Entry Requirements

The following requirement are needed to start a PhD at Wageningen University:

  1. Master's degree

    The candidate must have obtained a master’s degree that is comparable to a Dutch MSc. This is evaluated by NUFFIC, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education. Hence, accredited master’s degrees obtained in the Netherlands are automatically recognised. See “Registration procedure & Checklist” for details on documents that must be submitted depending on where the candidate obtained the master’s degree.

    When a master’s degree is not recognised by NUFFIC, as equivalent to a Dutch master's, a Qualifying Exam (QE) may be required. If a qualifying exam is required, this will be indicated by PhD Services. The content is determined by the promoter in consultation with the candidate, in accordance with the rules for QE. These rules are stated in the Doctorate Regulations, which are determined by the Academic Board of Wageningen University. Note that this QE exam is not part of the Training and Education Programme as formulated in the Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). The QE must be obtained within the first year of the PhD project.

  2. Language requirements

    In order to be admitted to the PhD programme, the PhD candidate must demonstrate proficiency in the English language, as well as the Dutch language if the thesis is written in Dutch, at the level established by the Academic Board.

    Proficiency in Dutch is defined as having passed the final exam in Dutch for pre-university education in the Netherlands, as shown by possession of a VWO diploma or comparable certificate.

    If the PhD-candidate is not Dutch, from a non-Anglophone country and hasn’t completed a higher education with English as the language of instruction, the candidate has to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. This must be done prior to the start of the PhD-project and before the PhD registration at Wageningen University. The Certificate is crucial for the registration in the Wageningen University PhD registration system (PROMIS), which in turn is a requirement for being eligible for support in finding housing and obtaining a residence permit. The recognised certificates and the minimum required scores* are:

    • TOEFL internet-based 90, with minimum sub-score 20 for speaking.
    • IELTS (academic version) 6.5, with minimum sub-score 6.0 for speaking.
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with minimum C1 Advanced.
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) any grade.
    • RATEr: This is a local test that can only be done at Wageningen University or Nijmegen University (online is possible). To meet the entry requirements the following must be obtained:

      Reading & Vocabulary pass
      Writing pass
      Listening pass
      Speaking pass
  3. Proof of Funding, including bench fees

    For a candidate to be able to start a PhD at Wageningen University funding must be guaranteed. This concerns: funds for research, monthly allowance (see Dutch Government immigration website: https://ind.nl/en) and possibly bench fees. Below the bench fees for the different PhD categories are listed. These fees are to cover research expenses, working facilities, access to the library and a Wageningen University account.

    Categorie Tuition fee
    Employed PhD candidates No
    Scholarship PhD candidates:
    - Sandwich WU funding No
    - Sandwich non WU Yes, EUR 1000 per month
    - Guest PhD Candidates Yes, EUR 1000 per month
    Externally Financed PhD candidates No
    External PhD candidate No
    Employee in PhD track No