SMT Master Project

The objective of the Master Project is to carry out a personal research project in a professional environment. This gives students the opportunity to put into practice the methodological and technical competencies acquired during their studies and to show their ability to work independently. The Master Project offers students professional work experience and the possibility to familiarize themselves with industry processes.

Duration | Dates | Location

Duration: The Master Project takes place after the three coursework semesters and it lasts for 25 weeks (about 6 months).

Session dates: It can start after the Winter exam session upon completion of the Master Cycle (90 ECTS). It must start on a Monday, and be submitted at the latest on the last Friday at noon. Students must verify the starting date of their Master Project with the internship coordinators.

Requirements: To be admitted to the Master Project, students must have successfully completed the 90 ECTS of the SMT master program coursework.

Location: The Master Project can be carried out in a company, for instance, a consulting firm, a multinational, a small or medium enterprise, a well-established start-up, or a public administration department.

Project definition & supervision

Students have two supervisors for their SMT Master Projects:

  • An academic supervisor (a professor of one of our partner institutions, i.e. UNIL-HEC, IMD or EPFL), and
  • A company supervisor (the representative of the company who will follow the student’s work in the company).
Validation of the Master project

First, the student applies for internships.

Second, he or she obtains an internship offer from a company, the student then needs to find a professor who supervises his or her Master Project and who validates the Master project.

Third, the academic supervisor must get in touch with the company supervisor to clarify the academic content and confidentiality issues.

The student can formally engage with the company only when the project is approved by the academic supervisor.

Finding an internship

It is students’ responsibility to find a Master Project (both the internship at a company as well as a professor for supervision). During the search, students are welcome to check the EPFL internship database, where companies post internships. Those are either specific to SMT students or shared with students from other EPFL sections. We recommend students to apply to several internships at the same time.

Previous SMT Master Projects

Examples of previous Master Projects are currently only accessible to registered studenst via Moodle. You may find examples in other sections or ask potential academic supervisor for Master Projects supervised in the past.


Once the proposal was agreed upon by all parties, students must register their Master Project on the IS-Academia platform.

Submission & defense of the Master project

The completed Master Project will have to be submitted in the form of a written Master Thesis at the end of your internship (the latest on Friday at mid-day) Students need to follow the SMT guidelines for writing the Master Thesis (which will be uploaded in due time). After the submission, the student and the academic supervisor organize the oral defense. For the Master Project to be successful, like with other courses, the grade must be at least 4. In this case, the students are awarded the 30 ECTS that complete their Master studies.

In case of doubt, please always refer to the official information and regulation regarding Master Projects. The links below point to these resources.