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What will I learn?

The Graduate School of Theology and Religious Studies offers PhD programmes in close cooperation with the three research groups of the Faculty's Centre for Religious Studies (CRS):

Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins
Comparative Study of Religion
Christianity and the History of Ideas

These groups have an outstanding national and international reputation in Religious Studies and Theology. The programme is open to highly motivated foreign and Dutch students who have a wide-ranging interest in religion and who wish to study in a challenging academic environment that stimulates personal ambition and development. In the programme, you conduct your own research while the Graduate School provides a balanced mix of expert supervision of at least two experts, tailor-made postgraduate training and the freedom to pursue your own ideas within relevant research themes. Admission to the programme is competitive and selective.

The main part of your PhD programme, performing research independently, takes place under the supervision of at least two experts on your research subject. The results of your research are written down in a PhD thesis. It is also possible to obtain your PhD based on articles (to be) published in scientific journals. After a successful defense, you will be awarded with a PhD degree that is internationally esteemed and recognized.

  • For three years PhD programmes the training programme usually amounts to 10 ECTS, consists of required activities.

  • For four year PhD programmes, the training programme usually amounts to 30 ECTS credits (1 credit is 28 hours of study) and is a mix of practical skill courses, and in-depth courses regarding the research subject. Attending a conference, and research seminars or other activities can also count towards credits. Your training programme will be developed after admission, in collaboration with your supervisors and the Graduate School.

  • Training in research ethics and academic integrity is a compulsory part of the programme. You can fulfill this requirement by joining the sessions on ethics and integrity organized yearly in the third block of the year (starting in February), together with the research master students. You can find the schedule for these sessions via the schedule generator; search for the course 'generic academic skills' then contact the course coordinator. If you prefer to fulfill this requirement in another way, please discuss this with your supervisors and the director of the graduate school.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

Study options

Full Time (3 - 4 years)

Tuition fees
Information not available
Start date

Expected August, September 2022


University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5,


9712 CP, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have Research Master degree or equivalent. Applicants with other research master degrees will be considered if sufficiently related to the research programme; Fluent in English (written and spoken).

For international students

A research based MA-thesis and completed MA degree, at a university comparable to a Dutch university.

Sufficient knowledge of English: a TOEFL score of at least 580-600 (paper), 237- 250 (computer) or 92-100 (internet), or a minimum score of 6.5 to 7.0 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System; overall; 6.5. for each section). Native speakers of English, and Dutch applicants with a VWO certificate, are exempt from this requirement.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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