According to the Dutch law a Dutch Master’s degree is a requirement to start a PhD trajectory. Under very strict conditions the Amsterdam UMC Doctoral Graduate School also recognizes pre-PhD students.

Difference between Pre-PhD and MD/PhD students

An MD/PhD student combines the Master and PhD within a formalized study arrangement. For AMC/UvA MD/PhD Candidates are selected after an intensive application procedure.. This scholarschip is only accesible for AMC/UvA students. Pre-PhD students combine Master and PhD at their own initiative or participating in the MD/PhD program of VUmc/VU.


A pre-PhD student is a Master student who will be engaged in a research project supervised by an Amsterdam UMC promotor, which is intended to result in a PhD Thesis which will be defended at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam (AMC/UvA) or the Vrije University of Amsterdam (VUmc/VU). Pre-PhD students are required to obtain their Master's degree before the thesis defense.

The following groups are eligible:

  • AMC Master students in Medicine or Medical Informatics, or

  • Biomedical Sciences (FNWI) or other UvA Master students, or

  • Master students from another university

Please note: you need to have a completed Bachelor relevant to the current Master you are following. Students with a bachelor degree, but currently following another bachelor are not eligible.

The following groups are not eligible :

  • Bachelor students

  • Amsterdam UMC master students just planning their research internship are not eligible
  • Individuals with a Bachelor degree who are not doing a Master should consult the Amsterdam UMC Doctoral School

Registration procedure

To register at the Amsterdam UMC Doctoral School , prospective pre-PhD students fill out the standard registration form. The printed form must be signed by an Amsterdam UMC full professor who will act as the prospective PhD supervisor and by the applicant.
A short letter of recommendation from the Amsterdam UMC full professor, and a photocopy of the Bachelor's degree certificate needs to be included.

The completed form and other documents must be sent to the Amsterdam UMC Doctoral School (PhD Candidate Advisor, E:, T: 020 566 7477, location E2-172).

After receipt of the full application, the prospective pre-PhD student will be contacted by one of the PhD Candidate Advisors. The Amsterdam Doctoral School has the final decision on registration.

Once registered all courses offered by the Amsterdam UMC Doctoral School are open to pre-PhD students. All other preconditions concerning the PhD course program (course regulations) apply to pre-PhD students as well.

Obtaining a Master degree

After obtaining your Master degree please inform de Amsterdam UMC Doctoral School. You can send us a copy of your Master degree so you can be registered as a PhD candidate instead of a Pre-PhD candidate.

Back to "PhD Trajectory"