Easiest Countries to Get PhD Admission

Every year, doctorate aspirants look out for the easiest countries to get PhD admission to pursue their dreams of getting a PhD. This search most times does not end well as some candidates are still denied doctorate admissions due to one mistake or the other.

To be eligible for a PhD, it is necessary to have a good undergraduate degree and a master’s degree – usually a merit or above. Also, it is essential to have a really good academic reference – one from a dissertation supervisor is the best possible kind of reference. However, it is getting harder and harder to get a place on a good PhD program and one of the main reasons for this is the sheer volume of people who are applying for doctorate places.

With this difficulty, aspiring PhD students need to find out where they can fulfill their dreams of perfecting their professional knowledge – and just to help you all out, we are looking at the easiest countries to get a place on a PhD program.

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Criteria for Selection: Factors To Consider

There are a few very important criteria that must be properly and thoroughly reviewed to determine which countries you can apply to and be rest assured of getting your PhD admission. Some of the criteria for selection of these top universities for PhD admission include tuition fees, entry requirements, reputable universities, living standards, job opportunities, and funding availability all play a role.

  1. Cost of Admission

The cost of applying for a PhD varies worldwide. In the UK, application fees range from £50-£100 but can be over £150 for international students.  You must consider the cost of admission before you choose a country to get PhD admission.

  1. Selection process

To be successful with your doctorate application, you must pay attention to the selection process. Take note of the eligibility criteria and submit all necessary documents such as degree certificate, master’s certificate, statement of purpose, reference letters, language proficiency and any other specified document. Take note of all these before starting your application.

  1. Tuition Fee

Above all factors to consider, the tuition fee is of paramount importance. You need to know the countries with specific ranges for tuition fees. This will help you to make a proper budget. The tuition fees for doctoral degrees in different countries vary. In Norway, there are no tuition fees, but a semester fee of $70 is required. Sweden also has no tuition fees and is known for its quality education. In Germany, almost all PhD programs are free, but there is a small admin fee of $150 – $300.

  1. Cost of Living

After the tuition cost, the next bargain is the overall cost of living. The cost of living can be very expensive in one country compared to another. You wouldn’t want to study in a country where you will be stressed to live.

Related: Easiest PhD Programs to Get Into

Easiest Countries to Get PhD AdmissionTop 10 Easiest Countries To Get PhD Admission

Many students around the globe aspire to pursue their PhD degrees, driven by a desire to embellish their names with a few additional alphabets. However, the difficult task of finding a country where securing a PhD admission is a seamless process poses a significant challenge.

To reduce the tension and anxiety of all the students around the world regarding PhD admission, I have plotted a list of a few countries. I hope this list can help all the students and scholars generously. So, let’s take a look at this wonderful list without wasting any time. The top 10 easiest countries to get PhD admission are as follows:

#1. Germany

Germany, although being a non-English speaking country, also offers one of the easiest PhD programs to apply for. The public research expenditures and the number of research institutions in Germany are surprisingly high, particularly within the scientific fields. Germany has a notorious intercultural focus to attract international students, not only in urban areas but also in rural towns. No matter where students choose to study in Germany, there is something unique for them there.

Public German universities don’t charge any tuition fee for both domestic and international students to pursue a PhD program. That’s a big plus, isn’t it? Also, the cost of living in Germany is quite affordable compared to other European countries. It generally amounts to an average of 800-1,000 euros per month.

As Germany has quite a low unemployment rate and a lack of skilled graduates, the German government, as well as local industries, are seeking international students with European degrees or PhDs to live and work in Germany. All these contribute to what makes Germany top the list of the easiest countries to get a PhD admission.

#2. Sweden

The next country on our list of countries with the easiest PhD admission rate is Sweden. Sweden offers many advantages to PhD applicants, such as a liberal view on all areas of life, an active cultural scene, beautiful countryside, and the famous “Allemansrättan,” the right to roam. The country is also an innovation leader and has a high percentage of homegrown, multinational companies, which is good news for any PhD applicants who are hoping to ultimately work in the Swedish industries.

