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PhD admission

If you wish to obtain a PhD at Leiden University, you first have to be admitted to one of the Graduate Schools. This means that you have to meet specific requirements, including a prior education requirement.

The admission procedures for the Graduate Schools are given on the various websites. Although each Graduate School has its own admission procedure, you must in any case:

  • have been awarded a master’s degree or an equivalent master’s degree from another institution, or who have passed the ‘old style’ doctoral (doctoraal) examination of a government-funded or appointed Dutch university.
  • give the name of a professor (or associate professor with ius promovendi*) at Leiden University who is willing to be your supervisor. 
  • have a second supervisor. This can be either another professor (supervisor) or a co-supervisor with a PhD, in either the same or a different faculty. If you have not already found a second supervisor, the dean will appoint a co-supervisor, to ensure that you are supervised by at least two individuals.

PhD regulations

The admission requirements are specified in the PhD regulations, together with options if you do not meet all the requirements.

Read more

Non-Dutch degree

If you have a degree from a non-Dutch university, your certificate will first have to be verified. After this, the dean will decide whether you can be admitted to the PhD track.

*Ius promovendi

In the Netherlands, the role of PhD supervisor could traditionally only be fulfilled by professors. Since 2018, however, associate professors can also have ius promovendi. For more information, please contact the relevant Graduate School.

Timetable PhD Programme: Application and Admission

The following steps and actions must be completed before the start of the PhD programme: 

Who   What Status Converis GSM
PhD candidate  1a

Application and admission procedure for internal-funded PhD positions: The PhD candidate applies to a vacancy for an internal-funded PhD position and sends an application letter with curriculum vitae to the correct address before the deadline. When applying for the position always mention the vacancy number. (Internal-funded PhD candidates only: go further with step 3.) 


PhD candidate  1b

Application procedure for self-funded PhD positions: The PhD candidate discusses the field of the intended PhD research with the professor or associate professor most suited to the area of the research and explores the possibility of the (associate) professor'sacting as supervisor (overview FGGA full professors). The PhD candidate secures sufficientfunds to carry out the research andto covercostsof living and coursework, for example by applying for grants or scholarships.

Together with your supervisor and in agreement with other supervisor(s) involved and the institute board you need to fill in the ‘agreement form external PhD candidates’ (see admission page). 

Supervisor  2

The professor who has been approached to act as supervisor sends the PhD candidate a written confirmation of either their consent or their refusal to act as supervisor as soon as possible. A copy of this consent or refusal will be sent by the professor to the Admission Office of the Graduate School (admissionoffice@FGGA.leidenuniv.nl). 

In case the supervisor agrees with the supervision the supervisor also sends a filled in and signed by all involved ‘agreement form external PhD candidates’ (see admission page) to graduateschool@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

PhD candidate 3

The PhD candidate gets into contact with the Graduate School Office. After having received an application account from the Graduate School Office, he/she fills in an application form in Converis GSM (see LUCRIS GSM The applicant’s manual).The request should include certified copies of the certificates which demonstrate that the academic requirements, as referred to in article 3 of the Regulations, have been met (see also admission to the GS).  

After filling out the application, the PhD candidate must present the master’s diploma (original version) to the Graduate School Office. 

PhD candidates who do not meet the legal prior education requirements must request the Dean for exemption of these requirements by submitting Appendix 1, together with the appendices indicated in article 4.2 of the Regulations, to the Graduate School e-mail.

Graduate School Office (GSO) 4

The GSO verifies the registered information. The applicant gets a notification via Converis GSM. 

Registered, Application confirmed 
GSO 5 The GSO prepares the PhD admission and checks if the degrees meet the educational requirements.   Under registration, For check of diploma by GSO, For completion by GSO 
Dean, GSO, HRM  6 The Dean (provisionally) approves / rejects the admission. The GSO uploads the ‘statement of admission to the doctorate’ and informs HRM about the admission. HRM registers the PhD candidate in personnel administration (SAP).

For approval by Dean, For check of registration in SAP 







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