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PhD Application Procedure

Application requirements

To apply for the IHS PhD programme on Urban Development and Governance you must submit the following. 

  1. A completed online application form
  2. An impressive curriculum vitae
  3. Necessary diplomas, including a copy of your Master’s degree certificate/diploma
  4. Thorough research proposal (approx. 5000 words) - Please use this Research Proposal Template
      • Sound research question(s)
      • Added value of the research for practice and science
      • Theoretical framework: perspective
      • Methodology: research methods
      • Work plan, time schedule

5. Organizational and financial support

      • Support letter from home organisation/employer (if applicable)
      • Letter(s) of recommendation
      • Financial support from home organisation/employer (if applicable)
          • Tuition fee
          • Living cost
          • Medical insurance
          • Travel cost

6. English Language Proficiency Proof (See section below on English Language Requirements)


Application form
Use the link to access the online application form as indicated in Step 1 above. The application form is an online form that opens in a new tab of the browser. You should select the PhD programme on the second page and complete all the required fields within the form. 

On the final page of the online application form you are required to submit at least one reference letter. Please ensure that the details of the referees are clearly stated within the letter. The reference letter should be from a supervisor, manager, professor or any other person who has the ability to attest to your academic skills.

Please ensure most important publications and a short description of your employment history over the last 10 years (please upload your CV separately).


English Language Requirements

We accept certificates from TOEFL or IELTS as official language tests.

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
Score: 600 (paper-based) / 250 (computer-based) / 100 (internet-based)
More information: www.toefl.org 

IELTS – International English Language Testing System 
Score: min.7.0, no subtest lower than 6.0
More information: www.ielts.org

Please note: TOEFL ITP will not be accepted as a proof of English proficiency for IHS.

Students who have studied through English previously:

If you have previously completed a full university degree through the English medium you may not necessarily need to provide a proof of English language test completion. In such cases students can submit the following for consideration:

  1. An example of a previously submitted, substantial essay or thesis in English.
  2. Confirmation from the institution that the language of instruction was entirely in the English medium.

Application documents & procedure
To apply for a PhD at IHS, you need to complete our online application form. Using the online application form you must upload your proposal, legalized (certified) copies of your (Bachelor's and Master's) diplomas and transcripts (list of grades), a curriculum vitae and reference letter(s). If these diplomas and/or transcripts are issued in another language than English, French, German, Spanish or Portuguese an official translation is required as well.

After receiving your application, an evaluation will be made of your documents and will be sent for advice to the IHS Research Committee and the Academic Director. Furthermore a supervisor will be sought for the PhD supervision. Please note that this process can take two to three months. The call for applications for the PhD programme is ongoing (there are no fixed deadlines).