The University of Iceland is authorised by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture to offer doctoral programmes in all of its schools in accordance with Act no. 63/2006 on Universities, and Rules no. 37/2007 on rules for doctoral programmes in universities. The authority was granted following a professional evaluation by foreign specialists in 2008 and 2009.
At the University of Iceland heavy emphasis is placed on ensuring that doctoral programmes are in accordance with internationally recognised requirements. In 2004 the University Meeting (now University Forum) and the University Council approved formal Standards and Requirements for the quality of doctoral programmes, which were reviewed in 2012. The Graduate School of the University of Iceland was established in 2009 with the function of ensuring and strengthening the quality of doctoral programmes at the University and enforcing set criteria and requirements, cf. Article 66 of University of Iceland's Rules no. 569/2009.