combined masters and phd programs in europe

Integrated Masters and PhD Combined Programs in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Europe 
If doctorate level research is your ultimate ambition in life, pursuing it jointly is a great idea. It seems beneficial in many ways, however it is not always easy to apply for these courses as they demand exceptional excellence and high academic performance throughout.

Integrated MS/PhD is a bit complicated and varies from one University to another.
1. Some universities don’t let you apply to PhD program with a Bachelor’s. You have to apply to MS and state in application that you wish to continue to PhD subsequently
2. Few schools let you apply for PhD post Bachelor’s but will only if they find an extra-ordinary intellectual potential in you or else you will be re-directed to a MS program
3. Few universities offer MS-PhD joint degrees extending to 5 or 6 years and even offer fellowships to these integrated program students.
4. Recently, many programs have been added to this category. One has to be very sure before getting into an integrated program because once you become a part of it you will not get another chance to divert your field of work or change subjects.

Top Countries for MS and PhD Combined Programs 

  • USA
  • UK

Pursuing integrated MS and PhD needs meticulous planning in every aspect. As you need to consider various factors like your research inclination, ongoing project and research work at the department you need to apply to, initiating contact with professors who could be your project guide, exchange of information and research ideas, assessment of your skills and mapping your research goals with the ongoing project work. 

Our expert counsellors who have years of experience and have worked with several Integrated PhD aspirants on their applications and admission process efficiently ensure a successful Integrated PhD admission. 

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Information about the programmes

Click on the links below for information about the Master’s programmes, how to apply, scholarships and eligibility. Please contact the programme coordinators of the specific programme that you are interested in to ask about the upcoming admission and scholarship opportunities.

Erasmus Mundus joint Master’s programmes

Lund University currently has four Erasmus joint Master’s programmes.

About Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s – European Commission website

Food Innovation and Product Design (FIPDes)

Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE)

Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management (GEM)

Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM)

Tourism Development and Culture (TourDC)

Large Scale Accelerators and Lasers (LASCALA)

Membrane Engineering for Sustainable Development (MESD)

Other European or Nordic Joint Master’s Programmes

Economic Development and Growth (MEDEG)

Environmental Changes at Higher latitudes (Enchil)

EIT Food Systems

Other joint programmes at Lund University

Combined Master’s and PhD Programs: An Overview

Combined master’s and PhD programs are an excellent choice for students looking to streamline their academic journey while deepening their knowledge and research skills. These programs allow students to complete both a master’s and a PhD degree in a single, cohesive curriculum. This approach often results in a shorter overall timeline compared to pursuing these degrees separately.

Combined Programs in Europe

Europe has a long tradition of offering combined master’s and PhD programs in various fields, particularly in the sciences and humanities. These programs are often highly regarded for their academic rigor and interdisciplinary approach. Germany, in particular, is known for its excellence in higher education and research, making it an attractive destination for prospective students.

Combined Programs in Germany

Germany’s combined master’s and PhD programs are highly respected for their quality and accessibility. These programs are generally structured as follows:

  1. Coursework Phase: Students start with an intensive coursework phase, during which they deepen their knowledge in their chosen field.
  2. Research Phase: After successfully completing the coursework, students embark on their research projects, which form the basis for their PhD theses.
  3. Thesis Defense: Upon completing the research phase and defending their thesis, students earn both a master’s and a PhD degree.

One notable aspect of these programs in Germany is that tuition fees are often minimal or non-existent, making them an attractive option for international students. Institutions like the Max Planck Institutes and the German Research Foundation (DFG) frequently fund research projects, further enhancing the appeal of pursuing a combined program in Germany.

Combined Programs in History

Combined master’s and PhD programs in history allow students to explore their passion for the past while honing their research and analytical skills. These programs typically involve in-depth coursework in historical methodologies and a research phase in which students delve into specific historical topics. Notable institutions for history programs include the University of Oxford in the UK, Sorbonne University in France, and the Free University of Berlin in Germany.

Combined Programs in the USA

The United States also offers combined master’s and PhD programs across various disciplines. These programs are structured differently than their European counterparts:

  1. Integrated Programs: Some American universities offer integrated programs that allow students to transition seamlessly from their master’s to PhD studies, provided they meet specific requirements.
  2. Direct PhD Programs: In the USA, it is common for students to enroll directly in PhD programs after completing their undergraduate degrees. This is particularly true in STEM fields.
  3. Master’s En Route: Another approach in the USA is to complete a master’s degree while working towards a PhD. Students earn a master’s along the way, which can be beneficial if they decide not to pursue the PhD.

In the USA, the availability of financial aid and scholarships varies by institution. Students may also need to take out loans or seek external funding sources.

Choosing the Right Program

When considering a combined master’s and PhD program, it’s crucial to research and carefully assess the following:

  1. Program Structure: Understand how the program is structured and whether it aligns with your academic and career goals.
  2. Faculty and Research Opportunities: Evaluate the faculty and the research opportunities available to you.
  3. Funding: Investigate the cost of tuition, availability of scholarships, and options for financial support.
  4. Duration: Determine the length of the program, as it can vary significantly.
  5. Admission Requirements: Check the prerequisites and admission criteria for each program.
  6. Career Prospects: Explore potential career opportunities and the value of the degree in your field.
  7. Geographic Preferences: Consider where you would like to study and the cultural and academic environment you prefer.


Combined master’s and PhD programs in Europe, Germany, and the USA offer an exceptional educational experience for those seeking a more streamlined academic path. Your choice of program should align with your academic interests, career goals, and financial considerations. Regardless of the destination, these programs provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen field, expand your knowledge, and contribute to cutting-edge research. As you explore your options, remember that the pursuit of knowledge is a journey, and these programs can be a transformative step in that journey.

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