Not only is Sweden recognized for its affordable and high-quality education, but it is also considered a top European country for research. Tuition and cost of living in Sweden are relatively cheaper compared to many other European countries.

Most importantly, Sweden is well known for innovative thinking and the research universities in Sweden are very focused on making a global impact. We have articles and write-ups on moving to Sweden, you can check out some useful information here.

#3. Australia

The admission criteria for PhD in Australia is the most common and simple admission process. Australia is a well-known academic destination worldwide. Added to this is the fact that it is an English-speaking country; many students go there for a PhD. As compared to the UK or USA, the tuition fees are not that expensive in Australia. Tuition for a PhD in Australia is about 14,000-37,000 AUD per year.

Students can study in Australia without spending time learning a new language. Even though it is relatively easier to get admitted to an Australian PhD program, it is not easy to shift from one university to another. Students are very independent and they do not receive much supervision.

The major benefit of getting a PhD in Australia is the lifestyle. Australia is full of people, beautiful scenery, and a high quality of life. In terms of actually enjoying the living experience, many found that Australia offers an excellent higher education system along with a high quality of life, good employment prospects, and a spirit of freedom. And that is why it is definitely one of the best choices for getting a PhD.

See Also: Top Neurobiology PhD Programs

#4. Canada

When it comes to Canada, it’s considered one of the easiest countries to get admission for doing your PhD. Usually in Canada, the PhD students get the chance to work as a teaching assistant, where they get the opportunity to supervise undergraduate students, correct exam papers and work closely with a professor in their chosen field, which is a great added advantage in the PhD experience.

After the successful completion of the PhD, the candidate can apply for a post-study work visa extension which usually allows them to work in Canada for up to three years. This is a great added advantage because, during that time, they may even apply for permanent residency in Canada.

#5. Netherlands

The Netherlands is another extremely easy PhD country to get into. Like many other European countries, Netherlands PhD and doctoral candidates are paid a salary, which means in addition to not paying tuition fees, they get paid for their studies. The high quality of life in the Netherlands is another great attraction for PhD students.

It has a diverse cultural climate, open and liberal attitudes and many fun things to do – whether that’s seeing the tulips blossom in the spring, cycling through the countryside, or experiencing the buzz of cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

One point in favor of why you should consider the Netherlands for a PhD is the international working environment. The Dutch are well-known for speaking more than one language, including English. Take note, while the application process will be easier than in other countries, do not be surprised if you need a student visa to begin your studies.

#6. Denmark

Denmark is a Scandinavian country that has been ranked as the happiest country in the world and one of the easiest countries to get a PhD admission. The country is home to several prestigious universities, some of which offer very attractive PhD programs. Some of these universities include the University of Copenhagen, Aalborg University, Technical University of Denmark, and Aarhus University, which is the largest and oldest university in Denmark and is also listed in the top 100 universities in the world.

Read Also: Top 10 Countries for Online PhD in Europe

As a PhD student in Denmark, you have the opportunity to work on research projects that are supported financially by the relevant industry, with the hope of finding practical solutions to problems on the market. This strong interaction between academic research and the industrial sector is an attractive advantage for international students who wish to undertake their PhDs in Denmark. All these benefits and advantages are the reason why Denmark is listed as one of the top 10 easiest countries in the world to get a PhD admission.

#7. New Zealand

New Zealand is a remote and beautiful country. Its agricultural and tourism industries are both booming, and it’s becoming a great place to do high-quality scientific courses. New Zealand is a social and economic safe haven, too.

Most applicants are drawn to the buzzing atmosphere of the specialist colleges and research centres where students, professors, and professionals are all working together to create groundbreaking discoveries and a rich research environment.

New Zealand plays host to research in increasingly growing industries such as earth sciences, conservation, marine biology, and the emerging digital industries. It is known for being a small country, but with a highly diverse and impressive set of natural environments.

