FAQ Professional PhD Program
Frequently Asked Questions about Professional PhD Program (PPP) from TiSEM
Can I apply to the program while living abroad?
Yes you can, this program is aimed at national and international candidates. You need to be on campus for one week per year (see timeline). Furthermore you can discuss with your supervisor, after admission, if and how many times you should visit our campus during the program (you will have regular online meetings).
What if I decide to change jobs during the PPP?
Changing jobs is no problem as long as your new employer also supports the fact that you are enrolled in the PPP.
Should the letter of reference be professional or academic?
Both is possible.
Can I apply without a support letter from my employer as I will do the research in my own time and will pay the tuition fee myself?
Unfortunately this is not possible. The priorities of the PPP and our school are to Excell, Innovate and Connect. As part of “Connect” the support from your employer is necessary as we expect our candidates to be connected at the national and/or international level to other players in your field. You need to have access to the data, people, or case studies required to complete a doctoral dissertation. Therefore you need to have the support from your organization in terms of research time and/or resources/data.
Should I have a fulltime job in order to be able to apply?
No, that is not necessary but in that case you need to be able to proof that you have a part-time job and that you will have sufficient time available for research.
Do I need to contact a potential supervisor prior to the application?
No, you do not need to do that. After the deadline, your application will be evaluated and the Director of Graduate Studies will make the perfect match. We do ask you to propose a possible supervisor, so we can keep that in mind while making the match.
Do you have an example of a research proposal?
Since we expect our PPP candidates to be able to write a dissertation, we also expect them to be able to write a draft research proposal themselves. Therefore we do not offer examples of research proposals.
Is the research proposal binding or can it be amended during the program?
We expect you to write a draft research proposal. This proposal can be adjusted in consultation with your supervisor.
Am I eligible for an exemption for the English test requirement?
You are eligible for an exemption if:
1. you are a native English speaker, i.e. if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America; or
2. you completed and Academic Bachelor’s and Master’s program fully in English in an accredited Research University in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada(with the exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America; or
3. you are a citizen of The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, India and Singapore and you have completed an Academic Bachelor’s and Master’s program fully in English at an accredited Research University; or
4. you have more than 5 years of work experience in an English language working environment,
The Director of Graduate Studies formally grants this exemption. You can download the exemption from and add it to your application. Exemptions will not be granted prior to application, but exemption requests will be evaluated during the admission process.
What kind of degree do I need in order to be able to apply?
You will need to have a Master’s degree from an accredited university in order to be eligible for admission to a PhD program.
Do I need to send you any hard copies during the application process?
No, you do not need to send us any hard copies. In case of admission, you need to send us a certified copy of your Master diploma and grade list.
Is it possible to finish the program in less than 5 years?
The program takes 5 years. In the 5th year you are expected to finish your thesis and prepare for the final defense. Of course exceptions can occur but this will be discussed carefully with the Director of Graduate Studies and the supervisor.
Are the modules compulsory?
The modules are all compulsory.
What kind of degree will I receive after defending my PhD thesis successfully?
Tilburg University awards one doctorate degree to its PhD candidates. This degree is the same for all PhD candidates internal and external.
Can I apply for a (partial) tuition fee waiver?
No, we do not offer tuition fee waivers for the Professional PhD Program.
Can I apply for a scholarship?
No, we do not offer any scholarships for the Professional PhD Program.
Can I pay in installments?
No, unfortunately this is not possible? You will receive an invoice once a year for the full amount.