissertation to be written in another language (or other languages). If a doctoral dissertation has a foreign language as its subject - either in part or as a whole - the Faculty Council may decide to impose the use of said other language.

If the doctoral dissertation is written in English, the faculty may require the doctoral student to corroborate that s/he has a command of English, unless the student is exempted from such an obligation pursuant to the Ghent University general Education and Examination Code (OER, article 10).

Each doctoral dissertation is to include a Dutch and English summary between 300 and maximum 500 words, written in an accessible language and without jargon. When you upload your dissertation, you also need to add this summary to Biblio under ‘abstract’.

Subject to permission or obligation from the faculty stating the contrary, the doctoral examination (first deliberation and public defence) takes place in Dutch or English.

Article-based doctorate

A dissertation can be original or can be based on your own published articles (or some articles that are still to be published) in academic journals. A dissertation based on articles in academic journals must meet some specific criteria.

    Doctorate in the Arts

    A doctorate in the Arts may be composed of various elements. The doctorate consists of both artistic work and a text, so this type of doctorate may also be accompanied by art books, DVDs, CDs, portfolios, theatre performances, exhibitions, etc.

    Interdisciplinary doctorate

    Since 2016-2017, doctoral students may also choose an interdisciplinary doctorate. It involves a combination of two or more existing Ghent University doctoral degrees. The combined doctoral degree takes place under the joint supervision of two or more Ghent University supervisors who belong to different fields.

    In this case, a main faculty will be indicated, in joint consultation with the supervisors and (if applicable) faculties involved. As a rule, the doctoral regulations of the main faculty will prevail.

    At the faculty of Arts and Philosophy, the Scientific Research Committee (CWO) will assess the interdisciplinary nature upon application to enrol for this type of doctorate.The Scientific Research Committee (CWO) uses three criteria to assess this:

    • the two disciplines and expertise that are combined, differ considerably;
    • the contribution of expertise, knowledge and methodologies from each discipline is substantial and absolutely necessary to successfully carry out the research proposal;
    • results: the insights that are acquired when the student carries out the research proposal, lead to new scientific insights in both disciplines or in an expansion of knowledge in a new (emerging) discipline.The Examination Board which is composed interdisciplinary for this doctorate, will assess the interdisciplinary nature of the dissertation

    The Examination Board which is composed interdisciplinary for this doctorate, will assess the interdisciplinary nature of the dissertation.

    Joint doctorate / Joint PhD

    A joint doctorate allows several universities to jointly award a doctoral degree to a doctoral student. For instance, doctoral students may carry out part of their research at Ghent University and another part at another university. This may take the form of an actual joint degree or a double degree.

    For this type of doctorates, a co-operation agreement will be concluded between the universities involved and will list all regulations concerning the organisation, the joint supervision, the examination, etc.

    For joint doctorates, the Education and Examination Codes of the institutions involved may differ as far as the composition and duties of the Examination Board are concerned. If this is the case, it is possible to depart from the Ghent University regulations. In the case of a collaboration with another Flemish university, the supervisors are part of the non-voting members of the Examination Board.