Future PhD students

What does 'doing a PhD' entail?

When you choose to do a PhD, you will get the opportunity to deepen your research skills for four to six years (depending on your statute). If you successfully complete this period, you will receive the title and diploma of Doctor, which is the highest academic degree that you can obtain in Belgium.

You will receive support from a scientific expert, your promoter, at each step of your research. Doctoral students are expected to present their work to the public from the very beginning, and to seek their place in the scientific forum of their research domain. This can be achieved in the shape of scientific publications, exchanging ideas with colleagues, attending congresses and workshops, giving presentations, and building up your scientific network.

Not only you will you obtain the highest academic title after a successful defence, but you will also acquire a number of skills that are important in the labour market.

Steps to be taken before starting a PhD

Define a research topic

During your PhD, you will immerse yourself in a specific research domain for several years. The choice of your research topic is therefore very important. You can work in two ways to define a research topic.

  • You could first consult a potential promoter about your interest in a PhD. In consultation with him or her, you can then find a subject.
  • Of course, you could also put forward your own research proposal. PhD students often build on the theme of their master’s thesis.

Find a promoter

As a PhD student you will be supervised by at least 1 promoter. A promoter is a scientific expert in a specific field and supports you during your doctoral trajectory. Your promoter is also part of your doctoral committee.

You choose a promoter based on his/her expertise. Who can act as a supervisor is determined in the doctoral regulations. If you are still looking for a promoter, be sure to check out the research groups at Hasselt University.

Find funding for your doctoral trajectory

There are different types of mandates, each linked to a particular type of financing:

  • Assistant mandates
  • Doctoral scholarships
  • Project funding

Research groups regularly acquire project funding, with which they recruit new researchers. You can then apply for a PhD position via a vacancy. To do so, please have a look at this page.

There are also other financing possibilities. More information about financing possibilities can be found here.

Joint PhD

In the case of a joint PhD, you prepare your doctoral thesis in collaboration with and under the supervision of a promoter at another university. Do you think it would be interesting to work with another university, be sure to check out the possibilities for a joint PhD.

Practical instructions for starting up a PhD

Click here to read the practical instructions for starting a PhD

Admission requirements

In order to start a PhD, you need to have a relevant master's degree. Below you will find an overview of the master's degree that will allow you to be directly admitted to start your PhD in a particular doctoral discipline. If you do not have a subsequent master's degree, please contact the faculty to which the doctoral discipline belongs. After an eligibility evaluation, the faculty decides whether you can start a PhD. The complete procedure is described in the doctoral regulations.

Doctorate in

from Master in the

Architecture: Architecture


Architecture: Interior Architecture

Interior Architecture

Audiovisual and Visual Arts: Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Biomedical Sciences*

Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Biology, Bio-engineering Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Medical Sciences


Transportation Sciences

Transportation Sciences



Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy

Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Physical Education and Human Movement Sciences, Biomedical Sciences

Social Sciences

Communication Sciences, Communication Studies, Public Management and Public Policy, Political Communication, Political Science, Sociology, Social Work and Social Policy, Digital Communication Leadership, Communication Sciences: Digital Media and Society, Advanced Studies in European Policies and Public Administration, Social Policy Analysis, Public Sector Innovation and eGovernance, Public Administration and Management


Transportation Sciences, Economic Sciences, Business Economics, Architecture

Nursing Science

in nursing and midwifery

Doctorate in

from Master in the domain of

Engineering Technology

Engineering Technology

Educational Sciences

Education and Pedagogical Sciences

Business Economics

Economic sciences, Business Economics, Business Administration and Public Administration

Rehabilitation Sciences

Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Physical Education, Kinesiology and Human Movement Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Medical Sciences, Occupational Therapy


Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Information Technology

Sciences: Biology

Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Bio-Engineering Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Sciences: Chemistry

Chemistry, Bio-engineer (civil), Engineering Technology (Chemistry), Bio-engineering Sciences, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences

Sciences: Physics

Physics, (civil) Engineering Technology (physics)

Sciences: Information Technology*

Information Technology, (civil) Engineering Technology (computer science)

Sciences: Materiomics

Materiomics, Chemistry, Physics (and Astronomy), Biochemistry,(civil) Engineering Technology, Bio-engineer

Sciences: Mathematics

Mathematics, (civil) Engineering Technology (mathematical engineering techniques)

Sciences: Statistics

Statistics, Mathematics

* These PhDs can only be prepared in collaboration with tUL.

Tuition fee

As a PhD student, you have to pay tuition fees* at your first enrolment and in the academic year of defence.

*If you are preparing a joint PhD, the arrangements set out in the joint PhD agreement between the two universities apply.