According to the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, doctoral studies are a form of training high-level scientific personnel, carrying out obtaining a doctoral degree, representing the highest level of education, and providing training for scientific personnel, raising scientific degrees and degrees in a specialty.
According to the "Rules for the creation of doctoral studies and admission to doctoral studies", approved by decree No. 129 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 1, 2010 and the Cabinet of Ministers decree No. 443 dated November 13, 2019 on amendments to these Rules, persons wishing to enroll entrance exams in a foreign language (with the exception of the Russian language, the choice must be free or correspond to the specialty), philosophy and the subject of the specialty in the scope of the existing educational programs for the master's level of higher education.
The exam in foreign languages is carried out by the State Examination Center (SEC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The content and time of the exam in foreign languages, as well as the passing scores and the rules for assessing the examination results are determined by the SEC, in agreement with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (ANAS).
In accordance with the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for the Determination of Foreign Language Proficiency (CEFR) and the structure of international language exams, the entrance examinations provide for the examination and assessment of candidates' reading, listening, writing and speaking skills, language skills for communicative purposes, level of proficiency vocabulary and grammatical minimum.
Persons holding valid international certificates in a foreign language (IELTS, TOEFL, TestDaF, DELF, DALF) corresponding to a B2 or higher CEFR level are exempt from the foreign language entrance exam. The equivalence of the examination results of the international certificate and the passing scores is determined by the SEC, in agreement with the Ministry of Education and ANAS. Persons wishing to obtain a Ph.D. degree by defending a dissertation also pass an entrance exam in a foreign language (with the exception of the Russian language, the choice must be free or correspond to the specialty) in the appropriate order.