Step-by-step plan per year

As a PhD student, you will have to go through a number of administrative procedures during the course of your studies.

Below you will find an overview of the steps you have to take each year.

Do you have questions related to these procedures? Contact the Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation via PhD@uhasselt.be.

Do you have questions related to your registration as PhD student? Contact the student administration office via studentenadministratie@uhasselt.be.

Year 1

Step 1

Define a topic and choose a supervisor.

  • You could first consult a potential supervisor about your interest in a PhD. In discussion with him/her, you can then find a topic.
  • Of course, you could also formulate your own research proposal. PhD students often continue building on the topic of their master’s thesis.
  • If you do not yet have a supervisor, then choose one on the basis of his/her expertise.

Step 2

Make sure the financing of your PhD trajectory is arranged. More information about financing options for PhD students is available here.

Step 3


Admission to enroll as a PhD student

  • If your registration with the HR department has been applied for by the faculty or if you are already registered with the HR department, you can continue with step 4.
  • If your registration with the HR department has not yet been applied for by the faculty, please contact the head of administration of your faculty before going to step 4.

Step 4

Make sure you are enrolled as a PhD student

  • To ensure your enrolment, please follow this procedure. Read all information below before starting the online application. All necessary documents can be uploaded:
    • A photocopy of the obtained diplomas or degree certificates in the original language (name of the subscriber clearly stated)
    • A recent passport photograph
    • Translation of university diploma(s) in English by an official translator
    • Certified translated transcripts of records in the original language, for all programmes completed at university level (i.e. a list of all courses completed with an indication of course load and marks obtained for each course). The university of origin should provide the transcript of record and a statement in English in which is explained how the assessment marks assigned are to be converted into the standardized US-system or EU-standard ECTS-system. The translation of the transcript of records in English must be made by an official translator.
    • English-language skills need to be confirmed, by a recent score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) or any recognized proficiency test. The English Language Test can be waived on the basis of an interview or if English-language proficiency is otherwise proven (e.g. if education or part of it was in English).
    • Citizens of China need to include an APS-certificate.
      APS-certificate: From the academic year 2007-2008 onwards all students from the P.R. China will have to obtain a certificate of academic screening issued by the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) of the German Embassy in Beijing before being allowed to enrol at any higher education institution, language course or other preparatory course in Flanders. The APS certificate is also required for obtaining a student visa to Belgium. More information on APS can be found at their website www.aps.org.cn.
  • When you first register, you will have to pay your tuition fee*. You can pay with credit card at the Student Administration Office or you will receive a transfer from the student administration after registration. Only in the first year of registration and in the year of your PhD defence, you need to pay a tuition fee.
  • You need to re-enroll every year as a PhD student. You will receive an email to arrange this.

*If you are preparing a joint PhD, the agreements included in the joint PhD agreement between both universities apply.

Step 5

At Hasselt University, all PhD students also belong to a doctoral school. When you enrol as a PhD student, you register for a certain doctoral discipline, which means that you are automatically enrolled for a certain doctoral school. This doctoral school is responsible for the organisation of activities to support PhD students. More information about these doctoral schools is available here.

Step 6

Submit your Doctoral File!
As a PhD student, you need to submit a doctoral file in consultation with your supervisor within 3 months (6 months if you have a 3x2 year contract) after your first enrolment as a PhD student. The submission and approval of your doctoral file is done via the application 'My Doctoral File'. You must log in with your student ID and student password. In these guidelines you can find more information about this application.

Step 7

Set your student mail account settings in such a way that all your emails will be automatically forwarded from your student account to your staff account.

Step 8

At the end of year first year, you should convene your doctoral committee to discuss the progress of your PhD together with you.

The committee will draw up a written report (download the template here). You need to add this report in My Doctoral file under 'reports'.

Year 2

Step 1

Re-enrol as a PhD student. In order to re-enrol, you will receive an e-mail from the student administration on your student e-mail account. Re-enrolment is obligatory but free of charge.

Step 2

Make about 1.5 years after your first appointment as a PhD student a progress report on behalf of your doctoral committee.

The time at which you need to submit this progress report and the content of the progress report depends on your appointment (Hasselt University PhD student, FWO, VLAIO, ....)

You add this progress report in My Doctoral File under 'extension requests'.

Step 3

Organize a meeting with the members of your doctoral committee to discuss your research and the progress of your PhD.

The committee will then prepare a written report  (download the template here).

Finally, your supervisor must add this report in My Doctoral file under 'extension request'.

Year 3

Step 1

Re-enroll as a PhD student. In order to re-enroll, you will receive an e-mail from the student administration on your student e-mail account. Re-enrolment is obligatory but free of charge.

Step 2

Organize a meeting with the members of your doctoral committee to discuss your research and the progress of your PhD.

The committee will then prepare a written report (download the template here). You need to add this report in My Doctoral file under 'reports'.

Year 4

Step 1

Re-enrol as a PhD student. In order to re-enroll, you will receive an e-mail from the student administration on your student e-mail account. Re-enrolment is obligatory but free of charge. Once the date of your defence is known, the student administration will contact you with regards to the final payment of the tuition fee.

Step 2

6 months for your defence

Preparation of the PhD defence (i.a. evaluation doctoral thesis by doctoral committee, applying for approval by the doctoral school, applying for approval of the jury constitution, invitation jury members,....).

Start making these preparations in time (about 6 months before you plan to defend):

1) For approval doctoral school portfolio:

  • Contact the faculty liaison doctoral schools in order to ask for approval of your doctoral school portfolio (kirsten.braem@uhasselt.be). The complete procedure is described here.

Start at least six months before you plan to defend your PhD thesis with this preparation:

2) For all other aspects: Contact the following people:

If this is not your last year, discuss with the Administrative Director of your Faculty whether you should resubmit a progress report or extension request (template).

Step 3

Please inform at least 6 weeks before your scheduled defence the student administration about your defence (PHDstudentadministration@uhasselt.be)

Step 4

at least 5 weeks before your defence

Print doctoral thesis/invitations/announcements: Start with this procedure at least 5 weeks before you want to send your final thesis to the members of the jury.