EDCE New PhD Students

I have been registered to the EDCE doctoral program. What are the main milestones that I should keep in mind?

  • You must select at least one of the methodological courses and take it during your first year. If this is not the case, please fill out a request for an extension of credits.
  • If you are an external PhD student, you can follow methodological courses outside the EPFL, for instance at the ETHZ. This must be approved by your thesis director and the program director before attending them.
  • Within 12 months after your enrolment, you must pass the candidacy exam.                             
    a) The length of 20 pages for the Research Plan is recommended
    b) A limit of 30 pages is required
    c) In exceptional cases, the limit can be exceeded. An explicit agreement from the president of the candidacy exam committee and the thesis director is necessary. The request should be done at least one month before the exam.
  • Every year, a short status report (annual report) must be written and discussed with the thesis director (who has to approve it), and submitted to the doctoral program for approval as well. It must contain a description of your publication strategy. The first one must be submitted 12 months after your candidacy exam and the second one approximately one year after the first one.
  • Within 3 years after the candidacy exam, you must have obtained a total of 12 ECTS credits.
  • Within 3 years after the candidacy exam, you must pass the thesis oral defence.

Can I take courses which are not proposed by the EDCE program?

Of course. Take as many courses as you want. To be credited, the following rules apply:

  • The credits obtained from any course proposed by a EPFL doctoral program are automatically credited, provided the thesis director has approved it. You can register any time, before or after the beginning of the course.
  • The credits from Master courses are automatically credited, with the thesis director’s approval.
  • No credit can be earned from Bachelor courses. In some exceptional cases, the thesis director can request a waiver to this rule, which must be approved by the program director. In any case, not more than 4 bachelor credits can be earned.
  • Credits from courses given at other universities must be pre-approved by the thesis director and the director of the doctoral program. The credits will be accounted only after the reception of an official transcript describing explicitly that an exam was passed, and providing the exact number of ECTS credits.
  • Credits can be obtained from short courses or summer schools under similar conditions: approval of the thesis director and the director of the doctoral program, plus an official transcript with the number of hours of lectures, plus the number of ECTS credits if available. Two important notes: (i) a formal exam must be passed to obtain the credit. A certificate of participation is not sufficient. (ii) The number of official ECTS credits proposed by the course organizer are not automatically credited by the doctoral program. The general rule is that a 5-day course is worth 1 ECTS.
  • Students are encouraged to follow semester courses instead of short courses and summer schools.
  • No credit can be obtained from conferences, seminars, symposium, workshops, internships, etc.