Requirements and criteria for admission to the Self-funded PhD program at CMI

Requirements for admission

The following requirements and criteria as of May 2020 apply to prospective PhD students who wish to enter PhD program at CMI as self-paying students or as students who will partly be funded by external sources – i.e. students without full scholarships.  

Prospective PhD students must obviously live up to all requirements for admission into Danish PhD programs – including having a 2 year or more long Master’s degree in a relevant field of study (Also equivalent degrees that are not called Masters, such as German Diplom engineer, etc.), and the Master’s degree being finalized with a thesis equaling minimum one full semester’s work (30 ECTS). For more information about admission please refer to


The cost is DKK 50.000 DKK annually in administration fee. The applicant also needs to finance own living /travel expenses, participation in the conferences, etc. In addition to this, it is required that a residence permit is granted prior to a foreigners-entry into Denmark. A minimum of 50.000 DKK in savings is among the requirements to obtain such a permit. For more information, please consult the following website:

Assessment process

A committee of two CMI staff members with qualifications to supervise PhD students in the relevant field of study (at least Associate Professor-level) and the programme head of the relevant doctoral programme is formed for each prospective PhD student. This committee will assess the qualifications of the candidates and either reject the application or recommend to the PhD School that the candidate be admitted.

When assessing the qualifications of the prospective PhD students, the committee will take the following criteria into consideration:

  • The university from which the Master’s and bachelor degree has been obtained
  • The educational background in terms of field of study (discipline)
  • The courses taken 
  • The grades obtained and that they do not have a PhD degree already
  • Documentation for an English language test (IELTS or similar)
  • An outline (at least 5 pages) of the topic, research question, theory, methodology and empirical basis of the PhD research that the prospective PhD students intends to start – the student should be prepared to change the topic if admitted to the program 
  • Whether the prospective student has published and where
  • Previous work experience and other possible educational and social activities
  • Motivation letter from the prospective student
  • At least 2 recommendation from relevant persons (teachers or employers)

The committee will make a thorough interview with the prospective candidate if the candidate is considered qualified on the basis of the written material submitted by the student.

If it is necessary for the PhD student to work alongside the PhD it will be recommended to the PhD student that it can be a part-time PhD . This will be decided upfront.

The PhDs must meet all the requirements in the Danish law on PhDs, More information about this on the faculty web site:

After admission

If after 2 months of PhD studies (the 2 month plan), there is serious doubts as to the actual qualifications of the PhD student to finalize on time, it will be recommended to the PhD School that the PhD study be terminated. Furthermore, the contract will be terminated if the PhD does not pass the 12 months status seminar. Prospective candidates will be made aware of this proviso.