Skip to content

Doctoral programme in Law

Programme Start Date





Villa Salviati

The call for applications for the 2025-26 academic year (start date: 1 September 2025) will open in November 2024 - the deadline will be 31 January 2025 at 14:00 (CET).

The purpose of the FAQ pages is to provide prospective applicants with general guidance, additional clarification and examples. In case of doubt or differences of interpretation, the EUI Academic Rules and Regulations for the Doctoral and Master’s Programmes shall prevail.


The EUI Doctoral Programme

Can I complete the PhD in less than 4 years? Yes, but you must complete successfully at least two years of the programme. If you are in the 3rd year, and you have already fulfilled all the requirements for the thesis defence, you may complete your PhD without having to complete the 4th year.

Can I register on the EUI Doctoral programme on a part-time or distance learning basis? No, the EUI Doctoral programme is a full-time residential programme.

Can I transfer to the EUI without losing the years I already spent in another PhD programme? Normally, if admitted to the EUI doctoral programme you must start from the 1st year. Exceptionally, direct admission into the second year may be proposed by the EUI department if you can show that in your current PhD programme you have met equivalent requirements to those for admission to the second year of the EUI programme.

Can I undertake a joint PhD in two different EUI departments? No, the EUI PhD can only be awarded by one of the four departments. However, if your thesis requires a multidisciplinary approach, you may get a co-supervisor from another department. In any case, PhD candidates are expected to participate also in interdepartmental academic activities.

Does the EUI offer joint PhD programmes with other universities? No, the EUI PhD degree is always awarded by the EUI only.

Does the EUI require PhD students to reside in Florence during the programme? Yes, research students must reside in Florence. Leaves of absence for research or other purposes must be supported by the department and approved by the EUI Entrance Board. For additional details on Leaves of absence, please see: Academic Rules and Regulations for the Doctoral and Master’s Programmes - Chapter 12. Leaves, Intermissions and Postponed Deadlines.

I am currently in full-time employment. Can I be admitted to the EUI without interrupting/ending my current employment? No, if admitted to the EUI, you must interrupt or end your employment for the duration of the programme.

I am currently registered on a PhD programme at another university. Can I register at the EUI at the same time, and carry out two PhDs. simultaneously? No, under no circumstances.

I am currently registered on a PhD programme at another university. Can I transfer to the doctoral programme of the EUI? If you are in the first year of another doctoral programme, you may be admitted to the EUI, but you must interrupt the other programme of study. If you are in the second year of another doctoral programme and receive funding there, you may exceptionally be admitted to the EUI but: your supervisor, your university institution and your funding authority must all agree to this AND you must interrupt the other programme of study. If you are beyond the second year of another doctoral programme and you are funded in that programme, you will not be allowed to register at the EUI; the only exception is if you are a supervisee of a faculty member recruited by the EUI. Your university of origin and funding authority must in this case agree to your admission to the EUI and you must interrupt the doctoral programme undertaken at the other university.

Is seminar attendance obligatory during the PhD? This depends on departmental rules. Generally speaking, researchers have to meet seminar credit requirements during the first and the second year, while the last two years are mainly devoted to completing the doctoral thesis and to acquiring additional academic skills. In the Economics Department, admission to the second year is based on exams in first year courses and seminar attendance is required in the second, third and fourth year.

What is the structure of the EUI Academic Year? The academic year begins on 1 September and finishes on 31 August, and is divided into three terms. Departmental seminars are usually held in the first and second term. Academic workshops are offered all year round but more frequently in the third term. There are holiday breaks in the Winter, for Easter and during the month of August. For the current EUI Academic Calendar please see: Academic Calendar .

Which countries recognise the PhD awarded by the EUI? The Ministers for Education of the European Communities - meeting within the Council of the European Communities (Luxembourg, 3 June 1985) - adopted the following Recommendation concerning the doctorate conferred by the European University Institute in Florence: "The Ministers for Education, meeting within the Council, consider that the doctorate conferred by the European University Institute in Florence should be recognised in the Member States in the same way as equivalent national degrees […] ” In certain EU countries (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom) there is no formal recognition of university degrees by the state. Check the recognition of the EUI PhD in a particular country.


Funding Information

How can I check if I am eligible for funding? Please consult the general funding information page and the page dedicated to each relevant funding authority.

What are the eligibility criteria? As a general rule, candidates from a country covered by one of the EUI funding programmes, who fulfill the eligibility criteria established by the respective authority, are eligible for a scholarship/contract of employment. In case of doubt, it is always advisable to contact the relevant authority directly (contact details are reported on the relevant funding information page).

I am a dual national. For which funding programme should I apply? Mention both nationalities in your application form. If both countries are offering funding programmes, you should indicate both in the funding authority section. Your application will be considered for both funding opportunities, but only one of them will be awarded in case of admission.

In order to apply for funding shall I submit a separate application? As a general rule, the EUI application is automatically considered as a funding application, with the exception of Greece, Portugal, Slovenia. If you apply for a grant from one of these countries, your application to the EUI can ONLY be accepted if you apply also for the national grant by the deadline specified by the relevant funding authority. Consult the relevant information page for further details.

