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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 24/25 academic year with start date on the 15th of November 2024 can be submitted from February 1st through August 31st 2024 (Spanish peninsular time, CET)*.

- Applications for admission for the second semester of the 24/25 academic year with start date on the 30th of March 2025 can be submitted from September 1st 2024 through January 31st 2025 (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

Admission requirements

According to art. 6 of the PhD studies regulation (RD 99/2011), in order to access the PhD studies it is required to have a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) and a Master's degree (or equivalent), provided that at least 300 ECTS credits have been passed in these two cycles as a whole, or the equivalent degree qualifies for level 3 of MECES (Marco Español de Cualificaciones para la Educación Superior, Spanish Framework for Higher Education Qualifications).

Likewise, access is available to candidates in possession of foreign degrees from countries integrated into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) when the degree can be accredited as level 7 in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), as long as the aforementioned degree allows access to PhD level studies in the country of expedition; and candidates with a degree which is equivalent to a Spanish Master's degree, obtained in foreign education systems outside the EHEA, as long as the aforementioned degree allows access to PhD level studies in the country of expedition.

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, in pdf format, 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
  • University degree certificate/diploma of access to PhD (Master's degree or equivalent) or proof of application to it
  • Academic transcript of undergraduate studies (Bachelor's degree), including grades (*), and copy of the Bachelor's degree diploma in case the degree has been completed at a University outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
  • Academic transcript of graduate studies (Master's degree), including grades (*).
    • If you have obtained your Master's degree at a University within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), you also need to attach your EU Diploma Supplement.
    • If you have obtained your Master's degree outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), you will need to provide an official certificate, issued by your University, which confirms that the Master's degree allows access to PhD studies in the country where the degree was issued.
  • 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. Language of documents and legalization:

  • A legalization procedure might applicable to your documents depending on the country where you carried out your previous studies. Find out which legalization applies in your case:  Legalization of Foreign Degrees
    Please bear in mind that this procedure must be done at the country of origin. It is strongly recommended to do it well in advance.

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.

2.3. If you are applying for a FPU financial aid for university faculty training or a predoctoral financial aid funded by the Community of Madrid, please indicate it on the Comments section of your online application for a PhD.


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