In addition to the general directions on this web page, Master’s projects are subject to possible specific requirements decided by the student’s program.
Regardless of its duration, the Master’s project is worth 30 ECTS credits. In case of failure at the first attempt at the Master’s project, a significantly different topic must be chosen for the second attempt (a change of teacher in charge is however not compulsory). The second attempt is given only if the deadline to successfully complete the Master’s project allows it.
The Master’s project must be successfully completed within two semesters of the successful completion of the Master’s cycle (or the conditional admission to the Master’s project, if applicable). Should the Master’s project (of a duration of 25 weeks and in industry) serve to validate the engineer’s internship, the deadline is extended to three semesters.
The duration of the Master’s projects done at EPFL is 17 weeks and up to 25 weeks for Master’s projects done outside EPFL, in industry or at another University, if stipulated in the section’s rulebook. The Master’s projects done at EPFL usually start in the first or second week of the semester, and end during the following exam session. The dates are fixed in agreement between the student and the teacher in charge (if applicable, also with the host company or the host institution).
Whether the Master’s project is done at EPFL, in industry, or at another University, the teacher in charge of the Master’s project must be internal to EPFL.
The Master’s projects can start between January 1 and May 31 for the spring semester. The Master’s projects can start between June 1 and December 31 for the fall semester. The Master’s projects should in any case start on a Monday, and be submitted on the Friday at noon.
The Master’s project can in no circumstances start before the successful completion of the Master’s cycle (or the conditional admission to the Master’s project) has been checked after the exam session (first Monday of the spring semester for the winter semester, and last Monday of July for the summer semester).
The Master’s project must be registered on IS-Academia between the opening of the academic re-registration form (FRAC) and the Friday of the second week of the semester. A late registration fee of CHF 50 is due for a registration after this deadline (the student should come in person to the Student Services Desk).
The one-week holiday for Easter or Christmas is included in the calculation of the duration of the Master’s project (which therefore lasts a minimum of 18 weeks if the Master’s project covers these periods). This also applies to Master’s projects done outside of EPFL, at a company or in another institution.
The duration of the Master’s project (beginning date and due date) is fixed before the beginning of the project, according to the program’s regulations. The student works for his Master’s project full time (41 hours per week) for the whole duration of the project. The teacher in charge ensures before the beginning of the project that conditions are met for the project to go on without any interruption. The due date may only be delayed in one of the two following exceptional cases:
- The student is interrupted during the project for a valid motive of absence, properly attested (e.g., full- or part-time work incapacity attested with a medical certificate). In such a case, the due date is delayed by a duration equivalent to that of the attested interruption (e.g., two-week delay for a four-week work incapacity at 50%). A work incapacity above 50% is deemed incompatible with studies at EPFL. In such a case, the student must interrupt his Master’s project for the whole duration of the incapacity, and the due date is delayed accordingly, as per a full-time work incapacity. To obtain such a delay of the due date, the student must submit the document attesting his valid motive of absence to the Student Services Desk.
- The student is interrupted during the project by a situation outside of his responsibility (missing or defective gear, delay in another projet upon which his is dependent, temporary closure of the company at which he is working on his project, etc.). In such a case, the due date is delayed by a duration equivalent to the effective interruption of the work. One must take into account the possibility for the student to work (full or part time) on other aspects of his Master’s project during that period. Such a delay is granted by the Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs, upon written request from the teacher in charge, addressed to the Registrar’s Office and duly motivated.
The report must be submitted on the due date and marked in its current state at that date. Should the laboratory or company at which the student works on his Master’s project wish for the student to continue his work past that date, the student must be hired to that end. He may not continue his work as a student after the Master’s project report has been submitted. The due date for the report may in no case be delayed for such a motive.
The oral exam generally takes place within two to four weeks after the date of submission. The date of the oral exam is mutually agreed between the student, the teacher in charge and the external expert.
Any changes to the title of the Master’s project must be submitted to the secretary’s office of the student’s program on the day of the exam at the latest. The title is mentioned in the student’s diploma supplement.
In order for the student to obtain his or her Master’s degree at the graduation ceremony (Magistrale) of the current year (held in early October), the Registrar’s Office must have received his or her grade before the end of September. The student must also have successfully completed the Master’s cycle. In any case, the final transcripts and the diploma supplement will be made available to the student in the days following the successful completion of the Master’s degree.
Here are the main legal documents concerning Master’s projects:
- Ordinance on the evaluation of Bachelor and Master studies (art. 30, 31, and 32)
- Internal directive concerning examinations (art. 16, 17, and 18)