The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading research and development institution with more than 1100 doctoral students conducting reseach at the university each year.
- The University of Tartu belongs to the top 1.2% of the world's best universities (QS World University Rankings 2020).
- More than 125 doctoral degrees are defended annually at the University of Tartu (more than half of the total number in Estonia).
- UT belongs to the top 1% of the world's most-cited universities and research institutions in the fields of Clinical Medicine, Plant and Animal Science, Chemistry, Environment/Ecology, Social Sciences (general), Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, Psychiatry and Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, Geosciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology (ISI Web of Science 2020).
- A total of 62 UT scientists belong to the top 1% of most-cited scientists in the world (ESI Web of Science 2020).
- Doctoral schools at the UT facilitate special projects, foster international collaboration and bring extra funding and support for PhD studies, including international seminars and practical skills training.
A PhD programme lasts for 4 years and requires 240 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) to be earned for completion. Read more about regulations and organisation of PhD studies at the University of Tartu.
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.
- Admission is regulated by the document Admission rules in Doctoral Studies.
The language of instruction for most of the doctoral programmes is English. However, we have two doctoral programmes, where learning of Estonian during the programme is compulsory - it means some of the instruction takes place in Estonian. These programmes are: Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics and Law.
Yet, all the applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency at a satisfactory level. Please note that these are the only tests and exemptions accepted by the University of Tartu.
Applicants to the Russian and Slavonic Philology PhD programme must provide a proof of Russian language proficiency at a satisfactory level. Proof of English language proficiency is not required.
Tuition fee and scholarships
There is no tuition fee for PhD studies at the University of Tartu. Full-time PhD students receive a doctoral allowance of 660 euros per month plus an additional performance stipend of 400 euros per month (both are tax-free payments). The stipends are renewed periodically based on the outcomes of PhD attestation reviews. For more information, see here.
All PhD students who receive a doctoral allowance are provided with Estonian national health insurance (Haigekassa). Doctoral allowance can be paid out as soon as a temporary residence permit (non-EU students) or temporary right of residence (EU students) has been obtained. Health insurance coverage is available for the full nominal study period of PhD studies (4 years).