Candiday exam, Instructions

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 thesis proposal
  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,  (20-30 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 the date of your exam 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
  • 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 members of the jury. The recommended length is 15 pages, with a maximum set at 30 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.
  • Generate the jury proposal in IS-Academia no less than 15 days prior to the date of the exam. You find instructions here: ISA – Instructions.
  • The EDCE office need the jury proposal 2 weeks before the exam. If no confirmation in 3 days then take contact.
  • Send your thesis proposal, to the members of your exam jury no less than 15 days prior to the date of the exam.
  • EDCE does not need any papers to be signed prior to the exam. If there is a problem, you will be contacted directly.

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.

Upon failure

  • The president will inform and send the official records to the EDCE office asap.

You have one opportunity to retake your exam within 15 months after your official enrolment date. See EDCE regulations for the modified composition of the exam jury.