An international education is an investment that allows students to reap benefits from it in the long run. Norway boasts a 100% literacy rate with an education system that ranks among the top 20 worldwide. This Scandinavian country excels in providing specialized higher education containing modern institutes.

Its ‘Universal Schooling’ policy is a contributing factor that propels its students to higher ranks within the job market. A high-quality Ph.D. is among the Norwegian educational institution’s incredible provisions. The country’s research institutions and centers are known for their international collaboration.

Norway’s universities offer a diverse range of Ph.D. disciplines along with exceptional financial advantages. This makes this country an attractive study-abroad destination for international students. For in-depth information regarding all the requirements and application criteria regarding studying Ph.D., refer to our detailed article below.

Ph.D. Degree Admission Requirements

A Ph.D. is considered an esteemed accomplishment that signifies the academic achievement of the individual. To get accepted into a doctoral degree in a Norwegian university, here are a few requirements for the application.

1. Master’s Degree

The applicant must have a certified master’s degree that is equivalent to a master’s in Norway (Mastergrad eller Profesjonsstudiet). The student should have at least a 3.5 GPA to get accepted.

Ensure that the master’s field aligns with the Ph.D. chosen program by the student. The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) determines the eligibility of the student’s equivalent degree for this purpose.

2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A comprehensive document that highlights and describes the applying candidate’s educational background, skills, accomplishments, and professional background should also be provided. This is a requirement of the admission committee to analyze the full potential of the applicant’s abilities.

3. Demonstrated Research Experience

Participation in research projects and their certificates or proof must be provided. Any publications, academic journals, and project presentation documents must also be attached. In this way, the student is required to portray their contribution to that specific field of study.

4. Research Proposal

Another application requirement for a Ph.D. in Norway universities is a well-crafted research proposal for your project plan. Methodologies and contributions in that respective field should be mentioned in this document. It should be based on authentic data collected.

5. Language Proficiency

English and Norwegian are the modes of instruction in Norwegian institutes. The applicant must provide a passing certificate of standardized Norwegian or English language tests.

6. Statement of Purpose

The students are also asked to submit a detailed SOP that outlines their career aspirations, academic interests, and research goals. It should highlight the interest of the candidate in the respective subject and their suitability for the program.

7. Norwegian Visa

Norway does not need visas for students from the EU/EEA, or Switzerland to pursue doctoral studies in the country. Visas for Norway may only be used for stays of up to 90 days. A student housing pass, health insurance, and a Norwegian identifying number are the things you will need instead.

The institution you want to attend may provide you with advice and help you apply for a visa. You may also contact the Norwegian Embassy in your country of residence for further details.

8. Student Residence Permit

Student Residence permit is required to live in Norway for more than 3-4 months. For EU doctoral candidates, registration with the local police is the only requirement. For non-EU/EEA doctoral students, you need to be eligible for a student residence permit. This requires €12,288 as proof of your cost of living.

These are the general requirements for most Norwegian universities for admission to their doctoral programs. However, the prerequisites for admission are different for each institution and program, and each may have its own set of specific requirements.

Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Doctoral Studies

To pursue a doctoral degree in Norway language is an essential aspect. English or Norwegian being the languages of instruction in their institutions require a proficiency test certificate for either to gain admission. Prospective international doctoral candidates need to provide scores on these tests.

For English-taught Programs

Three tests are typically accepted in Norwegian universities with English-taught doctoral programs.


For Norwegian-taught Programs

For students pursuing Norwegian-taught doctoral programs, the following tests are required.

  • Bergenstest: A minimum score of 350 points is typically required.
  • Norskprøve: A minimum score of 4 (B2) or 5 (C1) is typically required.


Ph.D. Degree Application Process

Although it is a competitive process to get accepted into a Norwegian doctoral program, it can be an incredible opportunity to advance one’s career prospects. Here are the steps you need to follow to apply for a Ph.D. in Norway.

Step 1. Choose a Program and Check the Eligibility Criteria

Research the institutions regarding their ranking, reputation, and expertise in the interested subject. Look through its research facilities and make sure its program is under your career interests. Check for your admission eligibility and ensure that you meet all their acceptance standards.

Step 2. Research Desired Program

Each Norwegian university or research institute that offers a doctoral degree usually handles the administration of the program. A doctoral program’s admissions procedure and due date are different for every university. For additional information on the application processes and criteria, prospective students may visit the program’s website or get in touch with the admissions office.

Step 3. Fill Up the Application Form and Attach Documents

For the respective university that you want to apply to, open the application form from their official website. Provide accurate and complete information on the application program regarding all your personal details. Scan all the educational documents, CV, research proposal, language proficiency test certificate, and SOP. Ensure the documents are in the right format before sending them.

Step 4. Submit the Application

Make sure to finish your application and submit the application form with all its supporting documents in due time. Now all you have to do is wait for the admission committee to look through your application to receive your admission decision.

FAQs: Ph.D. Application Process in Norway

Is It Expensive to Study Ph.D. in Norway?

There is no tuition fee to study Ph.D. program in Norway. Although the admission criteria are strict, it’s highly affordable if accepted. In Norway, Ph.D. candidates are often employed by the institution that provides them with funds, rather than being classified as students. However, there is a student union fee of roundabout €50 – €100 required to be paid by all Ph.D. students.

The vast majority of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) doctoral students who work as Ph.D. research fellows require no tuition fee. They are employed at the university or one of its affiliated colleges and gain associated worker’s rights.

Another example of this is the Ph.D. program at NNH Norwegian School of Economics, which is free of cost. The university has an annual finding of 550K NOK as per the university website for its Ph.D. candidates. The Business and Management program comes under this category and opens doors for the student to a successful career ahead.


Norway is a great contender in the world’s education systems and its educational institutes are proof of its quality education. However, language proficiency and outstanding educational background are required to gain admission to the doctoral program of Norwegian universities.


We hope this article helped you better understand all the requirements and applications to study for a Ph.D. in Norway effectively. Learn more about Norway and its education by checking the Study in Norway page! And if you are searching for courses, here’s a list of available programs for international students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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