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Handbook for new doctoral students

This is a brief guide describing the steps to be taken by those seeking admission to a doctoral programme at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

Before you arrive at the UPC:

Step 1: Check that you fulfil the admission requirements for doctoral studies. You will basically need to have an official bachelor's degree or its equivalent and an EHEA1-compliant official university master's degree.

Step 2: Apply for admission to the academic committee for the doctoral programme via this online doctoral admissions application. You will first need to register as a new user. When you do, you will receive an e-mail with your username and password and a link enabling you to activate your account.

Step 3: Sign in to the online doctoral admissions application and fill in your personal details (personal and academic information and academic documents).

Step 4: Once you have filled in your personal details, fill in your applications for admission to the doctoral programmes you are interested in.

Select the type of course: Doctorate
Click on Add course.
Select the name: M-YYYY and the name of the doctoral programme, where M may be February or September and YYYY is the year (2011, 2012, etc.)

Give reasons for seeking admission to the doctoral programme.

Click on Submit.

Click on Add documents to upload scanned copies of your degree certificates and academic transcripts and curricula. You must be able to provide these documents in order for your application for admission to be assessed. You must also submit your CV, proof that you have a grant or some form of student financial aid for enrolment and other merits or honours that you think should be mentioned.

Once you have finished filling in the form, click Submit (you should receive a confirmation e-mail).

Step 5: Only for candidates with degrees from outside the European Higher Education Area. Check whether you need to have your academic documents legalised and translated in the instructions on the legalisation of university qualifications and other documents.

Step 6: Your application will be assessed by the academic committee for the doctoral programme. Once it has been confirmed that you fulfil the access and admission requirements you will be assigned a tutor, who will review your academic record and inform you of whether you will need to take any bridging courses.

Step 7: If you wish to apply for a grant, click on the Grants tab of the Doctoral School's website for instructions.

Step 8: Foreign candidates should check whether they need to apply for a visa before coming to Spain:

  • If you are a national of a non-EU country travelling from that country, you will need to apply for a visa at your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate.
  • If you are a national of a non-EU country and you have been studying in an EU country in the second semester of the previous academic year, you can apply for a student visa in Spain within a maximum period of one month from your arrival.

This second option may seem more straightforward than applying for a visa in the country that you are in before coming to Spain, but it actually has a number of drawbacks and can bring problems. Candidates who wish to try this second option are advised to contact the UPC's International Students Office as soon as possible, by sending an e-mail to

Further information is available on the Institutional Relations and Internationalisation Bureau's website. We advise you not to incur any travel costs before you are sure you have a visa.

N.B.: Remember you will need the originals of the degree certificates, academic transcripts and other documents you will be submitting when you enrol.

When you arrive at the UPC:

Step 1: Go to the International Students Office (OMI) to legalise your academic stay:

  • Candidates from the European Union: You must register with the EU Nationals Register.
  • Candidates from outside the European Union: You should check the status of your visa with the International Students Office. If you have a long-stay visa, you must do this as soon as you arrive in Spain.
  • Candidates from outside the European Union who have been studying in an EU country and need to apply for a student visa on arrival: You should go to the International Students Office as soon as possible. They will assist you and will send your documents to the corresponding government office to start off the application process.

Step 2: At the International Students Office (OMI), you will be given an induction pack and information on important aspects of life in Barcelona (accommodation, Catalan language courses, student insurance, etc.)

Step 3: You must enrol within the period established in the academic calendar and submit the documents listed in the Enrolment section of the Doctoral School website to the unit responsible for the doctoral programme (list of doctoral programmes).

Step 4: Carefully read the Academic Regulations for Doctoral Studies at the UPC.

Further information:

Contact the Doctoral School by a ticket. For more specific queries, contact the coordinator or administrative person in charge for your doctoral programme.

1EHEA: European Higher Education Area