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Admission to Ph.D. Programs

Información sobre la Admisión de un Programa de Doctorado

When to apply for admission

Applications for admission for the first semester of the 21/22 academic year with start date on the 15th of November, 2021 can be submitted until the 31st of August, 2021 (Spanish peninsular time, CET)*

Applications for admission for the second semester of the 21/22 academic year with start date on the 30th of March, 2022, can be submitted until the 31st of January, 2022 (Spanish peninsular time, CET)*

*Except where noted in the details of each Ph.D. Program.

The PhD academic year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th


Before applying


Please read the following before applying for admission to a Ph.D. program at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid:


1. Ph.D. programs may establish additional admission requirements. 

Check the ACCESS information of our  Ph.D. Programs to learn about specific requirements.


2. Scan in advance the documentation requirements to be attached to your application. The documents listed below are common to all Ph.D. programs:

  • National Identity Document: DNI / NIE / Passport
  • Academic transcript of undergraduate studies (Bachelor's degree), including grades. (*)
  • Academic transcript of graduate studies (Master's degree), including grades. (*)
  • Endorsement for thesis project from a professor from the program the candidate is applying for, indicating the connection of the project with the lines of research of the program (**)
  • Passport-size photograph (optional)


(*) Not required for former uc3m students.

(**) Not required for all programs. Check requirements on the ACCESS tab of each program.

(***) Only required for students applying for a part-time enrollment status


Some programs may require additional documents: letters of recommendation by notable researchers, foreign language skills certificate, etc.


2.1. If your previous degree was awarded by a foreign institution:

  • Attach a certificate issued by said institution stating that your degree meets the requirements for access to Ph.D. level studies.
  • Any degree, transcript or certificate must be provided in either English or Spanish (please attach an official translation if necessary).
  • If your former institution is located outside the  European Higher Education Area (EHEA) you are required to provide both your degree certificate and academic transcript legalized via diplomatic channels or the Apostille of The Hague Convention (when applicable). Please bear in mind that this procedure must be done at the country of origin; therefore, it is strongly recommended to do it well in advance.

Find which legalization procedure applies to your country:  Legalization of Foreign Degrees

2.2. If you are applying for an Industrial Ph.D., you must additionally submit:

  • Motivation letter for your Industrial Ph.D.
  • Endorsement letter by an expert from the company or Public Administration where the project is to be carried out. This letter serves as an introduction of the Ph.D. candidate and his or her project. 
  • (When applicable) Agreement between Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the company or Public Administration for joint development purposes regarding the project on which the Industrial Ph.D. is based.


3. As a new Ph.D. student, you can choose when to start your doctoral training period:

  • First semester start date: November 15
  • Second semester start date: March 30

Your preference must be stipulated in your application, as these dates will be used to estimate the duration of your doctoral training.


After submitting your application


Your application will go through a two-stage review process:

Administrative Validation. Our Postgraduate Office staff will check that your application meets all the requirements and the documentation attached is correct. You will be contacted if necessary.

Academic Validation and Resolution. If your application succesfully passes the previous stage, it will be forwarded to the Academic Committee of the Ph.D. program for review. You will be notified of the Committee's decision by e-mail:

  • If approved, you will receive an official Admission Letter from uc3m. If your Master's degree studies are unfinished at that point, you may receive a Conditional Admission Letter. In both cases, you must enroll on the Ph.D. program during the period established by the University to that effect, which will be stated in the letter and on our  website
  • If rejected, you may appeal the Committee's decision from the date of reception of the letter, in accordance with Spanish Law 39/2015, October 1st, on Common Administrative Procedure.


application for admission