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Application instructions for Predoctoral or Doctoral programmes

Make sure to read the detailed selection procedure and admission requirements that are described on the website of the Doctoral School.

Attention to all applicants:
  • You must have contacted your future promoter before submitting the application form!
  • If you wish to apply for a vacancy, you must apply through the Jobsite of KU Leuven first. Only when the position is offered to you, you need to follow the application procedure on this website.
  • Please note that the application documents sent in hard copy cannot be returned to the applicant.
  • Applicants for the predoctoral or doctoral programmes are not required to pay the application fee.
Application deadlines:

Applicants for predoctoral and doctoral programmes, who will finance their studies by themselves (self-supporting), may apply at any time. There are no application deadlines for self-supporting predoctoral and doctoral applicants.


Application instructions:

Step 1: Request and Activate your Guest Account

Before you can start the application procedure, you must request a Guest Account by using the link below. Then, you will receive an e-mail with your Guest Account (e-number) and an internet link. With that e-mail, you will be able to activate your Guest Account and provide your own personal, private password.

  • To request a Guest Account, use this link: Guest Account, then fill in the required fields (the field, 'number in the national register' is only required for Belgians). Then click the button 'Register'.
  • To activate your Guest Account, use the e-mail you received containing your Guest Account (e-number) and the link to the activation page. Click on this link to activate your Guest Account. Then follow the instructions on the webpage on how to choose a password. If you haven't received this e-mail with your Guest Account within one work day, please check if the e-mail has been sent accidently to your spam folder.

Keep your Guest Account and personal password handy at all times; you will be using them regularly for the following steps below.

Please note that, when you log in, you will be asked for your “intranet userID”. This is the same number as your guest account, and starts with “e" + 7 digits.


Step 2: Download the Application Form

As soon as your Guest Account is activated you can surf to the KU Leuven web application Applicant and then download the Application Form onto your local PC.

  • Make sure that an updated version of Adobe Reader is installed on your PC. Please note that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC - version 15.010.00256 (released 12/01/2016) cannot yet be used.
  • For users with Arabic data please set Adobe language to English.
  • Recommended browsers: IE6 (XP), IE7 (XP,Vista), IE8 (XP,Vista,Windows7), Firefox (XP,Vista,Windows7, Linux, MacOS).

The form can be completed offline. On the form the fields outlined in red are required fields. Please note that the Application Form, even after having been saved on your local pc, has a validity period that expires three months after downloading. You will need to send the form online before the validity expires, otherwise you will need to download a new form.


Step 3: Submitting the Application Form

As soon as you have completed the form, save it and then submit it online using the 'Send Form' button.

The 'Send Form' button is located at the end of the last page of the form. You will receive a confirmation pop-up if it has been sent succesfully. If the sending fails, you have to save the completed form on your local pc and try the 'Send Form' button again later on.

  • Sending the Application Form is only possible when connected to the internet!

Within two work days after sending the form, you will also receive an e-mail confirmation that your application form has been received into the KU Leuven system. If after two work days you still haven't received this e-mail confirmation, please check if the e-mail has been sent accidently to your spam folder. If this is not the case, log-in to the Web application Applicant and see if your application form is loaded into the KU Leuven system by checking the dropdown field "Existing application ".

If none of the above helps, please send the PDF of your application form via e-mail to Admissions and mention that you have not received any e-mail confirmation so far.


Step 4: Payment of application fee

Applicants for the predoctoral or doctoral programmes are not required to pay the application fee.

Please note that there is no predoctoral programme as such in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, in the Higher Institute of Philosophy, and in the Faculty of Canon Law. Their master-after-master programmes are the predoctoral programmes for which the application fee must be paid.


Step 5: Upload of attachments

After submitting your Application Form and after receiving the automatic confirmation e-mail that your Application Form has been loaded successfully into our database, you must upload all required documents as extra attachments using the web application Applicant. The requested documents depend on the particular doctoral programme you applied for.

Applications received by us without these core documents will not be processed. Applications without any uploaded core documents and additional documents will be deleted after one month.

Overview of the required documents

Each attachment corresponds to a certain document type and must be uploaded in PDF format. Your Application Form will be archived as well and will be available in display mode. All other attachments can be deleted and uploaded again if necessary.

  • To convert your documents into PDF format, search the internet for free PDF conversion tools like CutePDF or PrimoPDF.
There is no final “submit” button for your application.

Every uploaded attachment immediately becomes visible to the Admissions Office.


Step 6: Mailing the certified copies

After you have completed the Application Form and uploaded the required documents, please send the printout of the first page of your Application Form and the certified copies of your diplomas and transcript of records and their translations (if applicable) in hard copy to:

KU Leuven
Naamsestraat 63 – box 5410
3000 Leuven

by regular mail, express mail or registered mail.

  • What do we mean by “certified copies”?
  • Do not send hard copies of the other uploaded documents (e.g. CV, motivation letter, research proposal, identity page of passport etc.).
  • Please note that confirmation of receipt of your documents is not part of the process


Step 7: Follow-up of your file

After you have successfully submitted online your Application Form and your attachments, you can follow up the status of your application using the same Web application Applicant .

  • The first status of your file is ‘new’. Your file has been received and will be given a preliminary inspection by the Admissions Office.
  • The second status of your file is 'in process'. The approval process consists of several steps and takes some time, roughly four to eight weeks. Once your file is being processed by the Admissions Office, the status changes on your overview screen. Kindly refrain from contacting the Admissions Office Unit about the progress of your application. If anything is lacking in your file, the Admissions Office will certainly contact you. If you do not hear from the Admissions Office, that means your file is in order.

For technical problems with your Application Form or with the web application Applicant, and for questions about the application procedure, please send an e-mail with a clear and detailed description of the problem to Admissions.


Step 8: Acceptance of admission offer

As soon as a decision has been taken concerning your application, the status will change into 'Admitted' or 'Rejected’.

You will receive a confirmation of the decision via e-mail. When your application has been approved, you first need to accept the offer before the official letter of admission will be sent. You can accept the offer using the web application Applicant.

Shortly after receiving your acceptance, you will receive a PDF copy of the official letter of admission via e-mail.

There is no deadline for accepting the admission offer.
Accepting the offer also does not oblige you to anything (regarding payment, enrolment...), it just allows the administrative process to continue, resulting in the drafting of the admission letter.


Step 9: Pre-registration

A pre-registration is done automatically on your name with all your data when you accept the offer. With your pre-registration saved, your actual registration or enrolment at the Registrar's Office when you arrive in Leuven or in the campus outside Leuven can be completed in a much shorter time.


Step 10: Arrival in Leuven

If your academic programme will be taught in Leuven, you will need to pass by the Admissions Office first and show all your original post-secondary school diplomas. Afterwards, you can proceed to the Registrar’s Office to confirm your registration and obtain your student card.

If your academic programme will be taught in a campus outside Leuven, you will need to proceed to the Registrar's Office in that particular campus for your registration.