#8. Belgium

Belgium serves as an important location for many international politicians, and the European Union has its headquarters in Belgium. Belgium has a rich history and culture. It is also popular for its cosmopolitan environment. The country is quite modern and is known for its multicultural society. Belgium is situated in the heart of Europe, which means that you will have the opportunity to experience different countries and cultures.

Belgium is a very safe and secure country. It is a place where people genuinely care and look out for one another. This is a country that is known for its high quality of life and great student benefits. As a student, if you work besides studying, then in Belgium, you will get minimum wage, which is quite often better than in other European countries.

Related: Benefits of Online Doctoral Programs: Why It’s Worth It.

#9. Norway

Norway joins the list of attractive destinations for international PhD scholars mainly because of the no-tuition fee policy at this level of study and high-quality education. The universities in Norway are known for their high academic standards, i.e. active in research and scientific work. All PhD programmes in Norway are paid positions, meaning students are recruited as employees.

Another reason why Norway can be envisioned as the PhD paradise is that most of the PhD research works in Norway are constructed in collaboration with external partners such as industry, commerce, and the public sector around the world, which create a practical and real-life research environment for the scholars.

#10. SwitzerlandEasiest Schools to get PhD Admissions in Switzerland

Switzerland is a top choice for those seeking a PhD due to its strong emphasis on scientific research, diverse research opportunities, and high quality of life. In addition to the academic benefits, Switzerland offers a high quality of life. Switzerland is known for its beautiful landscapes, efficient public transportation, and excellent healthcare system.

Students pursuing a PhD in Switzerland can enjoy a balanced lifestyle while focusing on their research. The opportunity to be part of a diverse and multicultural research community in Switzerland attracts researchers from all over the world, creating a rich and collaborative environment.

There are many reasons why Switzerland is a top location for foreign candidates pursuing doctorates. Typically, the Swiss will take every chance to foster talent, including academics, and a good candidate is considered a valuable resource.

Top 5 Schools For Easy PhD Admissions in Switzerland

Switzerland has built a well-deserved reputation for its unwavering dedication to academic excellence. This unwavering commitment is evident in the impressive global rankings of Swiss universities, surpassing even those in other European countries excluding the UK.

To assist in your pursuit of a PhD, here is a list of the five most esteemed universities in Switzerland, as recognized by influential institutions like Times Higher Education, QS, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). You can read the full article on the top universities to study PhD programs in Switzerland here.

1. ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich, recognized as the 11th best university globally by the QS World University rating 2024, stands out as the ideal institution for those seeking a research-focused doctoral degree (PhD) in Switzerland. This particularly appeals to students who aspire towards careers in academia or industry.

2. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

EPFL is globally recognized for its excellence in scientific and technological education. The institute provides doctoral programs in various fields including engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and life sciences. The admissions procedure at EPFL is highly competitive, but it prioritizes extensive research background and future potential.

3. University of Zurich

The University of Zurich offers a vibrant and diverse atmosphere for PhD studies, spanning various fields such as humanities, social sciences, law, medicine, and natural sciences. Their programs are designed to encourage independent research, enabling students to explore their chosen areas of study under the mentorship of esteemed faculty members. To ensure a fruitful PhD experience, the university provides ample resources and assistance for research growth, career mapping, and the honing of teaching abilities.

4. University of Bern

The University of Bern is known for its diverse PhD offerings across various fields such as humanities, social sciences, law, medicine, science, and veterinary medicine. The admission procedures may differ for each program, but typically they seek candidates with sound academic backgrounds and a distinct focus on research.

5. University of Basel

The University of Basel is renowned for its rich academic history and is known as a hub of intellectualism. When it comes to PhD programs, emphasis is placed on providing students with extensive research training. At this prestigious institution, you will have the opportunity to work closely with esteemed scholars in various fields such as humanities, life sciences, law, pharmacy, and social sciences. This university takes pride in fostering a tight-knit research community, where you will be actively engaged in seminars, conferences, and workshops. These activities will allow you to refine your research abilities and become an expert in your chosen field of study.

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