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Doctoral School / UAM



Procedure for the declaration of equivalence of foreign higher education degrees to the academic level of Doctor by the Autonomous University of Madrid (Resolution of the Governing Council dated March 6, 2015, modified on March 24, 2023).

The competence for the declaration of equivalence of foreign higher education degrees to the academic level of Doctor is established by the Second Additional Provision of Royal Decree 889/2022, of 18 October, which establishes the conditions and procedures for the homologation, declaration of equivalence and validation of university studies from foreign education systems and which regulates the procedure for establishing the correspondence to the level of the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education of official university degrees belonging to previous academic regulations.

The submission of documentation for the application of equivalence of a foreign higher education degree to the academic level of Doctor must be done exclusively in electronic format, through the Common Electronic Registry of the General State Administration, or on a USB drive, at the Registry located at the Doctoral School (Cantoblanco campus) or at the General Registry of UAM (Rectorate Building). In the document available for download titled "Doctoral School UAM / Doctoral Thesis / Degree Equivalence," you will find helpful information on the steps to follow, depending on the chosen option, to correctly register the application for equivalence of a foreign higher education degree to the academic level of Doctor.

1. Scope of the equivalence declaration

This procedure regulates the declaration of equivalence for doctoral degrees obtained in accordance with foreign higher education systems at the following academic level:

Doctoral academic level

2. Exclusions

The equivalence declaration cannot be granted for the following foreign degrees:

a) Titles and diplomas awarded by Spanish universities as their own degrees.

b) Official degrees whose study programs have been discontinued or are not fully implemented at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

The following foreign degrees will not be subject to equivalence:

a) Those lacking official academic validity in the country of origin.

b) Degrees corresponding to studies completed, either wholly or partially, in Spain, when the institutions lack the necessary authorization to offer such programs or when the education sanctioned by the foreign degree was not effectively implemented at the university or foreign higher education institution at the time the degree was issued, as indicated in Article 86 of Organic Law 6/2001, of December 21, on Universities. However, if these circumstances only affect part of the studies, the partial studies that do not fall under them may be subject to validation, if applicable.

c) Degrees that have already been homologated in Spain or when the studies completed to obtain them have been subject to validation to continue studies in Spain.

d) Degrees that have already undergone a homologation or equivalence procedure in Spain, resulting in a resolution regarding the same application.

e) Degrees obtained through professional experience recognition, accounting for more than 15 percent of the total credits comprising the study program.

3. Initiation of the procedure

The procedure shall be initiated by a request from the interested party, addressed to the head of the University Rectorate, accompanied by the following documents:

a) Written statement indicating the Doctoral Program for which the thesis evaluation is desired. Equivalence applications at the doctoral academic level will only be accepted for research lines developed within the Doctoral Programs of the Autonomous University of Madrid, as explicitly identified in the corresponding verification reports of the Doctoral Programs.

b) Certification proving the nationality of the applicant (authenticated photocopy of ID card or passport).

c) Authenticated copy of the degree for which equivalence is requested or the certification proving its issuance.

d) Authenticated copy of the academic certification of the studies undertaken by the applicant to obtain the Doctorate degree, including, among other details, the official duration in academic years of the program of studies pursued, the subjects taken, the workload of each subject, and their grades; if there is no certificate of studies in the Doctoral Program, it must be replaced by a responsible declaration and/or justification from the university informing about this.

e) Indication of the public repository or website where the doctoral thesis is published. If it is not accessible, a printed copy of the thesis, sealed by the original university, and an electronic format shall be submitted to the Doctoral School (EDUAM). EDUAM may verify the authenticity of the thesis with the original university.

f) An explanatory memorandum of the doctoral thesis, written in Spanish or English, and signed by the applicant, including the names of the members of the jury and the obtained grade.

g) Publications resulting from the doctoral thesis. If they are openly accessible, providing the links will suffice.

h) Proof of payment of the corresponding equivalence fee (payment is made prior to the document submission), except for exceptions provided for beneficiaries of temporary protection status, as stipulated in the corresponding regulations.

i) A sworn statement declaring that the presented foreign degree has not been declared equivalent by another Spanish university.

j) Authenticated copies may be replaced by a responsible declaration of the veracity of the provided digital documents.

The application and accompanying documentation should be submitted exclusively in electronic format for registration at EDUAM.

The Committee responsible for the resolution of the equivalence to the academic level of doctor of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the Academic Committees of the corresponding Doctoral Programmes may request complementary documentation when they deem it necessary.

4. Document requirements

The documents issued abroad must comply with the following requirements:

They must be official and issued by the competent authorities in accordance with the legal system of the respective country.

They must be legalized through diplomatic channels or, if applicable, through the apostille of the Hague Convention. This requirement will not apply to documents issued by authorities of European Union member states or signatories of the Agreement on the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Original documentation in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and Italian is accepted. In any other language, they must be accompanied by their corresponding official translation into Spanish.

It is not necessary to include an official translation of the doctoral thesis copy or any additional documents that may be required.

5. Validation of documents

If there is any doubt about the authenticity, validity, or content of the provided documents, the administration of the Doctoral School or the Equivalence and Thesis Defense Committee may undertake the necessary measures to verify them. They may also contact the issuing competent authority to validate any questionable aspects. Additionally, they will verify with the Ministry of Education that no equivalence has been declared by another Spanish university.

In the circumstances described in section 3j, the documents listed in the responsible declaration must be submitted and validated prior to the proposal of the resolution.

6. Fees

The fees to be paid by the interested parties, in accordance with Article 28 of Law 53/2002, of December 30, on Fiscal, Administrative, and Social Measures, corresponding to the initiation of the procedure, shall constitute payable income for the resolution, being a necessary requirement for the processing of the file. The amount of said fees shall be in accordance with the eighth final provision of Law 15/2014, of September 16, on the rationalization of the Public Sector and other administrative reform measures, or the legislation that replaces it.

7. Processing.

The instruction of the procedure is the responsibility of the Doctoral School, where, within one month from the registration of the application, the documentation will be reviewed, and if necessary, a request for rectification of deficiencies will be made. These deficiencies must be rectified within a maximum period of 10 working days.

The application will be evaluated by the Academic Committee responsible for the Doctoral Program in the field of knowledge for which equivalence is being requested. If deemed necessary, the committee may seek the opinion of one or more experts in the subject matter. Additional documentation may also be requested, for which the applicant will be notified, and they must provide it within a maximum period of 10 working days.

The Equivalence and Thesis Defense Committee of the Doctoral School, which is responsible for resolving the equivalence at the doctoral level, will make a proposal for the resolution. This resolution can be favorable or unfavorable.

In the case of an unfavorable resolution, the proposal will be considered provisional. It will be communicated to the interested party, who will have a maximum of 10 business days to present arguments and provide any relevant documentation. These arguments will be evaluated by the Equivalence and Thesis Defense Committee of the Doctoral School, which will then adopt the final proposal for the resolution.

8. Resolution

The final resolution will be duly adopted by the Rector of the university. This resolution will be adopted, in any case, in accordance with the criteria and exclusions established by the current regulations on the declaration of equivalence to the academic level of foreign degrees, under which this procedure is developed. The resolution may be favorable or unfavorable to the requested equivalence.

The deadline for resolving and notifying the resolution of the procedure will be six months, starting from the date on which the application and all required documentation have been received by the General Registry of U.A.M.

As stated in the twenty-ninth additional provision of Law 14/2000, of December 29, on Fiscal, Administrative, and Social Measures, and in Annex 2, the lack of an explicit resolution within the specified period will be deemed as the rejection of the equivalence application.