Doctoral Degrees

Doctoral Studies

The main goals of doctoral studies are to train a new generation in science and art, to develop and expand the educational and research potential of the university.

  • A person with a master's degree or an academic degree equivalent to it has the right to study for a doctoral degree.

Admission to Doctoral Studies

  • Admission to doctoral studies is announced by the rector based on the statement of the relevant faculty/school council and/or dean. Admission can be announced for both the fall and spring semesters.
  • PhD candidates are tested in English (B2 level). The minimum threshold for testing is set for each program individually and is specified in the program admission conditions.
  • Applicants, who present a valid international certificate confirming the knowledge of the English language at the desired level, which confirms the minimum language competence of the candidate at the B2 level, are exempted from the English language test. Applicants with a bachelor's or master's degree in English are also exempt from the test.
  • After successfully passing the English language test or confirming the knowledge, the documents/forms submitted by the candidates to the program are sent to the relevant sectoral commission members for reviewing and evaluation. The potential supervisor does not take part in the evaluation of the candidate. Application requirements, evaluation criteria and rubrics are established for each program individually and are be published on the University's website immediately after each admission is announced. In the case of a satisfactory evaluation, the applicant will undergo an interview.
  • The interview is evaluated by the sectoral commission according to predetermined requirements, criteria and rubrics. Interview requirements, criteria and rubrics are determined individually for each program and are published on the university's website immediately after each admission is announced. The interview is evaluated on a 5-point rating scale.

Studying at the Doctoral level

  • The duration of doctoral studies is no less than 3 and no more than 5 years, unless otherwise stipulated by the individual program. In the event that the student fails to fulfill the requirements of the program after the completion of 5 years, an additional one-year contract is signed with him/her while taking into account the relevant conditions.
  • A doctoral student must accumulate 180 credits during his/her doctoral studies. Program components, their sequence and number of credits are defined individually for each doctoral program.
  • A doctoral candidate may take advantage of academic leave in accordance with university rules.

Scientific supervisor of the doctoral student

  • The scientific supervisor must be a university professor who has an academic degree and research experience in the scientific field related to the doctoral student's dissertation topic. In the compositional or performing direction of musical arts, the supervisor may also be a composer or performer of international reputation.

Dissertation plan and portfolio project (prospectus and portfolio outline)

  • Within the deadline set by the program, the doctoral student must submit the draft of the dissertation - a prospectus, which will describe:

a) research problem;

b) review of scientific literature and other materials (e.g.: audio and audio-visual, as well as musical scores);

c) aim, research question(s) and/or hypothesis;

d) methodology;

e) expected results of the research;

f) research plan;

g) used literature.

Submission procedure of the dissertation, doctoral portfolio

  • The student must submit the dissertation, which conforms to the formal standards of the scientific publications and is formatted according to the academic style of Ilia State University, in two hard copies and in electronic form to the faculty administration.
  • The dissertation must be written in Georgian. The issue of completing the dissertation in another language is decided by the sectoral commission.

Obligation to publish internationally

  • Before the defense of the dissertation, the doctoral candidate must have a scientific publication published in the relevant field (or accepted for publication by the journal editors) in an international peer-reviewed thematic journal(s) included in recognized international lists (Thomson Reuters Master Journal List, Scopus, Ulrich's Index, ERIH PLUS, EBSCOHost, Latindex Catalogue). Doctoral students in the field of Natural and Exact Sciences, Engineering and Medicine must publish at least 2 articles in a journal with an impact factor higher than 0.5 in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database or in a journal with an impact factor higher than 0.5 in the Scopus list (Impact Per Publication). A doctoral candidate of other fields must have at least 1 article published in thematic journals included in the Thomson Reuters Master Journal List, Scopus, Ulrich's Index, ERIH PLUS, EBSCOHost, Latindex Catalogue lists. The name of Ilia State University must be indicated in scientific publications; Doctoral students in the composition and performance fields of musical arts must have at least one public performance accompanied by reviews from recognized specialists in the field. The name of Ilia State University must be indicated in the public performance.


  • The dissertation should reflect the substantiated results of theoretical and/or experimental research. Your paper should be characterized by scientific novelty and contribute to the development of the field. The requirements for the dissertation, the process of reviewing, evaluating and defense of the dissertation differ slightly in accordance with the faculties (see the doctoral regulations of the faculty).

Award of the degree and obligation to publish

  • The doctoral student is awarded an academic degree by the Dissertation Council.
  • The decision of the Dissertation Council is final.
  • After exercising the right provided for in the paragraph 14.6 of “The Regulations of the Dissertation Council and Doctoral Degree of Ilia State University”, if the Dissertation Council makes a negative decision again, the status of a doctoral student is terminated due to failure to achieve the study results.


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