Admission to predoctoral training, doctoral training and doctorate (Ph.D)

Doctoral studies are open to holders of a master degree (or a degree of minimum four years of study considered equivalent). More information on doctoral research at Ghent University.

International candidates need to complete a procedure during which the academic aspects (equivalence of your degree, research proposal, language skills) will be evaluated. This procedure may take some time (discounting even the time spent gathering your documents and applying for a visa).


Predoctoral Training

In some cases, holders of a foreign degree who apply for admission to obtain a doctoral degree, may be required to do a predoctoral training programme under the supervision of a tutor assigned by the faculty.


  • A individual study programme of either one or two years
  • A full time study programme; the student acquires a full-time student status, on the basis of which non-EU students can get a residence permit
  • The tutor must be an independent academic researcher. The tutor will propose an individual study programme for the candidate, attuned to the candidate’s specialization
  • This programme will also stimulate social integration and language proficiency
  • At the end of the programme, the student acquires a specific certificate mentioning he/she 'has successfully completed' the predoctoral training programme
  • May be accepted as doctoral students afterwards

Who can apply?

  • Only applicable to holders of a degree obtained abroad
  • A candidate applies for the doctorate
  • The faculty assesses the doctoral application and may require the candidate to complete a predoctoral training programme
  • Once the predoctoral training has been successfully completed, the student can enrol for the doctorate after faculty approval

Doctoral Degree (i.e. Doctorate, Ph.D)


  • Research degree (highest academic degree)
  • Concluded with a doctoral dissertation and public defense
  • You must have a sufficient command of the English language to be able to work in an international environment and to communicatie your research results in English.

Who can apply?

  • You need to have potential Ph.D supervisor at Ghent University before you start the application.
  • Open to holders of a master degree or a degree of minimum four years of study considered equivalent by the university
  • Your master degree will be evaluated individually with regard to the academic background and competences necessary to carry out scientific research

Doctoral Training Programme


  • a flexible programme
  • is concluded with a specific certificate
  • is provided to all doctoral researchers at Ghent University
  • may be compulsory to some groups of students/researchers
  • language of instruction is English

Who can apply?

  • Candidates accepted for the doctorate, will automatically be enrolled for the Doctoral Training Programme
  • No need to apply separately

Doctoral Schools

  • Take responsibility for the doctoral training programme (not for the pre-doctoral programme)
  • Organises specialised courses, seminars, workshops, guest lectures, etc. in consultation with the various faculties

How to apply?

  • Your PhD supervisor will need to start up the application procedure via OASIS