Graduate research

Graduate research, or HDR, programs are research-focused degrees usually undertaken by someone who has completed a previous degree with a significant research component. Graduate research/HDR degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and professional doctorates.


To be eligible to be considered for admission to a research degree at ANU, you must already have an Australian bachelor degree with at least upper second class honours (first class honours is usually required) or its international equivalent, or a graduate diploma or master degree with a significant research thesis component, and there must be a supervisor at ANU available to supervise your research.

All applicants must meet English language requirements.

Key dates

Applications are open throughout the year. However, if you are applying for a research scholarship, then the graduate research/HDR application should be lodged by the scholarship application deadline. You must indicate on your admission application form whether you still wish to be considered for admission if your application for a scholarship is unsuccessful.

Application procedure

Step 1: Find a supervisor

You will need to ascertain whether or not ANU offers research supervision in your area of interest. Research students usually enrol in the academic area (academic college, school or centre) where their supervisor is located.

Researchers lists all potential supervisors at ANU including their research expertise, published works and contact details

Academic colleges can provide information about the areas of research, supervisors and/or research groups within its schools and centres, but check carefully as supervision in some areas of research can be offered in more than one academic college.

Step 2: Pre-application

Once you have identified which supervisor you would like to work with, or which academic college offers research supervision in your area of interest, you will need to check to see what the pre-application process is for that academic college. Most academic colleges will ask applicants to identify and secure the support of a potential supervisor before they can proceed to an application for admission. However, some academic colleges ask applicants to submit a short description of their proposed area of research as an expression of interest and a summary of their academic qualifications (including grades) to a central contact first. Visit the relevant academic college website for pre-application advice (see above).

Step 3: Application

You may apply for admission if you have been advised that it is appropriate to do so, or if you have secured the support of a potential supervisor. Be aware that if you choose to submit an application for admission without this endorsement your application may not be assessed.

Before submitting your application to ANU, please make sure that you send the referee report form (Word, 183KB) to your referees, and ask them to submit their completed reports directly to the University.

Once you have submitted your completed application (including all supporting documentation), your application will be processed and assessed.

» Apply to ANU directly for admission to graduate research


Please direct initial enquiries through the relevant College (listed above).

If you experience difficulty when submitting your application, please contact Admissions.

Updated:  13 November 2013/ Responsible Officer:  Registrar/ Page Contact:  DRSS Communications