PhD application process

The doctoral degree is the highest degree awarded at Massey University. It is a demanding degree and the entry criteria to a programme reflects this.

The PhD application process to a doctoral study programme consists of two stages:

  1. Admission
  2. Enrolment

If your admission application is successful you will receive an Offer of Place. You can begin the enrolment stage once you have accepted the offer and paid your fees. You must be on campus to start your enrolment.

Admission stage

You can apply for admission to a doctoral study programme anytime during the year. You will need a Massey University student ID and password to apply. You will also need to identify two referees and provide their details in your application.

Entry criteria

Before you start the admission process, you need to make sure you meet all entry criteria. We may decline your application if you do not.

You must have:

  • the equivalent or better of a relevant Massey University Bachelor's (Hons) or Master's degree with First or Second Class Honours, Division 1 (70% or B+ and above)
  • prior experience of independent research (thesis, dissertation etc)
  • an IELTS of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 or equivalent, if English is not your first language, and
  • good academic references.

Find out more about accepted alternative English language qualifications for international students

Documents you need to provide

Following the admission screening stage, we may request verified copies of the following documents:

  • Transcripts for all tertiary qualifications, master's, bachelor's etc, even if these are incomplete.
  • Grading legends for all tertiary qualifications.
  • All graduation certificates.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • References to any publications you have.
  • English language test results (if you are from a country where English is not the first language).
  • Evidence of your citizenship.

Please make sure you have all of these ready as it will speed up the application process. You will need to supply the original documents when you arrive.

How your application is processed

Once you submit the completed online admission form, a three step process needs to be completed:

  1. Your application is screened for suitability. During this stage we may request by email verified copies of the documents listed above.
  2. The Graduate Research School completes an assessment of all documents and qualifications.
  3. An academic assessment is completed by the potential supervisor and Head of School. 

If your application is successful we issue an Offer of PhD Place. You must accept the offer and pay your fees before you can start the enrolment stage.

Please allow four to six weeks for this process. However it will be significantly delayed if not all documents are provided if requested.

Enrolment stage

Once you have accepted the Offer of PhD Place and paid your fees, you are ready to start the enrolment stage.

You need to be on campus to start your enrolment.

Make sure you bring the original documents needed for admission as outlined in your Offer of a PhD Place. You will need to take these documents to either the:

  • Campus Information Services office
  • Graduate Research School (Palmerston North) or
  • International Student Support (ISS) office (if applicable).

International students will also need to show their New Zealand study visa to ISS staff who will also complete a university induction for you.

Provisional registration

The provisional registration application form is the final part of the enrolment stage. When this is complete you will have access to all campus facilities and services.

You need to complete the form with your supervisor(s). This involves a discussion with your supervisor(s) around the first year's requirements.

The form will document those requirements and expectations. You need to sign the form, as well as your main supervisor and the Head of your academic unit or delegate.

You submit the completed form to the Graduate Research School. They will notify you by email to confirm the enrolment stage is complete. This can take five working days but is usually completed sooner. An incomplete form will take longer to process.

Enrolment documents

Application for PhD Provisional Registration

Guidelines for PhD Thesis with Publications

Application for Admission and Provisional Registration as a DClinPsych Candidate
Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Application for Doctor of Social Work
Doctor of Social Work

Induction checklist

You will receive the induction checklist as part of the admission stage. Please make sure you have read this and that you go through the list when you arrive on campus.

If you have misplaced the induction checklist, you can download a copy from the link below.

Induction Checklist

Apply for doctoral study

Before you start your application, please make sure you have:

  • researched your areas of interest
  • researched potential supervisors in your areas of interest
  • all the relevant documents
  • approached referees
  • identified potential sources of funding for your PhD
  • a Massey student ID and password

Most importantly, you meet the entry criteria and understand the costs associated with study.

Login to the online application form


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