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Dr.Philos. at the Faculty of Medicine

The Dr.Philos.-degree may be just the right degree for you who want to take a doctorate, but for various reasons do not want to be on an organised doctoral degree programme (PhD).

You will be more independent working on a Dr.Philos. than if you are on a PhD-programme. You will have no deadlines and no appointed supervisors. Thesis work is usually done alongside other work.

Dr.Philos. versus PhD

The Dr.Philos.-degree is considered equal to a PhD degree in terms of academic standard and quality, and has the same requirements concerning research qualifications.

  • The degree of Doctor Philosophiae (Dr.Philos.) is a non-supervised degree which may be conferred to persons who have completed a higher degree, i.e. a master's degree or equivalent studies. The research and the doctoral thesis are completed without formal connection with the university.
  • The PhD education is organised in programmes with a stipulated length of 3 years' full-time study, including an educational component of at least 30 credits.

Why choose a Dr.Philos.-degree?

The degree of Dr.Philos. is recommended as a good option for you who do not have the opportunity, wish or need to be on a PhD programme

The independent Dr.Philos.-degree will suit you who for instance:

  • do not have earmarked funding
  • do not have the opportunity to use minimum 50% of your working time on the doctorate
  • do not meet the grade requirements for admission to an organised PhD programme
  • do not have the opportunity to follow an organized training programme or you just want less compulsory education
  • want to work on your own without formal supervision. Upon admission to a PhD programme, minimum two supervisors will be appointed by the faculty
  • do not need a work place or other aid from the Faculty of Medicine
  • want greater flexibility without deadlines
  • have a permanent job and are using your spare time to work on your research
  • have come so far with your research that it will take less than a year before you will apply for thesis evaluation, e.g. if you have completed the Medical Student Research Programme

The Dr.Philos.-degree is an independent work, and the university, therefore, does not offer funding support, formal supervision or other assistance along the way.

On what basis is the Dr.Philos.-degree awarded?

  • a doctoral thesis
  • two trial lectures – one on a topic of your choice, and one on a topic selected for you
  • a public defence of the thesis (disputation)

Information about the thesis, when you cannot submit your thesis and about publication can be found on UiO’s webpages.

Who can present themselves for the Dr.Philos.-degree?

You must have a five year master's degree or equivalent studies. The faculty may grant you admission to the Dr.Philos. examination if you can demonstrate equivalent qualifications. It is up to you to document equivalent qualifications.

You should be a citizen of Norway or another Nordic country. If you have citizenship in another country, you may following a substantiated application be granted admission to the Dr.Philos. examination if you have a residence permit in Norway, or if the thesis:

  • handles topics or makes use of material directly related to Norway, or
  • is closely related to Norwegian research within the discipline, or
  • has been carried out during stays at a Norwegian university or research institution, or in close contact with Norwegian researchers.

See information on UiO’s webpages.  

What to enclose with your application

  • An application for evaluation of the thesis. The application must contain the following information:
    • name and personal identity number
    • title of the thesis, and information whether the thesis is an article based thesis or a monograph
    • short description of the thesis’ themes
    • contact details for the next six months; address, telephone and e-mail address
    • information about where and when the work was completed
  • One electronic copy of your thesis on a memory stick. The memory stick should contain the whole thesis, i.e. both the summary and the articles or monograph, as a single PDF-file. The thesis should be saved as a PDF-file and should not be scanned. The application letter and attachments should be added as separate PDF-files to the same memory stick as the thesis.
  • Declaration of procured permits (docx) (pdf). All applications as well as permits regarding approvals must be enclosed. The declaration form must be completed and signed by the candidate and all his/her supervisors. See information about applications to REC and other bodies.
  • Co-author declaration (docx) (pdf) when required
  • A declaration as to whether the doctoral thesis is being submitted for evaluation for the first or second time
  • A declaration that the doctoral thesis as a whole or parts thereof has not previously been submitted and/or evaluated by any other Norwegian or foreign institution (docx)
  • Copy of your master’s and bachelor's degree or equivalent qualifications (the original documents must be shown upon request).
  • If the diploma and transcripts of records are not in English or a Scandinavian language, you must enclose a diploma supplement in English, or an official translation from a state-authorized translator.
  • If relevant, documentation of equivalent qualifications
  • Overview of earlier scientific works (must be shown upon request)
  • If relevant, residence permit in Norway
  • If you are not a Nordic citizen you must also enclose documentation that the thesis has a close connection to Norway

Where to submit your thesis

Please send application for evaluation of your thesis as a zip file to

After your thesis has been submitted, it cannot be withdrawn before it has been finally decided whether it is worthy of defence for the Dr.Philos. degree.


If the faculty approves your application for thesis evaluation, the faculty will appoint an expert evaluation committee of at least three members which will evaluate the thesis, the trial lectures and the public defence.

The rules on impartiality contained in Section 6 of the Public Administration Act apply to the members of the committee.

Declaration of impartiality (docx) (pdf)

After the committee has been appointed you will receive an e-mail about the further process.


The thesis cannot be printed before the faculty has found it worthy of public defence. If the thesis is approved for public defence, minimum 60 copies of the thesis must be printed.

See more information about printing at the Faculty of Medicine

Trial lectures and public defence

See information about the doctoral examination on UiO’s webpages

Dates for trial lectures and public defence at the Faculty of Medicine

Doctoral conferment

Doctoral conferments are held 4 times a year. Information about the ceremony, the dates of conferment and invitation letter can be found on UiOs webpages.  


If an application for a Dr.Philos. evaluation is rejected or a thesis is not approved, an appeal may be made in accordance with Section 16 of the Regulations for the degree of Dr.Philos:

Rules and regulatory frameworks

Below you will find links to the most relevant rules and guidelines:

Approvals for medical and health research


Contact us

Published May 29, 2015 11:14 AM - Last modified June 15, 2022 2:14 PM