Doctoral programme in Natural Science (Geography)

Degree to be achieved: Doctor of science (PhD) in Earth Sciences, Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences; Doctor of science (PhD) in Social and Economic Geography
Standard period of study: 3 years
Type of studies: Full time
Amount of credits: 144 credit points or 216 ECTS
European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level: Level 8
International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level: Level 8
Language of instruction: Latvian and English
Study programme is licensed, will be accredited within two years (according to national legislation)

Tuition fee:

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members; Long Term Resident EU - 2800 EUR per Year
Other сountry citizens - 6402 EUR per Year

Approval of tuition fees for the year 2023/2024 is in process.

Short Program description

The doctoral programme in geography is the only highest-level study programme in Latvia which allows students to gain independent experience with research and studies, as well as an internationally comparable doctorate in geography. Its necessity from the perspective of Latvia’s state interests is closely linked to the further existence and development of geography as a discipline of science in the country. The aim of the doctoral programme in geography is to train highly qualified specialists who can engage in scholarly work and teach geography. The degree is intended to be fully internationally comparable, allowing graduates to participate in and contribute to international debates and academic fora.  The programme has four sub-fields – physical geography, human geography, environmental and regional geography, as well as applied geography and geomatics. The study programme allows each doctoral student to develop as an individual, taking into account the student’s interests, education, experience and achievements. The doctoral study programme involves the studies as such, as well as independent and original research work. the programme at the University of Latvia envisages 74 credit points (111 ECTS) for completion of the PhD thesis out of 144 credit points (216 ECTS), which should be gathered in other related activities, e.g., courses on the relevant sub-field, theoretical courses, publications, pedagogical work.

ERASMUS+ exchange possibilities

UL full-time students, regardless of their citizenship, have the opportunity to apply for the ERASMUS + exchange program for studies or/and traineeship.  

More information:

ERASMUS + study mobility 
ERASMUS + traineeship moblity  

Admission requirements

Master degree in Geography or Natural Sciences or a comparable degree. An application, a plan for the dissertation, a CV, and recommendations. Entrance examinations for full and part time students involve discussions that are organised by the Commission of the Admission at the University.

English language proficiency.

Autumn Intake (application start: 3 Jan 2023; studies start in Sept 2023)


Contact persons for more information about the programme:


Programme director
Dr.geogr. Zaiga Krišjāne

Programme secretary
Dr.geogr.  Elga Apsīte