EDCE Candidacy exam

4 elements for your definite admission to your thesis

  1. Have the agreement of a thesis director to supervise your work
  2. Obtain 4 ECTS credits, (see EDCE regulations)
  3. Submit your research plan
  4. Pass the candidacy exam

What is the Candidacy exam?

During the candidacy exam, the jury assesses your thesis proposal, in particular your research plan and your general ability to complete a doctoral degree. It is a private oral exam with a maximum of 20 minutes presentation of your thesis proposal, followed by a Q&A session and deliberation. The jury’s decision (pass or fail), potentially along with specific recommendations for your doctoral research, will be communicated to you at the end of the exam.

Important information: Your exam should be scheduled within 12 months of your enrolment date. Three months prior to the dead-line you will receive an automatic reminder with all relevant information for organizing your exam.

Please announce your exam date and the progression of your credits to the EDCE office. If your exam can’t be scheduled within 12 months of your enrolment date, you must contact the EDCE office to file for an extension of your dead-line.

Before the exam

  • Please read the instructions about the jury composition and the candidacy exam in the EDCE regulations
  • The expert or the codirector can participate via video-conference, not both. The president, the thesis director and the candidate should be in presence.
  • The jury president should be a person from the following list EDCE Jury Presidents
  • Allow sufficient time to write your thesis proposal, according to the guidelines. The proposal shall be written in one of the official Swiss languages or in English, as agreed with the Thesis Director and the jury members. The maximum length is set to 20 pages, including cover page, appendices and references.
  • 3 weeks before your exam date:
    – fill in the information about your exam in your IS-Academia portal and generate the jury proposal, it will be sent automatically to the EDCE office for validation (you find instructions here: ISA – Instructions.)
    – send your research plan by email to the EDCE office for validation.
    – If you have not received an answer in 3 days then contact the EDCE office.
  • 10 days before the exam date:
    – Send your research plan to the exam jury members
  • EDCE does not need any signed papers before the exam. 
  • EDCE won’t send you the official records, so ask your thesis director(s) for feedback directly after the exam.

After the exam:

Upon successful completion of the exam, the EDCE office shall receive within 10 days:
  • From the president of the jury:
    • The candidacy exam evaluation duly completed and signed.
  • From the candidate:
    • One copy of the final thesis proposal, in pdf, by email.
    • The first page of the thesis proposal, (printed from IS-Academia) signed by the Ph.D student, the Thesis Director, and the co-director, if applicable.

Once you have fulfilled the four conditions for definitive admission to the doctorate, you will receive an official letter from the Vice-President for Education admitting you for the preparation of your thesis.

and if I fail?

You have one opportunity to retake your exam 3 months after your first attempt or maximum within 15 months after your official enrolment date. Contact the EDCE office for more information.