Prospective candidates

Studying in the Netherlands

Your PhD at the University of Twente

In the Netherlands, only research universities like the University of Twente offer the third cycle of higher education leading to a PhD. A PhD involves spending four years of in-depth studying and researching in a particular area. You can do this within a structured PhD programme or within one of our research groups (check for an available PhD position). 


Your tasks as a PhD researcher include research activities, attending training courses and teaching activities (in principle only for employees). Your research activities will provide you with skills and experience you need to become an independent researcher. Part of your research is also to disseminate the knowledge you acquire, for example, through publications in academic journals.

During the 4-year PhD programme you take at least 30 credits worth of PhD courses. These cover academic skills and career development, in depth disciplinary and wide-ranging courses. An integral part of a PhD is writing your PhD thesis at the end and then, of course, presenting and defend your research in public. After successfully completing your PhD, you will be awarded the title of Doctor (Dr., equivalent to PhD).


If you have not yet started your MSc programme, you may find it interesting to know that you can integrate your Master’s and PhD programmes through our MSc+PhD trajectory. This involves a research route through one of our accredited two-year Master’s programmes, followed by the PhD phase (which in this case takes three years, not four). Typically, you will work on your PhD research topic or proposal during the last part of the Master’s programme.

In order to set out on such an integrated track, you need to consult the director of the Master’s programme and the intended PhD supervisor (UT professor). Admission to the PhD part is depending on the results you obtain in the Master phase.

*Not all Master’s programmes are involved in these graduate research programmes, so please have a look at our Master’s programmes website for details.


Are you interested in becoming a top notch researcher at the University of Twente? Then please first make sure you meet the admission requirements. If you're sure you fit the bill, then it's time to apply for a PhD position.

If your passion lies more in design than in research make sure to find out more about our PDEng programmes.