Applying for doctoral studies

The application deadline for doctoral programmes at the School of Humanities, for students wishing to enrol in the autumn semester, is 15 April or 1 February for students outside the Nordic countries. The application deadline for enrolment in the spring semester is 15 October.

Applications for admission to doctoral study may be accepted at other times in exceptional circumstances.

Applications must be submitted to the University of Iceland Student Registration using a special electronic form available on the University website. The following information must be included along with your application:

  • CV.
  • Certified transcripts of degree certificates and previous academic records, if you studied somewhere other than the University of Iceland. Certified transcripts of degree certificates should be submitted to Student Registration.
  • Overview of your goals and expectations (maximum 1 page).
  • Study and research plan in three sections on a special form: I. General description of the research project, its goals and research questions, as well as the student’s academic reasons for undertaking the project (maximum 5 pages). II. Draft study plan (maximum 2 pages). III. Financial Plan. IV. Bibliography (maximum 5 pages). It is important to take particular care over this part of the application.
  • Written confirmation from supervisor. This statement (half to one page) should confirm 1) that the supervisor has agreed to supervise the applicant; 2) that the supervisor has read and approved the Research and Study Plan the applicant submits; 3) arguments for how the suggested research falls within the research field of the supervisor, that the supervisor is respected and active in the field and has published papers or books in this field with respected publishers, as required by standards and requirements. The confirmation should be submitted directly to the office of the School of Humanities. NOTE: The School of Humanities has adopted the requirements of the University of Iceland on a maximum number of 4 PhD students for each supervisor. Supervisors can therefore only accept new PhD studetns if they have 3 or fewer PhD students already.
  • Declaration of end of MA studies. If the applicant plans to start the doctoral programme immediately after the end of a MA programme it is possible to apply before the degree has been approved. In this case a declaration from the relevant faculty must be attached, declaring that the applicant is likely to finish the MA programme with sufficient grade to enter the doctoral programme within the current semester. Within the University of Iceland this declaration can be sought from the project manager of the faculty.

A template for the Study and Research Plan can be collected here.

The department may also require you to submit a sample of your essays if considered necessary.

If the application meets formal requirements, it will be sent to the faculty or department to be discussed in detail. Finally it is sent to the doctoral studies committee for processing. Applications shall generally have been processed and answered in writing within six weeks following the application deadline, or following the day it was received if
permission was given for an application to be submitted at another time. Responses will be sent to the applicant by email.

For further information, see Articles 4 and 5 of the Regulation on doctoral study at the School of Humanities.

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