Admission and Application
Information about admission requirements and application procedures.
- Admission requirements
- Admission procedure PhD internal candidates (funded and non-funded)
- Additional information
Applicants to the PhD program must, at a minimum, have a master’s degree in Theology or Religious studies, or its equivalent, with a record of outstanding quality. An application on the basis of an other master's degree is only considered when including themes and methodology in the field of religious studies, specifically pertaining to the area of proposed study.
Students are expected to have a high standard of reading and writing proficiency in English. Also necessary is a good reading skill in at least one other modern language (French/ German) relevant to the course of study. In addition doctoral applicants must have foundational language training in the area of specialization (e.g., Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.) at the time of application.
The procedure of admission is operated through the International Office of Leiden University.
Finding a supervisor
In many ways the most important person in the whole process of obtaining a doctorate is your supervisor (promotor). He supervises the research and gives advice. The supervisor has to declare that he is willing to accept you as a candidate (promovendus) before any further steps can be taken.
Every full professor (hoogleraar) has the right to act as a PhD supervisor. If you know a professor or senior staff member at Leiden University, you may contact him or her directly to discuss your plans. You may also search for a supervisor on the Religious Studies staff list or the Leiden Professors website.
The Dean of the Graduate School of Religious Studies decides on the admission of the applicant to the PhD programme on the basis of:
- Possession of an MA degree in Theology; Religious Studies; or an other relevant MA-programme
- Familiarity with the themes and methodology in the field of religious studies, specifically pertaining to the area of proposed study
- Good working skills (reading/writing) of English, reading skills in German or French
- A good knowledge of the languages of the sources necessary for the Ph.D. –project envisaged (e.g., Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic)
- References from supervisors at the MA-level, along with proof of sufficient research skills
- Acceptance of the applicant as a PhD candidate by one of the professors in the Faculty of Religious Studies (written statement)
- A detailed project proposal written by the candidate, including a discussion of the research question, literature and work schedule. Download a format.
Approval by the Doctorate Board
After you have received a letter of acceptance by your supervisor, approval by the Doctorate Board is the next step. Upon receipt of your application, the admissions officer will evaluate your diploma and forward your request to the Board (or to a professor first, if you have not found one yet). Upon admission, you (and your supervisor) will receive a formal letter of acceptance from the Board.
Download Application for admission form (pdf)