Admission to Geography PhD Programme
Finding a supervisor
The Faculty of Science and Technology announces research projects that applicants must choose from. Therefore, if you wish to propose your own topic, it is advised to find a supervisor earlier. Otherwise, you must choose from the list of projects, which will be announced some weeks before the next admission.
Please visit the website of the department or institute where you want to apply to for learning about their faculty members and their areas of research. If you contact any supervisors, please attach your CV and describe your proposed research topic in your email.
Documents to Be Submitted
- 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*;
- official translation of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English;
- proof of English language proficiency at a satisfactory level;
- copy of the passport page stating the applicant´s personal particulars;
- motivation letter (guidelines below);
- curriculum vitae (relevant form CV).
Sending the documents by post
All admitted students are required to send the application documents by post to: Student Admissions, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18-132, Tartu 50090, ESTONIA. The signed application form, degree certificates and transcripts, copy of passport and proof of English language proficiency are expected to be mailed.
Two ways for sending the hard copies
- Hard copies of the application documents are posted by the application deadline. This enables us to process the documents earlier and if you should be admitted, the further process will be smoother.
- However, you can send the documents also after receiving the conditional admission offer via DreamApply (if you will be admitted). In this case, the documents should be sent in the fastest way possible (by courier) and they must arrive in 2 weeks. If you choose the second option, please prepare the certified copies already now, so that you can send them out at once, if necessary. Getting your documents properly certified can take quite a bit of time. If the documents do not arrive on time, the university has a right to withdraw the admission offer.
Please note that the documents are firstly delivered to the university clerical office and not to the Admissions Office. Be patient and wait until you receive a notification via DreamApply, which confirms that we have started processing your documents at our office. Please note that the application documents will not be returned.
All copies of educational documents (diplomas and diploma supplements/academic transcripts) must be officially certified. Certified copies should bear an original signature and seal of the authority certifying that these are true copies of the original. The documents can be certified:
- by an authorized official of the issuing institution;
- by a notary;
- with an Apostille attached.
NB! The University does not accept simple copies of original documents or already certified copies.
Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certified.
NB! Applicants graduating in 2021 and having their diplomas issued later than the application deadline, should electronically submit their most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline along with the rest of the required documents. Please note, that you must have graduated from your master´s studies by August 1, 2021. The graduation documents must be submitted by August 5.
A master’s degree or an equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for admission.
Applicants are admitted on the basis of the ranking list. The minimum score required for being admitted is 66.0.
Motivation letter and entrance interview
Motivation letter in English and the curriculum vitae must be submitted with other entrance documents in the online application system. In your online application you must choose a project you are applying to. Topics have been announced here. You can apply to one project only.
Please write a brief motivation letter (in English, maximum of 6000 characters with spaces) based on the following points:
- Why are you interested in this PhD project, explain your choice.
- What is your previous experience in this field? Explain how your educational and professional background relates to the project you are applying for.
- What are the analytical/scientific methods you have been practising.
- Describe briefly the methods and main results of your MSc thesis.
- Decribe your earlier research activities, including research publications and conference presentations, if available.
Assessment criteria for motivation letter:
- motivation and argumentation of skills and the choice of the project
- relevant study and work experience and other relevant activities (publications, project management etc.) as required to present in the motivation letter.
The applicant must describe the wider scientific background of the doctoral project and possible applicability of the results during the up to 25-minute entrance interview conducted by the committee. Only applicants whose motivation letter is assessed positively will be asked to the interview (minimum positive result is 51 points out of 100).
The entrance interview is used to assess the following:
- knowledge of the wider scientific background of the project and possible application of the expected results
- applicant’s motivation to pursue doctoral studies in the relevant field of science and to work in this field
- wider analytical and generalisation skills regarding the research and study topics.
Both the motivation letter and entrance interview are assessed on a scale of 0 to 100 points, minimum positive score is at least 51 points. To be invited to an interview, the applicant must earn at least 51 points for the motivation letter.