How to apply:

1. Before applying, make sure you meet the requirements.
2. There is no deadline for applications. A PhD can be started any time during the year.
3. The application is done online, through the online application tool.
4. If you are a VUB-student, you will be able to log in with your VUB-ID.
If you have not yet studied at the VUB, you will be provided with a temporary log in account.
5. You can now start your application by completing the required information.
Click here to find out how to correctly complete the form on page 'Program Request'.

6. In the final section 'Document Checklist', don’t forget to upload the information listed below. The documents should be in PDF or JPG, with a maximum file size of 4 MB. Please note that if your diploma and official transcripts are in a language other than Dutch, English, French or German we will also be needing certified translations, done by a sworn translator. Having your documents legalised is however not mandatory. On the other hand, certified translations are only valid when the original document is uploaded as well.

  •     Passport photo
  •     Identity card or passport
  •     Research topic and Research proposal
  •     Document 'Application form Registration PhD' (without this document, your application is invalid)
  •     CV
  •     Diploma
  •     Transcript of records
  •     Motivation letter (if you have a non-Belgian degree)
  •     2 recommendation letters (if you have a non-Belgian degree): shouldn’t be uploaded initially, but can be requested by the faculty of your supervisor afterwards.
  •     If you are applying in the framework of a joint PhD, please mention this in the uploaded documents.

7. If you are having problems with the application tool, please contact the Education and Student Administration: studentadministration@vub.ac.be (please send an e-mail with a screenshot and situation of your problem).
8. The Education and Student Administration will process your request and will contact you if any information is missing.
9. The Faculty will then evaluate your research proposal.
10. The entire screening process can take up to 10 weeks. You may check the progress of your application via your Student Selfservice

11. If your application is accepted you will receive a Letter of Acceptance, which you can then use to enrol.



You can only enrol when the Faculty has accepted your candidacy and your application has been formally screened by the Education- and Student Administration.

Even though you can enroll at any time during the academic year, keep in mind that the Letter of Acceptance is only valid for one particular academic year.


      • You do not need to pass by pass by our office in person to finalise your enrolment.
        Please contact your school so they may confirm your diploma directly to admissions@vub.be. This email needs to be sent from an email address which we can verify on their website, preferably from the registrar's office. The email should mention your full name, your year of graduation and the name of the degree you've obtained. This will allow us to verify your information and allow us to continue with your enrolment.
      • When your diploma has been confirmed, please allow us a few working days to prepare your enrolment.
      • Once confirmed we will send you an email so you can sign your online enrolment contract. This is your formal enrolment.

Required documents for your first enrolment

  •     Identity card or passport
  •     Letter of Acceptance
  •     Proof of valid health insurance
  •     Possible additional documents as requested in the Letter of Acceptance (e.g. original diploma)


Tuition fee

  • PhD’s pay a tuition fee in the first year of enrollment and in the year of defense.
  • PhD’s in a joint PhD contract with an institution outside Flanders only pay tuition fee in their year of defense.
  • PhD’s in a joint PhD contract with an institution in Flanders pay tuition fees as stipulated in their contract.

! The tuition fee for your PhD cannot be paid with training vouchers.

The amount may very between first registration and enrolment during the year of defence.

Check the updates on tuition fees HERE


Being allowed to re-enroll the next year depends on the decision of the PhD Progress Monitoring Commission and Research Council, after evaluation of your Progress Report.

If you've submitted your Report in time and no additional documentation is requested by the Commission, you will be notified some time in July about your re-enrolment. Especially for PhD candidates coming to Belgium on a visa, keep in mind that if you are too late with your Report, re-enrolment won't be possible before the end of September.