Master’s project

The purpose of a Master’s project

The purpose of a Master’s project is to develop in-depth knowledge, understanding, and skills on a topic related to the student’s program of study, and to demonstrate the ability to do independent work in research or advanced development.

The scope of the Master’s project is developed by the student, the supervising professor – and, if the project is conducted in industry, the work supervisor.

Tackling a new problem to solve

The Master’s project must involve more than learning; it must include a clearly defined component that addresses a new problem for which no solution currently exists. Finding and assessing a solution is the core of the project. If the project is conducted in industry, this component must be applicable beyond the boundaries of the organization – it must expand the knowledge base of the technical community. Whether or not a component meets the requirements of the section is determined by the supervising professor. The final decision rests with the Section Director and Associate Dean.

The Master’s Thesis

The Master’s Thesis is a description of the important parts of the Master’s project, its initial goals, its main steps, and its final results. This includes a discussion of lessons learned, alternatives identified in hindsight, and possible future steps. When a project is conducted in industry, only a portion of the work done in the organization can be viewed as research and development. The thesis focuses on these parts of the work, showing the formulation of the main problem, the treatment of the problem, the development of solutions, and the evaluations of these solutions.

Duration of the Master’s project
  • 18 weeks (including 1 week of vacation) at EPFL.
  • 26 weeks (including 1 week of vacation) in industry or at another university.
Possible start dates for the Master’s project
  • Autumn semester: from August 1 to October 1 (for Cyber students, from September 1 to October 1).
  • Spring semester: from February 15 to March 1.

The starting date must be a Monday.

(NB: exams results must be known at the time you begin your Master’s project)

Deadline for submission of the Master’s Thesis report and oral defense
  • The submission date is calculated from the start date and confirmed by the Registrar’s Office and the Section. It is always set on a Friday.
  • The possible period for the oral defense is also given by the Registrar’s Office.
Registration for Spring 2024
  • The registration form can be found below.
  • Please complete, sign, and email it to Internship Office: [email protected]
  • Deadline for submitting the form: Friday, December 22, 2023
  • Registrations on IS-Academia will open: around mid-December
  • Deadline for registration on IS-Academia: Friday, January 12, 2024
Submission of Master Thesis report

Please send your Master’s thesis report electronically (in a single email) to the following persons by the submission deadline set by the Registrar’s Office:

  • your supervising professor.
  • her or his lab administrative assistant.
  • the administrative specialist of your section (Antonella Veltro (IN) / Carole Dauphin (SC/DS) / Jasmine Locatelli (CYBER).
  • your company or other university supervisor, if applicable.

If your your project is not confidential, you must also upload your report to IS-Academia.

For faculty and labs
  • Lists of registrations for the master’s thesis projects are available on IS-Academia.
  • Information about delivery of the grades will be sent by the SAC.

Further details on the Master’s project are available here.

Proposed projects

Computer Science

Available from the beginning of May for the Autumn 2023 semester.

Communication Systems

Available from the beginning of May for the Autumn 2023 semester.

Data Science

Available from the beginning of May for the Autumn 2023 semester.

Cyber Security

Available from the beginning of May for the Autumn 2023 semester.

Master project in your Startup

Information about deadlines, eligibility criteria, and the application process.