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Dr.Philos. – another route to a doctoral degree

The Dr.Philos. degree (Doctor Philosophiae) may be awarded to academics who have qualified for a doctoral degree on their own, without formal supervision. Such candidates have no formal affiliation to the University of Oslo until their application for the doctoral examination has been approved.

The Dr.Philos. degree is awarded on the basis of:

  • a doctoral thesis
  • two trial lectures
  • a public defence of the thesis (disputation)

Note that the Dr.Philos. thesis is an independent piece of research, and that the university does not offer financial support, supervision or other assistance with the thesis.

The Regulations for the degree of Doctor Philosophiae (Dr.Philos.) at the University of Oslo contain overarching rules on the thesis, application and evaluation, including rules of appeal.

Who may apply?

To be eligible for admission to the Dr.Philos. examination, you must have an education that is equivalent to a Norwegian Master's degree and have completed a doctoral thesis on your own. If you have attended an organized doctoral programme you may not, as a rule, leave this programme to apply for a Dr.Philos. degree instead of a PhD degree.

In addition, you must be a Norwegian citizen or a citizen of another Nordic country. If you are not a Nordic citizen, an application for the examination must be approved by the relevant faculty. Such applications may be granted if you have a residence permit in Norway or if the thesis meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • the thesis examines topics or makes use of material that has a direct connection to Norway; or
  • is closely related to Norwegian research within the discipline; or
  • has been carried out at a Norwegian university or research institute or in close contact with Norwegian researchers (in which case this must be documented).

Thesis requirements

The Dr.Philos. thesis shall be an independent scientific work. It shall contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and must be of sufficiently high quality to merit publication as part of the scientific literature in the field.

More information about the thesis

How to apply

Send the completed thesis with an application to present yourself for the Dr.Philos. examination to the relevant faculty (depending on the thesis topic). The faculty will determine whether you will be granted an evaluation of the thesis based on your application and the enclosed documentation.

If the application is approved, an adjudication committee will be appointed, and you will receive information on the further process.

More information on the application process.

Trial lecture and public defence

If the thesis is approved, you will be required to hold two public trial lectures; one on a topic you select yourself and one on a topic given by the adjudication committee.

After the approval of the trial lectures, the doctoral examination is finished by a public defence of your thesis (disputation).

More on trial lectures and public defence

Contact information

Questions about PhD and doctoral degrees?

Go to contact information


Regulations for Dr. Philos. at the University of Oslo

Published July 6, 2015 10:56 AM - Last modified Feb. 25, 2021 2:32 PM