Entry requirements PhD programme

The minimum requirements for becoming a PhD candidate in WASS are:

Be accepted by one of the WASS chair groups as a PhD candidate

For an overview of chair groups click here.  

Have proof of funding

The possibilities for PhD candidates to acquire funding from Wageningen University & Research are very limited, so applicants who arrange their own funding have much better chances to be accepted as a PhD candidate. The Wageningen School of Social Sciences will not assist in finding funding nor will it provide funding.

Have sufficient level of training and English proficiency, as indicated by:

a.     A successfully completed academic training at MSc level

Diplomas from candidates with a non-NVAO accredited Master are evaluated by NUFFIC. On the basis of this evaluation, the Dean of Research decides to approve the level of the training or to require a qualifying exam. A qualifying exam is a test of the academic level of the candidate, in particular on subjects relevant for the envisaged PhD research. A qualifying exam generally consists of maximum 12 ECTS credits. The content of the exam is not credited within the Education Programme itself.


b.     Proof of proficiency in the English language

(Non-Dutch) PhD candidates from non-Anglophone countries are required to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS). This certificate is not a requirement for PhD candidates who have completed their higher education with English as the language of instruction. Requirements are:

-       TOEFL internet-based 90, with minimum sub-score 20 (was 23) for speaking

-       IELTS (academic version) 6.5, with minimum sub-score 6.0 for speaking

-       Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with minimum grade C (was B)

-       Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) any grade

-       RATEr: This is a local test that can only be done at Wageningen University. To meet the entry requirements the following scores must be obtained*:

    • Reading & Vocabulary 23

    • Writing 47

    • Speaking 62

    • Listening 23

 *Candidate must pass all elements to get an overall pass


English language test results should not be older than 24 months, and all PhD candidates must have passed one of the English language tests mentioned above prior to the start of their PhD.