Requirements for admission and applications – University of Copenhagen

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Requirements for admission and applications

The Faculty of Humanities receives approximately 700 applications from Denmark and abroad every year and admits about 50 students to PhD programmes. To guarantee the quality of the PhD degree programme and ensure that only applicants with the greatest potential are accepted, the admission requirements are very high. We therefore urge potential applicants to read the requirements and recommendations carefully before submitting their application. It is also a good idea to find out about the relevant department to see if the prospective project fits the research environment.

Some of the requirements relate to qualifications other than those stipulated for the application, so please be aware of the following:

Admission requirements

A master’s or extended master’s degree, or examinations of an equivalent level, corresponding to a minimum of 120 ECTS credits. 

To apply for an advertised PhD scholarship, applicants must have submitted their master’s thesis before the deadline for applications expires (provided a thesis is part of their master’s programme). The master’s degree must also be academically relevant to the scholarship advertised.

The PhD School sends applications from potential students with a non-Danish master’s to the Danish Agency for Higher Education, which determines whether the degree corresponds to 120 ECTS credits. If the degree does not correspond to 120 ECTS credits, e.g. a one-year master’s, the PhD Committee assesses whether prior learning compensates for the credit shortfall.
Read more about recognition of non-Danish qualifications.
Read more in the Guidebook for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities.

Language requirements

Excellent communication skills in English is considered essential and applicants should speak and write academic English fluently. The PhD administration may ask applicants to document their proficiency in English at any time during the recruitment process if this is considered necessary.

Application requirements

The general requirements for applications are outlined below. However, please be aware that advertised scholarships may place additional demands on documentation and the project description.

The online application system PeopleXS must be used when responding to advertisements. Applications submitted by letter or e-mail will be rejected.


The following documents must be enclosed with the application:

Applicants stand a better chance of being accepted if they also document the following in their CV:

  • Excellent academic results
  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Other experience relevant to the proposed research project, e.g. work experience
  • Experience of conference planning and/or other research activities
  • Relevant contact with researchers or universities that specialise in the appropriate field of study
  • Links with a relevant research unit in another country and the potential for a study trip abroad.

Do not enclose letters of recommendation, as these will be ignored.

Language of the application and translation of documents 

Applications may be submitted in English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

Master’s degree diplomas and transcripts of records from non-Danish universities not in one of these languages must be translated into English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. The translation must be done or approved by:

  • a Danish state-authorised translator or interpreter
  • an embassy or consulate in the country where the original document was issued or where the translation was done
  • a Danish embassy/consulate.