Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Humanities

Admission to the Graduate School

Requirements for admission to the Graduate School and steps described below in short are described in detail in the Leiden University PhD Regulations.


Those persons are eligible for admission to the Graduate School of Humanities who:
Have been awarded a master’s degree from a Dutch university or an equivalent master’s degree from another institution. In exceptional cases, the Dean may, having received a written request to this effect and on behalf of the Doctorate Board, grant exemption from the entry requirements.

Finding a supervisor

Once you have decided on your field of research, you should start looking for a supervisor as early as possible. Finding the right supervisor is a key element in the process of obtaining a doctorate. You can find a prospective supervisor by searching (the research area of) academic staff members on the Institute’s website (see links below). Please send him or her an email including your C.V. and research proposal.

A PhD supervision team consist of two supervisors. Both must hold a doctorate, and one must have the ius promovendi (the right to award a PhD). All full professors have ius promovendi by virtue of their position. A senior lecturer (UHD) only has ius promovendi if the Doctorate Board has granted it to him/her individually (PhD Regulations appendix 10). If the intended supervisor is not entitled to award a PhD, he or she will contact a full professor or a senior lecturer with ius promovendi on your behalf. Supervision can involve scholars from different institutes, faculties, and, exceptionally, universities. The supervisor has to confirm that he or she is willing to accept you as a PhD candidate before any further steps can be taken.

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

Certified copies (in paper form) of your Master's diploma including transcripts and English translation need to be sent to the Graduate School Office, preferably directly by the University issuing the diploma in a sealed envelope.

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

Both employed, as well as contract and external PhD candidates, need to submit:

  • original certified copies of 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);**
  • a description of the proposed PhD research (400 - 600 words);
  • 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)
** PhD candidates at the Leiden University  Centre for the Arts in Society must also submit a statement from your co-supervisor.

*) Certified copies (in paper form) of your diplomas including transcripts

- If you have a non-Dutch diploma:

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). If you cannot meet this request, officially legalised documents (with an Apostille statement: http://www.hcch.net/) are required instead. Photocopies of certified/legalised copies or certified 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 instead submit a complete certified transcript accompanied by an original statement from your institution confirming your diploma. 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.

- If you have a Dutch diploma:

Certified copies of Dutch academic records may be sent to the Admissions Office directly by the issuing institution or by the applicant him/herself. 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

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.

More information on different types of PhD positions at Leiden University, scholarships and funded PhD positions can be found here.

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