PhD training at UCLouvain

As a leading teaching and research university in Europe, UCLouvain offers an ideal environment for pursuing a doctorate. Multicultural, multilingual and open to the world, UCLouvain has welcomed researchers, educators and students from all over the world for 600 years.

Why earn a doctorate?

Being a doctor is like being three people at once: student, researcher and worker. UCLouvain knows this, which is why earning a doctorate here embodies:

  • A complete education. Availed of the finest educators in their fields, UCLouvain’s doctoral programmes impart advanced disciplinary knowledge and valuable cross-disciplinary competence such as project management, science outreach, technology transfer and spin-off creation. Earning a doctorate also means developing professional skills indispensable to the labour market.
  • A unique research experience. Earning a UCLouvain doctorate is a professional research experience unlike any other. Providing the freedom to fully immerse yourself in a subject and thoroughly explore it over several years, it also promises adventure, often as part of a team connected to the international scientific community. Above all, you’ll make innumerable contacts and be challenged at every turn. 
  • An opportunity to contribute to the evolution of society. At UCLouvain, we believe research takes on its full meaning when its findings address society’s needs and can be applied in the real world. That’s why the student is educated and supported in the processes of knowledge and technology transfer.

Five reasons to earn a UCLouvain doctorate

Choosing UCL means choosing:

      • A world-renowned university. With a rich tradition of excellence since its founding in 1425, UCLouvain today plays a leading role in the Europe of knowledge. The top-ranked Belgian French-speaking university in terms of graduates, ranked 158th among the ‘World Class Universities’(Shanghai 2015), UCLouvain offers three programmes ranked in the world’s top 50 (statistics and operational research, philosophy, economics and econometrics) and 12 ranked in the world’s top 100 (history, modern language, pharmacy and pharmacology, psychology, geography, mathematics, development studies, law and management, politics and international studies).
      • An international university. UCLouvain has always given priority to being open to the world. This translates into numerous partnerships with international academic institutions, participation in European and international networks (Erasmus Mundus, European Joint Doctorate, EUA, Coimbra, AUF, etc.) and a long tradition of cooperation with developing countries. UCLouvain also emphasises joint degrees and joint thesis supervision.
      • A tailored framework. At UCLouvain, the reception of and framework for researchers and doctoral students are particularly important. The university is closely involved in the European Commission’s Euraxess initiative to encourage the international mobility of researchers and enhance their careers. Moreover, UCLouvain offers a package of doctoral student services, called ‘Valo Doc Louvain’, from the moment of enrolment to graduation and even beyond, as the university also provides job search assistance.
      • A team of funding and development experts: UCLouvain established within its Research Department a team responsible for helping researchers identify funding sources and prepare their projects. The Louvain Technology Transfer Office helps researchers develop their findings, make community contacts and address society’s needs.
      • A unique living environment: To pursue a doctorate at UCLouvain is to flourish personally and professionally, at each of the university’s seven sites. Cultural offerings include theatre, cinema, music and exhibitions, while modern infrastructure offers 80 sport activities per week. At Louvain-la-Neuve, students and researchers have access to the largest sport centre in French-speaking Belgium.