Doctoral School - UAH - Prospective Students - Access and Admission

Access requirements

1. Generally speaking, to gain access to a doctoral programme students must be in possession of the Spanish official degree titles of bachelor, or equivalent, and master, or equivalent, provided they have completed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in their official university studies as a whole.

2. Access is also open to those who:

  • Are in possession of a Spanish official university degree title, or one from another country within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which affords access to a master’s degree, and have successfully completed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in their official university studies as a whole, at least 60 of which must have been as part of a master’s degree programme. To this end, the University of Alcalá establishes several criteria when looking at theses 60 Masters level credits. See details in the following link: Masters level credits
  • Spanish official university degree of Licentiate, Architect or Engineer, issued before EHEA implementation, or covering five years or more.
  • Are in possession of a Spanish official university degree title of bachelor, with a credit load of at least 300 ECTS credits. Such graduates will have to undertake specific complementary training unless the programme of studies corresponding to their degree includes research training credits equivalent in training value to the credits in research training proper to master’s studies.
  • Hold university qualifications and who, subject to obtaining a training place in the relevant access test for specialist healthcare training, have successfully completed at least two years of training in a programme leading to an official qualification in any of the specialities covered by Health Sciences.
  • Are in possession of a university qualification awarded under a foreign university system; this university degree requires no official recognition, but it is subject to the University’s confirmation that said qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to that acquired in a Spanish official university degree of master and affords access to doctoral studies in the issuing country. Admission thus will under no circumstances imply any official recognition of the degree held by the interested party or its recognition for any effects other than for access to doctoral studies.
  • Are in possession of another Spanish degree of doctor obtained in compliance of earlier university ordinances.
  • Research aptitude certificate (for students under the 1985 plan).
  • Advanced Studies Diploma (C-DEA), for students under the 1998 plan.
  • Are in possession of an official university degree that has obtained the correspondence to level 3 of the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education, in accordance with the procedure established by the Royal Decree 967/2014 (BOE 22 November, 2014).

Admission Criteria

Once the Doctoral School has verified that the application meets the access requirements, the Academic Committee of each doctoral programme is responsible for deciding whether the applicant complies with the recommended access profile and the admission requirements. Each programme´s admission criteria are set out in the Find a programme section.

Generally speaking, in order to be admitted the following points will be taken into account:

  1. Academic record.
  2. Knowledge of a foreign language; see the list of official certificates accepted by the University of Alcalá in the following links:
  3. Other merits: scientific output (author of scientific or technical publications or documents, participation in conferences), Erasmus, SICYE-Seneca or similar stays, specialist courses taken outside official university studies and previous professional experience related to the subject matter of the doctoral programme.

Account may be had of up to two letters of reference written by university lecturers, researchers and, in exceptional circumstances, professionals who have had some relation with the candidate and taken part in his or her academic or professional training.

It is recommended to include a letter of motivation (PDF) which describes the personal and professional reasons for applying to the PhD program, the research line chosen and the name of the possible supervisor of the Thesis.

If deemed necessary, the Academic Committee may invite the applicant for a personal interview to discuss the contents of motivation letter.

The admission criteria and procedures for part-time students will be the same as those established for full-time students.

Procedure for changing UAH Doctoral Programmes regulated by the Royal Decrees 1392/2007 and 99/2011)

Students wishing to change from a doctoral programme regulated by RD RD 1393/2007 and by RD 99/2011 must proceed as follows:

  1. Consider whether the programme they are matriculated in is related to the programme to which they wish to change.
    Relations can be consulted in this table of equivalences between programmes.
  2. Use the pre-registration tool to indicate on the “Doctoral Programme Data” screen that they wish to change from one Royal Decree to another.

The Doctoral School will then proceed as follows:

  1. If the change is to a related programme:

    • Admission will be carried out at the Doctoral School (hereinafter EDUAH).
    • The Research Project will be treated as the Research Plan.
    • Thesis supervisors belonging to the UAH teaching staff will become thesis supervisors and tutors under the plan.
      Should the thesis supervisor be from outside the UAH, he or she will be maintained, but the programme’s academic committee will be asked to appoint a tutor. If the supervisor is also to be changed, the academic committee must notify the EDUAH.
      Should there be three or more supervisors, approval must be secured from the Official Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies Committee.
    • The student must sign the Learning and Good Practice Agreement (WORD) in the EDUAH.
    • Once the student has been admitted, the EDUAH will notify the change to the coordinator of the relevant doctoral programme.
  2. If the change is to a non-related programme, the procedure will be the same as for ordinary admission.

In both cases, the entry and admission requirements of doctoral programmes regulated by RD99/2011 must be satisfied. It should be remembered that each doctoral programme has its own admission requirements.


  • Students proceeding from RD 1393/2007, whose academic files are open and who are up to date with their academic tutelage matriculation payments, or other payments as applicable, may request a change of Royal Decree.


As all students must apply for admission to doctoral studies as new students, there can be no change of Royal Decree in the following cases: 

  1. Students from Plan 85 (RD 185/1985).
  2. Students from Plan 98 (RD 778/1998):
    • Those who are not in possession of an approved thesis project, regardless of possession of research competence.
    • Those whose academic files are closed, for whatever reason.
  3. Students from Plan 1393 (RD 1393/2007):
    Students with outstanding academic tutelage matriculation payments, or other payments as applicable, cannot apply for a change of Royal Decree until they have settled their arrears.

It should be noted that residence commences from the date of admission to the new RD 99/2011