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PhD programmes at Utrecht University

The highest degree awarded at Dutch universities is that of ‘Doctor’ (Dr / PhD). Both Dutch and international students can enrol in PhD programmes at Utrecht University. All our PhD programmes are offered fully in English. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available from all faculties. Completion normally requires 4 years of full-time study, consisting of independent and original research under the supervision of a professor, and is concluded by a thesis (dissertation).

PhD positions and proposals

A Utrecht PhD is intellectually demanding and you will need to have a high level of attainment and motivation to pursue this programme of advanced study and research. PhD candidates provide crucial contributions to the research at Utrecht University. Annually some 425 Utrecht PhD candidates complete their research and PhD theses. Apart from applying to one of the available PhD positions, students and professionals having finished a graduate programme may also submit PhD research proposals of their own.

Attractive research environment

Utrecht University offers PhD candidates an attractive research environment. The high quality of Utrecht University research is evidenced in excellent scores from research assessments and international rankings. A PhD candidate satisfaction survey (pdf) shows that PhD’s are positive about their PhD career in Utrecht. PhD candidates give an average satisfaction score of 7.4. It is no wonder that Utrecht University boasts so many researchers who rank among the best in their specific fields of expertise. They will provide inspiring supervisors.

Graduate Schools

The PhD and graduate research programmes have been organised within 6 Graduate Schools, thereby guaranteeing the quality of these programmes. During a 4-year programme, PhD candidates conduct a research project, culminating in a thesis or a series of articles in scientific journals. The candidates work under the supervision of a professor. In addition to this, PhD candidates take courses at the Graduate Schools and must provide teaching themselves.

After the dissertation

Also after having defended their PhD theses, talented young researchers are welcomed and supported by Utrecht University. Motivated and talented doctors who wish to apply for a VENI grant with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) are offered special coaching tracks.

More information

Read more at the PhD site and/or browse the vacancies at Utrecht University. The PhD regulation and forms can be found at the employee pages.