Dr.Philos. – another pathway to a doctoral degree
The Dr.Philos. degree (Doctor Philosophiae) may be awarded to scholars who have qualified for a doctoral degree independently, without formal supervision.
Such candidates have no formal affiliation to MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (MF) until their application for the doctoral examination has been approved.
The Dr.Philos. degree is awarded based on the following:
- a doctoral thesis
- two trial lectures
- a public defense of the thesis
Note that the Dr. Philos thesis is an independent piece of research and that MF does not offer financial support, supervision, or other assistance with the thesis.
The Regulations for the degree of Doctor Philosophiae (Dr Philos.) at MF 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 equivalent to a Norwegian master's degree and have completed a doctoral thesis on your own. If you have attended an organised 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 MF. 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).
The thesis must be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic standards, methods and documentation. It shall contribute to developing new scientific knowledge and be of an academic standard appropriate for publication as part of the scientific literature in the field.
The Dr.Philos. thesis
The thesis must be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic standards, methods and documentation. It shall contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and be of an academic standard appropriate for publication as part of the scientific literature in the field.
Since there is no requirement for an educational component equivalent to one semester for the Dr.Philos., the thesis shall be more extensive than required for the PhD degree. Requirements for the PhD thesis can be found on the MFs PhD programme pages.
Several minor works (article-based theses) can be accepted as a thesis if there is a relationship between these works and this relationship is explained.
Joint work can be submitted for evaluation if the individual contributions can be identified and the scope of each of the contributions corresponds to a thesis.
If you have co-authors in parts of the thesis, you must follow the norms for co-authorship generally accepted in the relevant academic community and described in MFs guidelines for co-authorship. A co-author statement should be included with your submission, describing your contribution to each piece of work.
When can you not submit your thesis?
You cannot submit work or parts that are under evaluation as part of a doctoral degree at another institution.
You cannot submit work or parts that have previously been evaluated as part of a doctoral degree at another Norwegian or foreign institution, even if it is submitted in a revised form.
You can normally not leave an organised doctoral programme to present yourself for a Dr.Philos. degree.
If the thesis is approved for a public defense, it shall be made publicly available two weeks before the public defense is held. No restrictions can be placed on the public release of the thesis.
How to apply
Send the complete thesis with an application to present yourself for the Dr.Philos. examination to firstname.lastname@example.org. MF 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 evaluation committee will be appointed, and you will receive information on the further process.
Application for Dr.Philos. examination
Regulations for the degree of Doctor Philosophiae (Dr.Philos.) at MF: MF regulations Dr.philos and Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees contain useful information.
Send the application and the completed thesis to email@example.com
What to submit
- The thesis as a PDF file.
- Completed application for presentation for the degree of Dr.Philos.
- Abstract in Norwegian and English (plus the language of the thesis where this is not Norwegian or English).
- Copy of Master’s or equivalent certificate or documentation of equivalent qualifications.
- Where applicable, a co-authorship declaration (in English) Submission
- If relevant, documentation of procured concessions, permits, and recommendations is required in connection with the research on which Dr. Philos's thesis is based, including the legal basis for processing personal data.
- Overview of previous scientific work/papers (must be shown on request).
- Norwegian residence permit, if applicable.
- Non-Nordic citizens must also document the thesis’ connection to Norway.
What happens after the application is submitted?
MF decides whether you can present yourself for the Dr.Philos. examination based on the application and the enclosed documentation. MF may require you to undertake specific courses and/or pass a special test before permission is granted for your doctoral work to be evaluated.
If your application is approved, an evaluation committee will be appointed, and you will receive information about the further process.
You cannot withdraw a thesis submitted for evaluation nor make changes to the thesis after submission. If the thesis is approved for public defense, you will have the opportunity to correct typographical errors, etc., before evt. printing
Trial lecture and public defense
If the thesis is approved, you will be required to hold two public trial lectures: one on a topic you select yourself and one given by the adjudication committee.
After the approval of the trial lectures, the doctoral examination is finished by a public defense of your thesis.
The doctoral examination for the Dr Philos. degree consists of two trial lectures and a public defense of the thesis. The trial lectures and public defense are normally conducted in the language of the doctoral thesis or the language that the committee and the candidate understand.
As a candidate for the degree of Dr.Philos., you must hold two trial lectures – one on a topic of your choice and one on a topic selected for you.
You need to notify MF of the title of the trial lecture on your chosen topic one month before the planned public defense. The evaluation committee determines the title of the trial lecture on the topic selected for you, and you will be notified of this title 10 days before the lecture is to be held.
It is the evaluation committee that evaluates the trial lectures. When the trial lectures have been held, the evaluation committee will notify the MF if the candidate has passed or not.
The candidate must pass the trial lectures before the public defense can be held.
Public defense of the thesis (disputation)
Two evaluation committee members shall normally be opponents during the public defense.
The public defense is headed by the rector at MF or another person appointed by the rector. The chair of the defense starts by giving a brief account of the evaluation of the thesis and trial lectures. You will then explain the purpose and results of the scientific research prior to the first ordinary opponent opening the discussion. Following this, you will have the opportunity to defend the thesis.
The defense shall be open, which means that others present shall have the opportunity to comment ex auditorio. Those who want to use this opportunity must notify the chair of the defense within a set time limit. This time limit will be stipulated at the opening of the defense.
After the public defense, the evaluation committee submits a report to the MF explaining how it has evaluated the defense of the thesis. The report shall conclude whether the defense has been approved or not approved.
If the defense is not approved, you can defend your thesis one more time. A new public defense can be held no sooner than six months after the first. The original evaluation committee will evaluate the new defense where possible.