FAQ First years of doctoral studies

From the enrolment as a doctoral student to the annual reports: questions you may have during the first years of your doctoral studies

The thesis director is responsible that the PhD candidate has a salary that is equal to the regular EPFL PhD salary for the full duration of the PhD studies (i.e. until the oral exam).

Being admitted in a doctoral program doesn’t mean you are enroled as a doctoral student.

Enrolment happens afterwards. The admin of your doctoral program will guide you through the steps and form to complete to be officially enroled. A confirmation of enrolment will be sent to you by the Doctoral Students’ Office upon reception and verification of the enrolment form.

Yes, there are. They are intended to assist new doctoral students and their thesis director(s) in laying the foundations for working together and are available on the New doctoral student webpage.

Please ask the Student Helpdesk to provide you with a new password: [email protected]

No worries.
The Registrar’s Office verifies the authenticity of the educational or academic title that led to your admission to EPFL.
You should ask your university to send your final transcript upon receipt of the email confirming your enrolmentand if you are not a graduate of EPFL.
Please follow detailed instructions provided in the email sent to you by the Doctoral Students’ Office.
Note that
  • the transcript must be sent directly from your university, in a sealed envelope, to the Doctoral Students’ Office; we cannot accept this document directly from you
  • you will be informed by email when we’ll have received it from your university
  • we must receive it at the latest during your admission for preparation of the thesis (end of first year of PhD). We will be unable under any circumstances to continue your admission without this document.
Any questions? Please contact us: [email protected]

The reason might be that your enrolment as an EPFL PhD student is still being processed.

Once you are officially enroled as a doctoral student at EPFL, that is, when you have received the confirmation of your enrolment from EPFL Doctoral Students’ Office, you can update your CAMIPRO card from staff to doctoral student. You can do so at one of the terminals located on campus (Ecublens, Sion, Neuchâtel).

To be updated on your enrolment status, please contact the admin of your doctoral program or the Doctoral Students’ Office.

To locate a terminal and learn about the many uses and benefits of your CAMIPRO card, please go on the EPFL CAMIPRO webpage.

Renewal of your student status can only be done by passing the card in one of the terminals located on Ecublens, Sion or Neuchâtel campus. Therefore, we suggest you do it when you have the opportunity to come on campus, or you find someone willing to do it for you.

You and your thesis directors are both provided with access to iThenticate, which is a tool that highlights any sentences and paragraphs in your documents (scientific reports, thesis) that are also found in other online documents.

In the future, all submitted theses will automatically be verified with this tool. It will be your responsibility to explain the outcome of this verification to your thesis director and the president of your thesis jury.

All doctoral students are encouraged to take some time to make themselves familiar with the iThenticate tool, and learn how to interpret its results. Given the importance of this issue, you should be cognizant of the tool and try it out on your documents and later in your thesis before it is submitted.

In order to make you aware of the different aspects of plagiarism, and to support you in learning how to reference correctly in your documents, an informative website – Similarity Check – has been put in place. Please check out this informative website, and don’t hesitate to contact the EPFL Library in case you have any remaining questions on plagiarism or iThenticate.

Official enrolment certificate and other attestations that can be useful during your doctoral studies at EPFL are available to you anytime in your IS-Academia student portal.

Should you have any questions about certificates and attestations, please contact us: [email protected]



Doctoral programs have different rules. Please refer to your doctoral program’s own regulations.

Should you have any questions, please contact the admin of your doctoral program.

You will be admitted for thesis preparation provided that you have

  • passed the candidacy exam*
  • obtained the agreement of a Thesis Director to supervise your doctoral studies
  • drawn-up a research plan approved by your Thesis Director and ratified by the Program Director
  • obtained the credits required by the doctoral study plan for the first year of doctoral studies
  • fulfilled the specific conditions set by the doctoral program if applicable

within the 12 months following your enrolment.

*In case of failure of the candidacy exam: a pass must be obtained at the second attempt at latest 15 months after the date of enrolment.

Yes, there are several guidelines available.