Information for prospective PhD degree-seeking students
A PhD programme lasts for 4 years and requires 240 ECTS to be earned for completion (credits in European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Read more about regulations and organization of PhD studies at the University of Tartu.
Tuition fees and scholarships
There are no tuition fees for international students in PhD studies at any of the faculties of the University of Tartu. Students studying full time have the right to receive a monthly stipend of 383.47 euros (2012).
The primary working language for international students in doctoral programmes is English. A test of English language proficiency is not required. There is no Estonian language requirement though students are encouraged to take some courses of Estonian.
As not all courses in our PhD programmes are delivered in English, it is important to address that question when contacting the possible supervisor and find out how many courses may have to be replaced with individual work.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Admission requirements vary by faculty and/or by a PhD programme and may include an interview, an entrance examination, a Doctoral Thesis Project , etc. For programme specific requirements, please see: Doctoral studies curricula and entrance requirements 2013/2014
Please notice that admission process for the Faculty of Science and Technology sightly differs: Principles for enrolling PhD students in the Faculty of Science and Technology
For the times and requirements for entrance examinations/ interviews, please consult the International Student Service or your supervisor to be.
General eligibility requirements
- Master´s degree or a corresponding level of education.
- Some faculties may require an entrance examination or interview.
- All eligible applicants are ranked, and ranking is based on the results of entrance examinations and other programme-specific requirements set for a particular PhD curriculum.
Before submitting application
1. If you have existing contacts with the respective faculty/department, please contact them to introduce your research topic and discuss supervision of the doctoral thesis. If you need help finding a contact and prospective supervisor, please contact International Student Service at studyinfo [ät] ut [dot] ee To identify prospective supervisors you may search the Estonian Research Portal www.etis.ee
2. When the faculty/department confirms their ability to accommodate your research topic and a potential supervisor has been identified, you may send in your completed application package.
Submitting application package
3. If you are interested in pursuing several potential programmes you need to make your final choice, as it is possible to apply to one curriculum only.
4. Prepare all required documents for your application package.
List of documents to be submitted by June 3rd, 2013:
NB! please follow the directions given in the online system. You will receive an applicant code, which gives access to your account to track your application status. We ask you to upload the electronic copies of all the required documents to your application. This makes the pre-processing of your application quicker and is especially important for candidates applying to more than one programme. Print out, sign and include your application form with your application package.
2. official copy of the diploma and diploma supplement (transcript / mark sheet) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's) in the original language.*
3. official translation of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English;
4. curriculum vitae (relevant form CV);
5. copy of the passport page stating the applicant´s personal particulars;
6. Doctoral Thesis Project - if required by the programme you are applying to.
*Please note that in order to be considered official, all academic transcripts must bear a seal, and a signature of an authorized official. Official documents must be provided from the institution awarding the degree or certified with an Apostille. Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certifed.
Mail everything to:
International Student Service
University of Tartu
Tartu 50090, ESTONIA.
NB! Applicants graduating in 2013 and having their diplomas issued later than application deadlines (in July, for example), please send an application form and the most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline. PhD students are required to send a document, issued by their home institution, which indicates the expected date/period of graduation. Please inform the International Student Service when the diploma will be awarded.
Important information for non-EU applicants
Country specific requirements
Selection and notification of admission
- If your doctoral programme requires an interview or entrance exam your application package will be reviewed and you will be notified and invited for exam/interview.
- If you are admitted an admission letter will be sent to you by regular mail. The admission results for doctoral programmes will be announced by July 8th.
Prior to arrival
- If your citizenship requires you to apply for a visa or residence permit before arrival to Estonia, please do so immediately at the Estonian consulate closest to you right after receiving your admission letter (www.vm.ee).
- Book your accommodation if you need a place in the student residence hall. Information about accommodation will be included to your admission letter.
- Plan getting to Tartu before the beginning of the semester and take advantage of the Orientation Course provided by International Student Service to all new international students. The dates will be sent to you by e-mail once you are admitted.
1. Upon arrival to Tartu University, all international students must bring the original education documents of their Bachelor's and Master's (or equivalent) degrees to International Student Service. Documents must reach International Student Service within the first week after arrival to Tartu.
2. Soon after arrival you will be asked, by your supervisor, to sign a PhD Study Agreement and PhD Individual Study Plan. These are also signed by your supervisor and the University of Tartu. Your supervisor will also advise you on financial matters, if not, please ask for additional information.
- PhD Study Agreement
Each doctoral student at the University of Tartu signs a PhD Study Agreement which outlines topic and period of study and research, competences and expected results, responsibilities of the student and supervisor, etc.
PhD Study Agreement - PhD Study Agreement
- PhD Individual Study Plan
At the beginning of your first semester, in September, each doctoral student is required to submit an Individual Study Plan, which includes a research plan, studies, use of infrastructure and is approved by the supervisor. It will be drawn up and signed by the PhD student, a supervisor and the university.
PhD Student`s Individual Study Plan - Individual Study Plan