Can I be admitted without funding? No, self-financing candidates – i.e. candidates paying their maintenance costs and tuition fees from their personal or family income - cannot be admitted to the PhD. However, candidates who do not fall under any of the EUI funding programmes, but are in a position to secure a scholarship from an external source (public financing), might be admitted to the PhD. Please see: Externally Funded Grants.


Degree Requirements

Can I apply even if I will obtain the minimum degree required after 31 January? Yes as a general rule*, but you must meet the minimum degree requirements by the following 31 August and send a degree certificate as soon as it is available. *Please note however that this is not valid for candidates applying for some national funding programmes. To qualify for a national grant, you must meet the specific requirements set by the national grant authorities: These may include conditions with regard to your degree and its time of award.

I am an admitted candidate who expect to graduate by the coming August but will receive official degree certificate after September. How can I prove that I successfully completed my degree programme? You should supply a provisional certificate or letter issued by your home university or supervisor by 31 August. The official certificate or diploma should be supplied as soon as it is available.

Can I apply to a specific department if I have a degree in another subject area? Yes, but you must have a sound knowledge of the fields covered by that department.

Can I apply to the PhD programme in Law if I have a degree in another subject? Applications from candidates without a first degree in Law are considered, but they must have a good legal background. The Examining Board will assess the content and quality of the candidates’ academic record to decide if it fits the requirements for admission to the Law Department.

Can I apply to the EUI doctoral programme if I already have a PhD? Yes, but check your eligibility for a grant with the relevant grant-awarding authority.


Language Requirements

Can I be exempted from the requirement to submit an English International Language Certificate? Candidates who are English native speakers, or have a degree from a university programme entirely taught in English and who have written a thesis in English in such a programme, are exempt from submitting a certificate of English proficiency. If you cannot submit an English International Language Certificate due to reasons beyond your control, you must attach to the application form a personal declaration stating the extenuating circumstances which prevent you from submitting the certificate. Extenuating circumstances can include the following situations: a serious, acute or chronic medical condition; significant caring responsibilities, or recent bereavement or serious illness within close family; serious financial reasons; other circumstances where serious disruption has occurred. If you are shortlisted for an interview during the selection process, you will need to take an English Language Assessment Test at the EUI Language Centre.

Can I submit my recognised English international language certificate after 31 January? No, all required documents, including language certificates must be submitted by 31 January. Candidates who are unable to provide a certificate by 31 January must attach a personal declaration to the application form stating the reason for this. Exemption from the requirement to submit an English international language certificate may be granted in the case of extenuating circumstances (see above). Where the certificate of English proficiency is missing and the applicant is still invited for interview, he or she must take an equivalent English Language Assessment test at the EUI in addition to the interview.

Do I have to take additional language tests? No additional language test is generally needed. Exceptionally, candidates will have to take additional language test(s) in French, German, Italian or Spanish when this is considered necessary for their dissertation project. If skills in other languages are considered necessary, candidates will be asked to submit proof of their competence in these.

How many languages are required in order to be eligible for the doctoral programme? The only language requirement is a good knowledge (level C1) of English.

I am in possession of one of the required language certificates, but my score is below the EUI Expected Test Score, can my application still be considered? Your application will still be considered. Candidates with IELTS or TOEFL scores below the EUI expected test score may nevertheless be invited for an interview and will have to sit an English Assessment Test before their interview. The results of the test will be communicated to the Interviewing Panel.

I am in possession of one of the required language certificates, but the validity date has expired, can my application still be considered? Yes, we can accept your English Language proficiency certificate (if your test scores are equal or above the EUI Expected Test Scores) even if the recommended validity has expired.

When and where can I take the English language test and how long does it take? English oral tests are held during the interview week for those candidates without the necessary language certificate attesting to their English proficiency at C1 (CEFR) who are not exempt. Candidates are informed about the timing and date of their test. The test takes about 15 minutes. English Needs Analysis interviews are held in June for all the incoming cohort of researchers. All researchers will be asked to submit a writing sample in June.

When can I take the additional language test, if required by the department? Language tests in French, German, Italian and Spanish will be held during the interview period at times which will be shown on the Language Centre website nearer the date of the interviews.

Will the language test result affect the selection result? The results of the Assessment Test are sent to the departments and to the Entrance Board, and will be taken into consideration when admission of a candidate is decided. If a special recommendation is made to improve language competence, registration in the programme is conditional upon the required progress being made.

Will the score of my language proficiency certificate affect the selection result? The candidate’s language proficiency is part of the application and plays a role in the selection. Applicants who submit a certificate with a test score below the threshold may be conditionally admitted but will have to take English language courses during their first year. Sufficient progress in English language skills will be a criterion for admission to the second year.


Required Documents (CV, Research Proposal, Degree Transcript, Language Certificates, GRE, ID/Passport Copy)

Should I follow specific requirements regarding the format of my CV/research proposal (page layout, line-spacing, font etc.)? No, but normal line-spacing (1 or 1,5) and international fonts (for example Arial) are preferable. Do NOT use macros, special characters, password-protected files, electronic signatures or logos.

