Before applying

Your contact persons

About your PhD or qualification project

Please keep in close dialog with your main supervisor to discuss the progression or your PhD project, possible implementation of Plan B, work related delays connected to closed laboratories and cancelled/ delayed field work etc.  

For questions about sick-leave

Please contact the leader that holds the personnel responsibility for you at NMBU.

For external employed PhD candidates

If you are a PhD student at NMBU, but employed at an external institution, company or similar, you should contact your employer if you have questions about sick-leave or delays due to closed laboratories and cancelled/ delayed field work etc. Please also keep up a tight dialog with your supervisor(s) at NMBU. 

Extension of employment period

PhD candidates and post doctoral fellows whose progress has been hindered by the Corona virus outbreak may have the right to an extension of their employment period. An extension may be granted if significant obstacles to progress due to the Corona virus outbreak can be demonstrated.

Grounds for an extension are set out in the provisions below, in accordance with the regulations for conditions of employment of PhD Candidates:

  • Leave of absence
  • Care for children/ close family members
  • Leave of absence in order to undertake short-term research or teaching positions
  • The appointing body may, in exceptional cases, grant an extension where circumstances have hindered progression within the doctoral programme (for example closed laboratories and cancelled/ delayed field work)

Instructions for how to apply for such an extension are as follows:

Registration in the HR-Portal (UBW)

Please see information on the central corona web pages. The information is found under the heading: Leave of Absence and Vacation.

Registration of work related delays connected to closed laboratories and cancelled/ delayed field work etc.

Please contact your main supervisor and or the PhD coordinator at the faculty.

Guidelines for Holding a Public Defence

Please see information on the central corona web pages. Click on the appropriate index for easy access to the topic on the web page.

Published 20. April 2021 - 8:02 - Updated 20. April 2021 - 8:17

Facts about the NMBU PhD education

  • Requires a completed master's degree or five-year programme of professional study
  • Three years of full-time studies
  • Independent research work of 2.5 years
  • Educational component of 30 credits
  • Is concluded with a public trial lecture on a specified topic and a public defence
  • NMBU has approx. 90-100 public defences annually

Admission criteria

To be admitted to one of NMBU`s ten PhD programmes, you need to have the following requirements met: education background, sufficient knowledge of the English language, and funding. In addition, the faculty must have supervisory capacity within the relevant field of study.


You must have a master's degree with a scope of at least 120 credits (ECTS) that is based on a bachelor’s degree of minimum 180 credits (ECTS), or a degree, or an integrated master’s degree with a scope of minimum 300 credits (ECTS).

Professional background and grade requirements

You must have a strong academic background from previous relevant studies. The faculty may adopt further admission requirements based on specific criteria. See more information about the faculties supplementary rules here.

English language skills

You are required to document proficiency written and oral skills in English (ref. Section 5.2 (2) in the PhD regulations).

  1. English at upper secondary level 1 from a Norwegian upper secondary school (140 hours) with a grade of 4 or higher, or in-depth English from upper secondary level 2 or 3 with a pass grade, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
  2. English language test:
    1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a result of at least 580 points for the paper-based test (PBT) or 92 points for the internet-based test (IBT), or
    2. IELTS Academic Test with a score of at least 7.0, or
    3. Cambridge Certificate, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency, with a grade of C or better, or
    4. Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) with a score of at least 65 points
  3. Completion of at least one year of university studies in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. A completed bachelor's degree, or minimum one completed year of a master’s degree programme, with English as the language of instruction, in a Nordic country.

English skills at a level corresponding to that described in a.–c. that are documented in other ways, may in special cases be approved by the Faculty based on an individual assessment of the applicant’s documentation.


You must be able to document provision of full funding for the entire contract period (i.e. 3 years full-time study). The most common form of financing is the appointment of a PhD fellowship position.

PhD fellowship position

A PhD fellowship means that you get a temporary employment at one of the university's faculties. PhD fellowship positions are normally given for 3 years without any required work duty or 4 years with required work duty. Applications for PhD fellowship positions are by open announcements only. New positions are announced on a continuous basis. 

You may find open PhD fellowship positions at NMBU here:

External funding

It is also possible to get admission to a PhD programme with other funding. Examples of such funding may be employment in a PhD fellowship position or in a position with sufficient research time at another institution, business PhD or public-sector PhD. The faculties may impose requirements for connection with a professional environment (residency) (see more information about the faculties' supplementary rules here). If you have external funding, you must be able to document full funding for the entire programme period, including fixed assets.

Other requirements

The faculty for which application is to be made may have requirements that you attend specific courses, and/or be expected to pass specific tests before admission is concluded. See more information about the faculties supplementary rules here.


NMBU has seven faculties and ten PhD programs. The faculties are responsible for the PhD programmes and application for admission is sent to the faculty. NMBU has one set of PhD regulations. In addition, each faculty has their own supplementary rules.

Published 16. December 2014 - 14:16 - Updated 26. March 2021 - 11:24