JDPLS EPFL Candidacy exam

4 elements for your definite admission to your thesis

  1. Have the agreement of a thesis director and a co-advisor at ETHZ to supervise your work
  2. Obtain 4 ECTS credits, (see JDPLS 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. The examination consists of an oral presentation of approximately thirty minutes by the candidate about his/her research proposal, followed by questions from the jury. 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 JDPLS office. If your exam can’t be scheduled within 12 months of your enrolment date, or if you don’t yet have your 4 credits, you must contact the JDPLS office to file for an extension.

Before the exam

  • Please read the instructions about the jury composition and the candidacy exam in the JDPLS regulations
  • The jury president should be a person from the following list JDPLS  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 recommended length is 15 pages, with a maximum set at 20 pages. In exceptional cases, this limit may be exceeded, subject to approval by the President of the candidacy exam jury and the Thesis Director. The request shall be made at least one month before the exam.
  • 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 JDPLS office for validation (you find instructions here: ISA – Instructions.)
    – If you have not received an answer in 3 days then contact the JDPLS  office.
  • 7 days before the exam date:
    – Send your research plan to the exam jury members
  • JDPLS does not need any signed papers before the exam. 

After the exam:

Upon successful completion of the exam, the JDPLS 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.

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 within 15 months after your official enrolment date. Contact the JDPLS office for more information.