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Application guide: predefined PhD projects

To be considered for a PhD, you must meet our requirements for enrolment:

  • You must have a relevant higher education degree. Access to the graduate school’s PhD programme requires a Danish Master’s degree (“kandidatgrad”) of 120 ECTS credits or a similar relevant five-year degree programme.  Your educational level will be assessed to determine whether it comply with entry requirements. If you hold a degree other than a Danish Master’s degree, it can be advisable to get your degree assessed by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education before you apply
  • Excellent communication skills in English are considered essential, and the applicant must be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5 (We accept test results that are more than two years old) See the requirements below. 
  • You must comply with the project specific qualification requirements.
  • Please note, if you already have a PhD, your application will not be taken into consideration and will be rejected.   

If you are an international applicant you should also consult this page before you apply. 

English language skills (mandatory)

During your PhD you will become part of an international network through presentations at conferences abroad and publications in English journals. It is therefore important that you have profound English language skills. To develop your language skills and to accommodate international PhD students, the PhD short courses are taught in English.

Required proficiency in English

Excellent communication skills in English are considered essential, and PhD students must be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5.

Documenting required proficiency in English is mandatory at the time of enrolment. This means, you can apply without documenting required language skills, but you cannot be enrolled without submitting the required documentation.

To ease the processing of your application, you can upload documentation at the time of application.

How to document required proficiency in English

For Danish applicants, TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5 correspond to passed English B from upper secondary school ("gymnasium") – please submit your diploma (“eksamensbevis”) as documentation.

If you do not have English B level from the Danish upper secondary school, you must document your English language proficiency by passing one of the tests mentioned below at the levels required. 

We only accept below tests as documentation.


English B – Test result of at least 83 (internet-based) or 560 (paper-based - please note, we only accept paper-based tests taken in 2020 and earlier. From 1 January 2021 tests must be internet-based to be accepted)

Aarhus University accepts the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition test.

Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP (this includes the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution). The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.


English B – IELTS Academic test result of at least 6.5 points. 

Cambridge English Qualifications

English B – Cambridge English Advanced (grades A, B and C) or Cambridge English First (grade A) or 180 points as a minimum on the Cambridge English Scale.  

We accept test results that are more than two years old.

Required content of your application

Your application should (minimum) consist of:

  • Documentation for compliance with project-specific qualification requirements
  • Exam certificates/diplomas and transcripts
    • It is mandatory for applicants with non-Danish degrees to upload bachelor and master diplomas and transcript of records both in original language and in an official English translation.
  • CV
  • Documentation of relevant extracurricular activities (teaching, participation in organizational work and participation in research work) 
  • Documentation of language skills (satisfactory TOEFL, IELTS test or Cambridge English Qualifications or, for Danish applicants, your diploma ("eksamensbevis") from upper secondary school ("gymnasium") proving you have passed English B))
  • Motivation for the application for admission to the PhD degree programme (1 standard page), including:
    • Own competences
    • Consideration of the specific qualification requirements from the project proposal
  • A project proposal - your own take on how to address the project (max. 5 standard pages)

Please note, all documents should be uploaded as pdf.-files.

The application form and submission of application

All applications have to be submitted through our online form.

When there is an advertisement for a project, you find the link to the application system under the relevant project advertisement on the open call page

The online form has to be filled out in one session. It cannot be saved and completed on a later date. It will however stay open for filling out as long as the browser window is open.

Please note, all files should be uploaded as pdf.-files. 


The application form is in English and should be filled out in English just as all attachments, including your CV, should be in English. There are no requirements in regards to neither font nor type size.

Educational level

Please choose the educational level on which your PhD admission will be based.

If you expect to obtain a degree before enrolling as a PhD student you must choose the level you obtain. If you do not obtain e.g. a master's degree before enrolling as a PhD student you must choose the previous/current level. 

Grade point average

Enter your unweighted grade average calculated and based on your transcripts’ grading scale, BSc and MSc separately.

If you hold a Danish degree you can, if you wish, use this form (Excel) to calculate both your weighted and unweighted grade average and upload it together with your diplomas and transcript of records. 

Diploma and transcript of records

Please uploade both diplomas and transcript of records. It is mandatory for applicants with non-Danish degrees to upload diplomas and transcript of records both in original language and in an official English translation.


The fields with information about referees are not mandatory fields.

Either leave blank or if you have a recommendation, fill out the field with the name, institution and e-mail of the person giving you the recommendation.

Other information to consider

In addition to the mandatory attachments, you can upload other relevant documents in the upload field "Other information to consider".

Offer of enrolment: project description and initial PhD plan

Project description

Before the enrolment can begin, a project description (5 standard pages) must be completed in collaboration between the candidate and the main supervisor. The final project description needs to be approved by the head of the graduate programme before the enrolment can begin. 

The project description is approved by signing a specific form – the form and the project description must be uploaded when the offer of enrolment is accepted. 

Approval of the project description takes place according to the same guidelines as those which apply to project descriptions for the application for enrolment.

Initial PhD plan

Before the enrolment can begin, you need to fill out an initial PhD plan and get it approved by your main supervisor and the head of the graduate programme. The plan must be uploaded when the offer of enrolment is accepted.   

The plan describes yours (and your main supervisor's) considerations on how to complete the mandatory study elements of the PhD.