PhD programs
Admission to Nazarbayev University programs is based on the principle of meritocracy, which implies the selection of applicants on the basis of their academic achievements, providing everyone with equal opportunities at admission, and facilitating the selection of the most promising and talented students without the influence of external factors. Thus, the requirements for admission to the programs of Nazarbayev University are the same for all applicants regardless of citizenship, social status, the status of the educational organization, the graduate of which the applicant is, etc. The duration of PhD degree programs in the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences is 4 years.The admissions process to the SEDS Programs consists of the following stages:
1) The Admissions Department reviews application packages in the Personal account and checks the compliance with the minimum entry requirements;
2) The members of the Admissions Committee review application packages and creates the list of applicants to be invited for an interview;
3) The applicants are interviewed by the Admissions Committee and determine finalists for admission based on the review of the admissions package. Interviews are conducted in English;
4) Applicants receive acceptance/rejection letters by email.

Contact details
Regarding consultation on admissions -
In case of questions regarding submission of an application, please send a request to the emails according to the table below, specifying the Applicant ID number assigned in your Personal Account -
On academic issues -
Phone number: +7 (7172) 70 66 13
Application requirements

  • An undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent)
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. The relevance of the academic and experiential background, and the equivalency and appropriateness of earlier degrees, will be determined by the Admissions Committee. During the application period final year students may submit official current transcript for consideration;
  • A minimum CGPA of 2.75 out of a 4.00 or equivalent on applicant’s master’s degree transcript;
  • English proficiency:
1) Overall IELTS test score of 6.5 (with sub-scores no less than 6.0) or the equivalent TOEFL (except Home Edition) score as posted on the ETS website;
2) Applicants can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:
– one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;
– an undergraduate and/or graduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English.
  • Strong reading, analytical, and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GMAT or GRE test (optional, not required);
  • High motivation and strong interest in the Program as outlined in a statement of purpose (not exceeding 500 words).
  • Complete Application form;
  • Scanned copy of national ID or passport;
  • Scanned copy of official document confirming name change (if applicable);
  • Scanned copy of official degree diplomas/certificates with transcripts;
  • Verified score report of valid Academic IELTS (except IELTS Online) or TOEFL(except TOEFL Home Edition) test certificate downloaded from the Test Administrator system and its scanned copy. The last IELTS/TOEFL certificate submitted to Personal account will be considered in admission competition. IELTS or TOEFL certificate valid (no more than 2 years) as of date of online documents submission. An applicant must indicate the Nazarbayev University as a recipient when registering for the test. In case if the applicant passed the test earlier, he/she can contact the test center and indicate the University as a recipient;
  • Scanned document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL);
  • Verified score report of valid GMAT or GRE test certificate valid as of date of online documents submission and its scanned copy (optional, not required);
  • Curriculum vitae (up to 2 A4 pages);
  • Statement of purpose for graduate studies (up to 500 words);
  • Two letters of recommendation written within the last 12 months, including at least one academic reference (to be provided by referees via University system or in scanned copy).
Step 1. Create your Personal account
Go to, press the «Sign up» button and fill out the required information in English. Please select the «PhD» program during choosing the Academic level. After completing the registration, confirm it by clicking on the link sent to your email. Be sure to read the instructions about the application procedure given in your Personal account.

Step 2. Fill out the application form
In the «My Application Forms» section of your Personal Account, open the link Step 1. Fill out the Application Form online and Consent form for personal data processing according to the online form. Make sure you have entered all the required information in the correct manner and press the «Upload» button.

Step 3. Submit the required documents
After filling out the application form, in the Step 2 section, you need to upload the required documents. The format of requested documents is available in a Personal account. Upload a 3*4 photo for documents to the «Profile» section in your Personal account.

Step 4. Pay the application fee
The application fee shall be paid online in your Personal account at the «My Application Forms» section with a bank card.
The application fee is 10 000 tenge. This amount is non-refundable. The payment of the application fee by transferring money through the bank is not acceptable. Applicants can apply for no more than 2 Master's / Ph.D. programs at Nazarbayev University. In this regard, please do not make the payment more than 2 times. In case of admission to both programs, the applicant must choose only one. If you have no personal card you may use the card of another person.

Step 5. Finish the application process
After completing all above-mentioned steps please press the «SUBMIT APPLICATION». Now the application is considered completed.
After submission applicants cannot make any changes in their applications and submitted documents. Admissions Department will check your application and contact you by email specifying which documents and when are to be resubmitted, in case of need. Incomplete or incorrect (uncorrected) applications will not be considered in the competition.

Step 6. Submit IELTS/ TOEFL certificate
In order to provide IELTS/TOEFL certificates, applicants should fulfill the following requirements:
To send an official electronic report of valid IELTS/TOEFL certificate via the Test administrator directly to Nazarbayev University;
To upload its scanned copy and insert its data to the «Upload IELTS/TOEFL results» section of a Personal account. Applicants can submit any number of certificates for the competition, but the last certificate uploaded to their Personal account will be considered.
Carefully consider the information regarding codes for a test certificate submission via the Test Administrator or the Test Center. See below:
Code for IELTS: Nazarbayev University
Code for TOEFL iBT: 6762
Code for GRE: 6496
Code for GMAT: H6m-R7-93
Detailed Instruction on the provision of IELTS/TOEFL certificates is available in applicants’ Personal account.
The results of IELTS Online, TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL PDT are not considered in the competition.
All certificates provided must be valid at the time of submission of documents.
Please note that submission of IELTS/TOEFL certificates in the electronic database of Nazarbayev University is not within the competence of the University. You should independently contact the Test center and make sure that your certificate has been sent. Please note that this action takes at least 7-10 working days. If the certificate is received after the deadline, specified by the Admissions Department, results will not be considered in the competition.
Applicants, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report in one of the following documented cases:
one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;
an undergraduate and/or graduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English;
if the applicant is a graduate of Nazarbayev University.

Further steps.

An automatic email notification will be sent to your referrers asking them to provide them with letters of recommendation in accordance with the electronic form sent to their email addresses.
Check your email for notifications from Nazarbayev University and your Personal Account to find out about the status of your application. Please keep in mind that sometimes letters from the University may go to the spam box.
Important deadlines:
Important dates for those who are applying for the 2024-2025 academic year
Online application deadlines for Masters programs:
  • for International applicants: November 16, 2023 – February 29, 2024 (13:00 Astana time)
  • for the citizens of Kazakhstan: November 16, 2023 – April 29, 2024 (13:00 Astana time)
Deadline for submission of IELTS/TOEFL, GRE/GMAT certificates:
  • for International applicants: March 15, 2024
  • for the citizens of Kazakhstan: May 10, 2024
Dates of the ALEKS test for applicants to the Master of Engineering Management program:
  • for International applicants: to be announced later
  • for the citizens of Kazakhstan: to be announced later
Sending notifications about admission:
  • for International applicants: April – May, 2024
  • for the citizens of Kazakhstan: June – August, 2024
The start of orientation week (for newly enrolled students): August, 2024
First day of classes: August, 2024