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Admission and registration

To be admitted to our PhD programme, you must be in possession of a Master's degree or have successfully obtained an equivalent qualification at a foreign institute of higher education (see Doctorate Regulations, 8.1-4). If you are in doubt about your qualifications, please consult the website of Nuffic or send an email to our Graduate School.

There are various ways in which you can get in contact with the Graduate School and get accepted as a PhD candidate. If you know already your specialization area and/or have a prospective supervisor in mind, the easiest way is to have an informal contact with him or her and explore the possibilities of a PhD trajectory. If you are not yet certain about the direction of your career, you can also contact the Director of the Graduate School or other staff members of our faculty.


Registration takes place through Hora Finita, our registration system for PhD candidates, which covers the whole process from registration to graduation. For all your communication, please use the emailadress of the Graduate School's office:

Step 1
When you have found a suitable topic for your dissertation and have come to an agreement with a supervisor, you and your supervisor fill in a Training and Supervision Plan. This must be signed by both the candidate and the supervisor (!).

Step 2
Send your (signed) TSP to the office of the Graduate School, including the following documents:

  • Letter of Application, indicating your intention and motivation to follow a PhD trajectory at the Faculty of Theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, including a brief summary of your intended research area.
  • Curriculum Vitae including academic work carried out.
  • A copy of an identity document that is legally valid in the Netherlands (such as a passport or an ID-card).
  • Your TSP as approved by your supervisor(s), including, in case of exemption requests, evidence of the curriculum components which you have followed, certified diploma supplements and/or original transcripts.
  • A signed copy of the code of conduct
  • If applicable, the score of your English language test (TOEFL or equivalent). Proficiency in written and spoken English is an absolute requirement. This will be determined on the basis of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or an equivalent score in another accepted language test. The proficiency requirement can be met by the successful completion of one of the following examinations: IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL (paper based test: 580; computer based test: 237; internet based test: 92-93; Cambridge Advanced English: A, B or C. Exemption is granted from the examination in English to candidates who (1) within two years of admission to the Graduate School, have met the requirements of the VU test in English language proficiency TOEFL ITP, with at least the scores specified above, or (2) had previous education in secondary or tertiary education in an English-speaking country (Canada, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand), or (3) have an English-language ‘international baccalaureate’ diploma, or (4) have a diploma of a Bachelor or Master degree programme which has been accredited by the NVAO in the Netherlands. For English courses and further information, see the website of VU Taalloket.

Certified copies of your relevant diploma's (by regular mail) must be sent to the office of the Graduate School of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Religion and Theology, De Boelelaan 1105 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A notary public, your university or another public institution must certify the copy. These copies must be posted by regular mail, since the certification loses its validity if scanned. (if these documents are not in Dutch, English, French or German, they must be accompanied by a certified translation in one of these languages).

We kindly ask you to send us all the application documents in one mail (or delivery through regular post). If, e.g., your TSP is not ready (and signed by you and your supervisor), please wait with sending us the other reqested documents.

After successful registration and approval, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance, including further instructions about payment of the yearly fee, VUnet-ID, and registration for online courses. Your membership will be activated only after payment of the fee. You will also receive an invitation to register to Hora Finita, our PhD registration system.

Step 3
You can now start with your mandatory PhD courses (if part of your training program). After completion of the Research Design module and after your proposal has been presented to one of the faculty's research groups (in person, in absentia or through Skype), your research proposal must be submitted to the Doctorate Board (this will be done by your supervisor; candidates do not take part in the deliberations). After the Doctorate Board has positively advised on your proposal, the final version (with signature) will be uploaded in Hora Finita for approval by the Dean of the Faculty and the rector of the University (please note that this normally takes some time).

If you have any (technical or practical) questions about Hora Finita, please contact: