Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Third-cycle (PhD) programmes

Bosnia and Herzegovina

7.Higher education

7.5Third-cycle (PhD) programmes

Last update: 27 November 2023

Organisation of doctoral studies

The third cycle is organized after the second cycle, leading to a doctoral degree or equivalent, lasting for three years and is evaluated with 180 ECTS credits. The student's third cycle programme includes the obligation of a doctoral dissertation.

Admission requirements

The right of entry to the third (III) cycle - doctoral studies is granted under the same conditions both to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and foreign citizens for whom it was found, after the recognition and equivalence of diplomas of prior completed cycle/degree studies, that they had completed adequate education to continue their studies. The candidates who received their master of science/master of Bologna cycle - 300 ECTS credits in the scientific field for which they apply, are entitled to admission.

Status of doctoral students/candidates

Status of doctoral students is slightly supported through regular scholarships, and more through various projects and offers of foreign governments or universities abroad.

Supervision arrangements

At universities and other higher professional institutions, a special body is appointed to plan, coordinate, organize and simultaneously accept students' study and research work. These are programme councils or commissions for academic research work, doctoral studies and field coordinators. Every student has a mentor (often accompanied by a co-mentor), who advises students in their choice of subjects and guides their research work. The topic of a doctoral dissertation is assessed by a commission and certified by the senate of the higher professional institutes. Mentors may simply be higher professional teachers or scientific workers who have demonstrated their research qualifications (with an appropriate scientific bibliography).


The employability of PhD graduates is also promoted by financial mechanisms, i.e. through young researcher schemes as well as the new scheme for the co-funding of doctoral studies. The latter promotes doctoral studies, designed in such a way that the students' research contributes to the resolution of business problems or current social challenges.


Knowledge is assessed by oral or written exams and by completing seminar papers. The numerical assessment scale is from 5 to 10, according to which 6 is the lowest positive grade and 10 is the highest. Individual obligations may also be assessed with a simple 'pass' or 'fail' or 'pass with distinction'.


Upon the completion of the third cycle study programme of a higher professional institution, students are awarded a diploma with their official scientific title Doctor of Science (PhD). The diploma may also state the academic field the title is derived from, but the aforementioned academic field is not a component of the academic title. The regulations for the conferral of the diplomas following the completion of the joint doctoral study programmes are the same as for the completion of the joint first or second cycle study programmes.

Organisational variation

Studies of the third cycle may be organized both at universities or colleges and foreign universities, through programmes and projects of other countries.