Doctoral studies

Studying for a doctorate means choosing to pursue a study program dedicated to research, individualised and cutting-edge courses that lead to exciting careers.


Admission to postgraduate studies

Admission to a doctorate is reserved to holders of a second study cycle degree (Master’s degree) of at least 120 ECTS credits or a similar degree (foreign or otherwise) and recognised as such by the admissions jury.

It is important to keep in mind that a doctoral thesis is written under the guidance of a supervisor (tutor). To apply for a doctorate, the student must submit a draft thesis that is sufficiently defined and obtain the written agreement of a supervisor.

If you wish to study for a doctorate, the first step is therefore to identify a professor working in your field of study and to contact him in order to present your research project for approval. To do so, we advise you to consult the universities websites.



Organisation of studies

The doctorate (corresponding to postgraduate studies and lasting a minimum of 3 years) comprises two parts:

  • a doctoral training (60 ECTS credits) that leads to the conferral of a research training certificate,
  • the work relating to the preparation of a doctoral thesis (corresponding to a standard of at least 120 credits), that leads to the conferral of the academic title of doctor after defending a thesis.

Studying for a doctorate means joining a research team and a research network. The universities of Wallonia-Brussels and their research laboratories are part of the best european and international research networks, ensuring an excellent scientific supervision and quality infrastructures and a solid web of contacts abroad.

21 doctoral schools, attached to the Scientific Research Fund (F.R.S.-FNRS), group together thematic, interuniversity, interdisciplinary and international doctoral schools which ensure the structure and supervision of the doctoral training of candidates.

* For more than 80 years, the Scientific Research Fund - F.R.S. - FNRS has been contributing to the development of fundamental research in Wallonia-Brussels and has encouraged excellence. The Fund promotes the production and development of knowledge, on the one hand by financing researchers on an individual basis and, on the other hand, by supporting research programs in the university laboratories.

In French-speaking Belgium, the percentage of researchers among the working population is higher than that of many European countries. Furthermore, in order to increase human resources in the field of research, measures have been taken to facilitate the granting of a “scientific” visa for the non-European researchers.

Several funding programs for doctoral studies are available for foreign students. See Financing your studies.

To find out more about admission and enrolment to postgraduate courses, consult the websites of the universities.