I am a bachelor pass out of 2018. Electrical background. Currently i am working in R&D in an automobile company for the past year. PhD is something I have always wanted to pursue (mainly because I want to be a professor). But the PhD scenario here in my country makes me really uneasy towards it. So pursuing it in Europe seems like the best option (lesser tuition fees than USA).

Now the main issue is that I don't have any technical publications. This is maybe just an excuse but during college i was mostly reinventing the wheel. So I never felt like I could write one. Although I have worked on so many different kind of projects that no matter the field, i have worked on it (at least as a beginner). I am working on some patents at my current job. But it'll be a while before i can apply for the patent.

So my question is, is there any chance I can get into doctorate program of any European college with no technical paper and just a bachelor's degree. And if not then is there a chance of getting into MS?

I looked at entry criteria into universities, but they generally don't mention anything about technical papers. Educational criteria are easier to find.

  • 4
    In some (most?) European countries it's a much bigger hurdle for entry to a PhD program that you don't have a master's degree. Getting in an MS program usually does not require any publications (and neither do most PhD programs).
    – Roland
    Sep 10, 2019 at 6:57
  • 3
    Most (if not all) of the people (even non-EU people) who I met doing a PhD in the UK has never had a publication before getting into the program, including me. However, I have the feeling that not having a masters is what will hinder your chances, not the lack of publications. Sep 10, 2019 at 8:42

3 Answers 3

  1. Europe consists of several countries with different educational systems.

  2. Typically you should have a master's degree before applying for a PhD degree. I would suggest searching for opportunities to get a master's degree first. But there probably are exceptions: see point 1.

  3. Not having publications is fine in the disciples I know of. If you have publications before a PhD, that makes you a very strong candidate. If not, then you are just like everyone else on that matter.


I can only speak for the UK, but I spent a few years in industry before my PhD, and although I did get a co-authorship in that time, the subject of publications never even came up. My masters (MPhys, so a 4-year first degree rather than an MSc) was relevant mainly for the paperwork. Instead what mattered was what I could bring to the PhD from my industrial (R&D) role.

It depends heavily on the supervisor: some will dismiss non-academic experience without a second thought, but those that work on projects with industry are much more willing to give some weight to the skills picked up in industry. Unfortunately the undergrad->industry->PhD route is uncommon, so while your experience will be a benefit during a PhD, it may get in the way of some applications processes that don't expect you. An MSc in comparison will be fairly easy to get into if you meet the academic criteria (and these may be lower in the first place)


Your chances of getting into some PhD program are not too bad (assuming that your transcripts are good). Getting into top programs is probably going to be more of a challenge without some outstanding credentials (publications, references from top researchers etc.), since the competition is really fierce. In these programs, the entry criteria are almost meaningless - most applicants easily pass them. However, you are competing against really qualified applicants, which means that even really good people do not get accepted.

  • Well i had 8.62(out of 10) commutative score. Is that good? And those "some" phd programs, are they worth it? Sorry if these questions seems a little redundant or generic but i have been reading on the net and i am trying to assess my actual situation while most sources that i have talk in abstracts.
    – user112818
    Sep 10, 2019 at 5:10
  • I can’t really answer that, you need to do your research. Check out potential advisors, research topics, funding opportunities etc.
    – Spark
    Sep 10, 2019 at 5:15

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