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To be admitted as a PhD student, an applicant must have satisfactory results from one of the following exams: 

  1. A Danish Master’s degree in Engineering. (Corresponding to an MSc in Engineering)
  2. A master’s degree (based on two years of master’s studies) from a Danish, long-cycle higher educational programme which, in the estimation of the relevant PhD school, gives the applicant the qualifications necessary to complete the course of study in question. An individual evaluation will always be made in relation to the planned PhD study programme.
  3. A degree from abroad which, in the estimation of the head of the PhD school, is equivalent to one of the degrees/examinations mentioned above in 1) and 2). DTU adheres to the EU qualification framework under which students who have completed the MSc level by a minimum of 300 ECTS points. Admission may also depend upon submission to tests which are further determined by the head of the PhD school.

Grade average
In order to obtain academic approval, a student must have an MSc grade point average of at least 8 (7-point grading scale) in addition to having received a high grade on the master's thesis (10 or 12). DTU does not admit PhD students with a grade point average below 6 (7-point grading scale). If the student’s grade point average is between 6 and 8, the student can be admitted only if aptitude for research has been demonstrated through publication of scientific papers.
Admission of international students to the PhD programme
The examinations of international students are evaluated on the basis of information as to the length and content of their studies. Such examinations must at least be at a level equivalent to a Danish examination qualifying the holder for direct admission. The evaluation of the level of an applicant may take place using tests conducted by the potential PhD school and approved by the head of the PhD school.
It is possible to assess foreign qualifications through the Ministry's website.
The PhD school and PhD committees request that foreign grades are translated into the 7-point grading scale. You can find instructions as well as an Excel sheet for translating your grades and calculating the weighted average in the info box on the right. The sheet must be enclosed with the application.

We recommend that if possible, applicants include a statement from their home university regarding their relative ranking (e.g. what percentage of the student population of their year they belong to, e.g. top 5%, or 10th place out of 250).

An official translation of the foreign MSc diploma must be submitted together with the application.
Transfer of credit and work experience 
In exceptional cases an applicant may receive a transfer for experience from DTU or another research institution/company, although the applicant was not enrolled as a PhD student, if this experience is relevant to the applicant's PhD project..

Other rules regarding academic approval, study and project plans, funding plans, etc. remain in effect.
In addition to this, transfer of academic credit is only granted for periods when the applicant has been enrolled as a PhD student at another relevant institution.
Transfer of academic credit is approved by the relevant PhD committee. The application is processed together with the application for admission to DTU.
In certain cases a credit transfer may be granted for courses if these are not a part of another degree and if they have been completed before the beginning of the PhD programme. You can apply for a transfer of credit for these courses when you submit the study and project plan.
Application for academic approval and admission
When applying for academic approval and admission, the application form must be filed in, dated and signed by the applicant and the principal supervisor and subsequently submitted to the head of the PhD school/head of department. The application form as well as instructions for filling in the form can be found in the info box on the right. Please be aware that the form is only to be prepared for new PhD students who have already been approved by a department for a PhD position. All documents in the application must be in English.
To be admitted to a PhD school, the applicant must obtain approval of academic qualifications, as well as approval of the funding basis for the PhD studies (the so-called “funding plan”).

  • The academic approval of the applicant’s qualifications is granted by the head of the PhD school and is subsequently approved by the PhD committee.
  • The head of the PhD school approves the financial foundation - including a DTU approval of the institution’s payment contributing which is part of the PhD study programme. The PhD school must ensure that funds are available for the duration of the study programme and that the funding plan covers all three years.

In addition, the candidate's diploma or an official letter containing the date of achievement of degree as well as a work and residence permit for non-EU citizens must be submitted available.

The PhD student can, at the earliest, be enrolled/employed as of the month following the academic approval and submission of the above documents. 

A PhD student may - subject to agreement with the principal supervisor and the department - choose to be enrolled as a part-time student, which means four years of study instead of three with a proportional change in the monthly salary. Please note that citizens from outside the Nordic/EU/EEA without a permanent Danish residence permit are NOT allowed to take leave without pay, because unpaid leave or part-time employment will result in a loss of work and residence permit.

DTU as work place during the study period
As a principal rule, at least one half of the study period must take place at DTU. This is a way of ensuring that the PhD student will get the chance to take part in the research environment at DTU's departments.

Exceptions from this rule are PhD students enrolled under ITN projects (it is accepted that these students spend 33% of the total study period of three years at DTU) or joint/double degree collaborations.


As a prerequisite condition to admission an applicant must have made an agreement with an associate professor, senior researcher, senior associate professor, or professor, who is willing to act as principal supervisor.
The application – which is prepared in consultation with the potential principal supervisor – must contain a completed application for academic approval and admission and a project description.
The application form must contain further background information on the applicant (CV) and a description of the intended study programme as well as a short CV for the principal supervisor and a short CV for any project supervisor.
The application must be accompanied by a degree certificate (indicating the weighted grade point average). The method for calculating the weighted grade point average can be found in the box on the right.
Department statement
The head of the PhD school prepares an expert statement, and the department itself determines the procedure for preparing this statement. The requirements to the content of this statement are specified in the box on the right.
Procedure for the PhD school
The PhD school sends all the collected application material to the PhD Office. Subsequently, the PhD Office sends the application for academic assessment in the relevant PhD committee. The dates fixed for meetings can be found here.
Academic approval
On the basis of the application, the PhD school statement and possible comments from the applicant and the potential principal supervisor, the head of the PhD school will make a recommendation concerning academic approval. Recommendations of refusal must be motivated.

Consideration of the application will normally be concluded within approximately eight weeks.
The approval is valid for one year from the date stamped on it by the PhD committee, unless changes are made to the planned PhD study programme.
Funding plan
A funding plan is an account of the grants available for funding a PhD study programme. The plan must document that funding is available for the entire study period. If the applicant is awarded a DTU stipend, this must be stated in the funding plan.
The head of the PhD school must approve the funding plan.
Please be aware that:

  • It is a condition for co-financing from DTU that the PhD student is employed at DTU.
  • A copy of the letter granting financial aid must be enclosed.

The PhD school sends the approved funding plan via DTU DOCX to the PhD Office.

Procedure for employment of salaried PhD students
Payment of salary to and employment of PhD students take place according to the circular from the Ministry of Finance regarding the agreement for salaried PhD students as well as the circular on salary for PhD students for tasks in connection with the PhD research education.
Corporate HR is responsible for preparing the employment contract.

The employment date must be the first or the fifteenth of a month and it can never be retroactive. For administrative reasons, commencement in December can only take place on the first of the month and never on the fifteenth.