Can I contact the department or members of the EUI faculty for advice on my research proposal? The policy of the EUI departments is not to offer individual guidance and advice on dissertation proposals. Prospective applicants are requested not to contact potential supervisors for advice on their applications but to consult the department’s web pages where research themes are listed and where the guidelines for research proposals are clearly indicated.

Do I have to attach degree certificates or transcripts to my application? Applicants are required to attach to their application degree transcript(s) listing all the exams/courses taken at university, the grades/marks awarded, and the final degree result (if available). You should also attach your degree transcript(s) from previous degree(s). Do not attach or send supplementary documents that are not strictly requested, such as traineeships diplomas etc. Do not try to submit other file formats; they will not be accepted by the system. Do not attach a copy of your degree certificate or diploma. This will be requested at a later date.

How many documents do I have to attach to my application? LAW, HEC and SPS Departments - Applicants must attach 4 types of mandatory documents + 1 recommended: CV, Research plan, Degree Transcripts, English Proficiency Certificate. ECO Department - applicants must attach 5 types of mandatory documents: CV, Research statement, Degree Transcripts, English Proficiency Certificate + GRE.

How should I present my research proposal? Please check the relevant selection of this application guide (see above)

I would need further clarifications about the GRE scores. The GRE is mandatory only for candidates to the Department of Economics. The GRE scores measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills and thus provide Departments with useful input about the candidates’ abilities. If you wish to take a GRE test for your EUI application, our institution's code is 7395 (the departmental code is: Economics – 1801). Candidates must directly upload the GRE scores (Examinee Score Report) to the online application form. Furthermore, the departments are willing to accept the GRE scores you may have previously obtained for another institution.

In which language should I write my research proposal? Write your research proposal in English or French.

My research proposal is common to two departments. Can I apply to both? No, you can only apply to one department. However, you can add the name of the other department in ‘Additional notes’ on the application form.

Should I translate my degree transcripts or CV? We usually accept documents in all the languages of the European Union although those written in English guarantee the widest possible reading. As such translations in English are appreciated but not mandatory. English translations are recommended for transcripts submitted to the Department of Economics.


Reference Letters

Do you accept references before I have submitted my application? Your referees will be allowed to submit the reference only after you have completed and registered the first step of the online application form including the names and contact details of referees: an automatic e-mail is created and sent to your referees. In order to receive the references in time by the deadline 31 January, you should register the referee details as soon as possible and ensure that your referees receive the request. This is possible any time and you do not yet need to submit the final version of your application at that time.

Can referees write reference letters in their own language? Yes, but references in English or French guarantee the widest possible reading.

Can I give a professional reference from my employer instead of an academic reference? No. Academic reference letters must be submitted by academic referees (ie: Professors, lecturers etc.) who are in a position to give an academic evaluation of your research, intellectual qualities, ability and potential.

Can I provide extra references? Only two letters are required (three for Economics). The references must correspond to the referees reported in your application. Additional reference letters cannot be accepted.

Does the EUI contact referees directly to ask for references? When you register your referees' contact details in the online application form, an email requesting a reference on your behalf is automatically sent to the referees you have nominated. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to contact referees directly to inform them of your request and to ensure that they have received it, and submit the reference by the deadline.

What happens if the reference letters arrive after the deadline? References must arrive by the deadline for applications on 31 January (14:00 CET). References arriving after the deadline may not be considered.

What happens to my application if reference letters are missing? Your application can be considered without references, but remember that references play an important part in the selection process. Please note that reference letters can be submitted by the registered referees (before the deadline) even after you have submitted your application.

Can I access the reference letters submitted by my referees? No. reference letters, provided directly by the referees, are confidential and not accessible to candidates.


Application, Selection Procedure

How Can I apply to the EUI? Applications must be submitted exclusively online using the dedicated online application form.

Can I apply for more than one programme (PhD, LL.M., MRes)? No, you can only apply for one programme. The Department of Economics and the Department of Law may offer admission to the MRes and LL.M. Programme (respectively) to candidates that have applied to the PhD programme and were not successful.

Is 31 January (14:00 CET) the last date for submitting the online application? Yes, applications must be submitted on-line by January 31 at 14:00 (CET, time in Italy).

When does the call for PhD applications start? The call for PhD applications is open from early November to 31 January (14:00 CET)

Is there more than one call for PhD applications throughout the academic year? No, there is only one call which opens from early November and closes on 31 January.

Can I reapply to the EUI doctoral programme if my previous application was not successful? Yes, candidates may reapply as many times as they wish.

I applied last year. My application was unsuccessful, and I wish to reapply this year: may I reactivate my old application? If you wish to reapply, you must submit a new online application. All required information and documents (including reference letters) must be submitted again.

May I request to be interviewed at a specific time on a specific date? Candidates are provided by the Admissions Officer with the time and date of the call when they are invited for the interview. Candidates may not request that the time-slot and date are modified.

For further information and to request assistance, please contact the Admissions Office at:

Email: [email protected] - Tel.: +39 0554685 373

Go back to top of the page