EDMA For PhD Students


  • During the course of his or her studies, each PhD student must earn at least 12 ECTS (credit units) before the final thesis defense.
  • At least 4 credit units must be earned within the first year.
  • For all courses taken, the PhD student must have the approval of the advisor. He or she must register by using the designated form.

Courses can be chosen:

  • from the EDMA course offer
  • from other doctoral programs
  • from the Master program in mathematics and also from other master programs at EPFL
  • other, external doctoral level courses (including summer/winter schools), if the thesis director and the EDMA program director approve this beforehand. An examination must be completed at the end of this course. It is not possible to acquire credits by participating in a conference. Please contact the EDMA secretariate for instructions.

According to the cahier des charges, as per the superior’s instructions, each PhD student is required to contribute to tasks related to EPFL’s missions in education, research or innovation. Therefore, PhD students participate in teaching at the Bachelor/Master level.

Directions for use (pdf file)

Before the end of the first year, the PhD student must pass a candidacy examination in order to gain definite admission to the Mathematics PhD program. This examination consists of the presentation of a thesis proposal in front of a jury composed of at least three persons: the president (a member of the EDMA committee), the thesis advisor and another EPFL collaborator authorized to fulfill the function of a thesis director. The PhD advisor will be responsible for coordinating an appropriate date with the candidate and the jury members. The regulations regarding the candidacy exam can be found on the EDMA webpage.

The role of a mentor is to mediate in the rare event that serious conflict arises in the scope of the doctoral training of a PhD student. By default the mentor is the EDMA program Director but can be replaced by any other faculty member, in agreement with the program Director, if the PhD student so wishes.

The Student Affaire office (SAE) offers further help and support to PhD students (such as stress management workshop, social or psychotherapeutic consultation, etc.)

After each of the second, third and fourth years of enrolment, the doctoral student must submit the Annual Progress Report Form. The deadline for this report to be submitted to the EDMA administration is the 15th of March each year.

The oral examination of the thesis should take place within the deadline of 4 years from the enrolment date (within 3 years from the EDOC thesis admission date). Please contact the EDMA secretariat at least 3 months before the oral exam in order to receive all the instructions.

Under exceptional circumstances, a request to prolong thesis preparation and delay the oral thesis examination may be submitted. The request for such an extension is made by submitting the required form to the EDMA administration for approval by both the EDMA Diregtor and the EDOC Dean. Instructions for the procedure of the end of thesis can be found on the following page: FAQ End of thesis.

It has to take place 4 weeks at the earliest and 6 months at the latest after the oral exam. Instructions for the precedure of the end of thesis can be found on the following page: FAQ – End of Thesis.