Doctoral education (PhD)

PhD education

A PhD degree is the highest level of formalized education in Norway.

A doctoral degree from NTNU qualifies you to a range of positions both in the private and public sector. Though academia has traditionally been the main career path, an increasing number of doctors are going into leading positions in the private sector.

The doctoral education at NTNU is structured in various PhD programmes and gaining access to a PhD-programme is a prerequisite for completing a PhD.

Find PhD-programme

Admission and financing

In addition to a Master's degree or equivalent and a strong academic record, financing is an absolute requirement for admission to a PhD-programme. Funding can be both through NTNU and other sources. Available PhD-positions at NTNU are continuously posted online.

Programme components

The PhD education is a structured degree with a nominal duration of three-year full-time study. Some PhD-positions may include a fourth year of required duties, usually in the form of teaching, this will be detailed in your employee contract if applicable.

  • The programme consists of at least 30 ECTS of coursework, and an independent academic work in the form of a doctoral thesis estimated to 2,5 years.
  • A PhD degree requires a great deal of independence and capacity for completion
  • The final thesis should contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and meet international standards in the field
  • PhD education at NTNU is internationally oriented
  • You are expected to contribute to international conferences and publish in international peer-reviewed journals
  • It is possible to complete part of your studies abroad, either in the form of a prolonged research stay or by completing some of your courses abroad


It is possible to complete a doctoral degree outside of the structured PhD-education. This is called a dr.philos.-degree and is a completely independent non-supervised academic work where your first formal contact with the university will be upon handing in your thesis.