Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Graduate School of Humanities

Application procedure

On this page you can find out more about applying for a PhD position at the Faculty of Humanities.

You can register with the Graduate School of Humanities online via Converis GSM. Please send an email to: phd-admissions@hum.leidenuniv.nl for login information (username and password).

Required digital documents

For the online application, all PhD candidates (employed, contract and external) need to submit:

  • digital copies of your all your university diplomas and transcripts in the original language and with an official translation in English, French, German or Dutch.

Contract and external PhD candidates must also submit:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • two letters of recommendation, including one from your MA thesis supervisor;*
  • a statement from your intended PhD supervisor that he/she has accepted you as a PhD candidate (this can be a letter or an email);
  • confirmation from your intended PhD co-supervisor(s) that they are willing to be the second/third co-supervisor (this can be a separate document or combined with the supervisor statement)
  • a description of the proposed PhD research. Please use this document to draft your research proposal and make sure that you have checked with your supervisor if there are any additional requirements for your proposal. PhD candidates who are going to write their PhD thesis in Dutch may fill out the form in Dutch, all other PhD candidates need to fill out the form in English;
  • a copy of your MA thesis or of other research related work which offers proof that you have the competence and skills for PhD research. If your thesis was not written in English, French, German or Dutch, please enclose a short summary and a translation of the title of your thesis in one of these languages.*

* This does not apply to PhD candidates at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA)

Required documents in paper form

In addition to your online application you need to submit the following documents in paper form:

  • officially certified copies (in paper form) of your Master's diploma, including transcripts and English translation.

You need to send these to the Graduate School Office in a sealed envelope. The address is:

Leiden University
Graduate School of Humanities Admissions Office
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
The Netherlands

You have to options:

1. Officially certified copies by your university
Copies must be certified as genuine (original stamp and signature) by the Registrar of your institution or the Head of your department and should be sent in a sealed institution envelope (original stamp and signature) to the Admissions Office of Leiden University (either by you or the institution).

2. Officially legalised documents
I
ncluding an Apostille statement. For more information on how to request this in your country go to: https://www.hcch.net/

Photocopies or copies from a local Town Hall are not acceptable. If a diploma is requested, but it will not be available before the registration deadline, please submit a complete certified transcript accompanied by an original statement from your institution confirming your diploma instead.

If the original documents are not issued in English, French, German or Dutch, they should be translated by a sworn translator (or the institution itself) and attached to the original translation.

Officially certified copies of Dutch academic records may be sent to the Admissions Office. We also accept a digitally certified pdf from Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO), confirming your diploma (Uittreksel uit het diplomaregister): https://duo.nl/particulier/uittreksel-diplomagegevens-downloaden.jsp. Please send this pdf by email to phd-admissions@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Language proficiency

From 1 September 2024 onwards, contract and external PhD candidates who are starting a PhD trajectory at the Graduate School of Humanities, need to submit proof of their language proficiency. The required minimum language proficiency need to be fulfilled at the start of the PhD trajectory. The following minimum requirements apply:

  • IELTS: academic modules only. Minimum score 7.0 overall, and a minimum score of 7.0 is required for each of the four components.

(Not accepted: IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator)

  • TOEFL: internet based (IBT): Minimum score 100 overall, a minimum score of 25 is required for each of the four components.

(Not accepted: TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined), TOEFL Essentials™, institutional tests such as ITP.)

  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Minimum score 185.

You can be exempted from submitting one of the above-mentioned English test results if:

  • You have an International Baccalaureate™ Diploma (IB DP) taught in English.
  • You completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta.
  • Dutch PhD candidates with pre-university education (vwo) level English.
  • English taught MA programme at a Dutch research university.

In exceptional cases, PhD candidates who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their English proficiency, may be asked to take an English test.

  • Dutch taught programme at a Dutch research university.
  • Dutch PhD candidates  with pre-university education (VWO).
  • International PhD candidates: Dutch CEFR level C1.

You can be exempted from submitting the above-mentioned language test result if:

  • You have a foreign diploma on university level,  comparable to a Dutch MA programme, where the programme was taught in the language that is the same as the dissertation will be written in.

In exceptional cases, PhD candidates who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their language proficiency, may be asked to take a language test.

  • CEFR C1

You can be exempted from submitting the above-mentioned language test result if:

  • You have a foreign diploma on university level,  comparable to a Dutch MA programme, where the programme was taught in the language that is the same as the dissertation will be written in.

In exceptional cases, PhD candidates who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their language proficiency, may be asked to take a language test.

Ethics committee

The ethics committee of the Faculty of Humanities gives binding advice on ethical issues in research. Using the checklist, researchers are to determine whether their research needs to be presented to the committee for an ethics review.

This website uses cookies.  More information.