Qualification requirements

Admission criteria

To be admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, you need to meet the following requirements: education, strong academic background, English language proficiency and funding. In addition, the faculty must have supervisory capacity within the relevant field of study.


You must have a relevant academic education corresponding to a five-year master's degree or a cand.med.vet. degree, with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Norwegian Qualification Framework, second cycle. The faculty may, after special consideration, approve other equivalent education as a basis for admission.

You must have a strong and relevant academic background from previous studies.

Strong academic background

The applicant must be able to document a strong academic background from previous studies. The Faculty may adopt further admission requirements based on criteria that are openly available. 

English language proficiency

You are required to document proficiency in the English language in one of the following ways (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.

Nordic applicants: English at upper secondary level 1 (140 hours) in a nordic country with a grade corresponding to the Norwegian grade 4 or higher may be approved by the faculty. You find information on Samordna opptak's website.


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 compulsory work or 4 years with compulsory work.

You may find vacant PhD fellowship positions at NMBU here: https://www.nmbu.no/en/about-nmbu/positions

External funding

It is also possible to get admission to a PhD programme with other forms of funding. Examples include employment in a PhD fellowship position or in a position with sufficient research time at another institution, business PhD or public-sector PhD. If you have external funding, you must be able to document full funding for the entire programme period, including fixed assets.

Candidates who have an external employer, or have their workplace outside the NMBU campus, must have residency in a relevant academic environment at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of a time that totals at least 12 months during the PhD education. The residency may be divided into a total of 3 periods of time. On the basis of a recommendation from the Head of Institute, a dispensation from these provisions may be approved.


The supervisory team consists of a main supervisor and normally 1-2 co-supervisors. The main supervisor must be an employee of NMBU and have previous experience or training in serving as supervisor for PhD candidates. When academic considerations specifically require, an external main supervisor may be appointed. Reasons must be given, and the appointment must be based on a written agreement between the main supervisor’s employer and NMBU. A co-supervisor from the Faculty must be appointed if the Faculty appoints an external main supervisor.

It is not possible to apply for admission to the PhD program without having a supervisor employed at NMBU. 

Published 25. July 2017 - 12:09 - Updated 13. September 2021 - 10:11