1. First or upper-class second honours Bachelor`s degree (or equivalent: Cum Laude; Magna Cum Laude; and Summa Cum Laude) or a Master’s degree in a cognate discipline. During the application period, final year students may submit an official current transcript for consideration;
  2. At least 3 (three) years of relevant work experience. Based on GSPP’s Admissions Committee discretion, candidates with work experience less than 3 (three) years may also be considered if the applicant can demonstrate high academic performance;
  3. 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) Candidates 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;
  4. Strong reading, analytical, and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GRE/GMAT test (maybe submitted);
  5. High motivation and strong interest in the Program as outlined in a cover letter;
  6. Relevant research interest and knowledge of research subject as demonstrated in a written research proposal.



  1. Complete Application form;
  2. National ID (for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and passport (for international applicants);
  3. Official document confirming name change (if applicable);
  4. Degree diplomas (Bachelor’s and Master’s or equivalents) with transcripts. During the application period, final year students may upload the official current transcript for consideration;
  5. An official electronic IELTS/TOEFL certificate (valid at the time of document submission) sent to the University through IELTS/TOEFL VERIFICATION SERVICES. Code for IELTS: Nazarbayev University. Code for TOEFL: 6762;
  6. Document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for candidates who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL). Candidates should provide a detailed certificate/reference from the university indicating the number and list of subjects completed in English;
  7. Documented proof of work experience (if applicable);
  8. Resume;
  9. GRE/GMAT certificate valid as of the date of online documents submission (if any);
  10. Cover letter explaining the motivation to enroll in the Program;
  11. Two confidential letters of recommendation (to be provided by referees electronically or in hard copy after receiving an email request);
  12. Preliminary research proposal (maximum 2000 words).



  • Application periods for PhD program: 

           for International applicants from November, 2023  February, 2024 (inclusive)

           for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan from November, 2023 – May , 2024 (inclusive)

  • The final deadline for submission of IELTS/TOEFL, GRE/GMAT certificates: 

           for International applicants – March , 2024 (inclusive)

           for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan – May, 2024 (inclusive)

  • The start of orientation week (for newly enrolled students): to be announced
  • First day of classes: to be announced