Doing your PhD at Utrecht
In the Dutch university system, students who have successfully completed a Master’s degree can go on to do a Doctorate (PhD). A Doctor’s degree is the highest academic degree awarded by a Dutch university.
A PhD programme often takes at least 4 years to complete. During this time, candidates undertake a research project which culminates in the writing of a thesis or a series of articles in scientific journals.
At Utrecht, earning a PhD degree is a hands-on process that involves relatively little coursework. You will conduct research from day one, which allows you to develop your own ideas within the research group’s theme. You will remain in close contact with your supervisors throughout the programme.
Doing a PhD at Utrecht is a challenging undertaking and to succeed you will need to be highly committed and motivated. PhD candidates make crucial contributions to research undertaken at Utrecht University. PhD projects must represent original work: candidates make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in their field and prepare a thesis based on this research.
Once the thesis is complete, your supervisor determines if it is ready for submission and defence. A committee of professors is appointed to read and approve the thesis and to examine the candidate during an oral defence. The thesis will be made public (parts of it may have already been published as articles in international journals during the PhD). Dissertations from Dutch universities generally meet the highest academic standards and are therefore held in high regard.
To be admitted to a PhD programme, applicants must meet stringent academic requirements. You need to have a solid background in the theory and methods of your field, hold a recognised Master’s degree (or equivalent) and demonstrate a good knowledge of English.
You do not normally need to be able to speak or understand Dutch: almost all of our academic staff are proficient in English.
PhD candidate about the academic community in Utrecht