When the public defence of thesis is over, an examining committee decides whether or not the doctoral student passes. A doctoral student who receives a pass grade can then request a degree certificate from his or her higher education institution (HEI).

Examining committee

The examining committee decides whether or not the doctoral student receives a pass grade. The committee has three or five members who must be professors or associate professors, but not necessarily active in the same field as the doctoral student.

The examining committee is appointed by the faculty, based on a proposal put forward by subject representatives at the HEI. The majority of the examining committee’s members are normally recruited from other HEIs (at least one of them must come from another HEI). The members must not have improperly close relationships to the thesis’ author or supervisor.

The doctoral student’s supervisor may only be a committee member in exceptional circumstances. The reviewer and supervisor may participate in the discussions of the examining committee, but not in taking the decision.

A doctoral thesis is usually graded as either pass or fail.

Degree certificate

A person who has received a pass for a doctoral or licentiate degree must, on request, be issued with a degree certificate by the HEI.

Conferment ceremony

A conferment ceremony is a large academic celebration at which all the doctoral students who graduated during the year receive their insignia: ring, diploma and hat or laurel wreath. The ring and the hat are paid for by the doctoral student.

Page last updated 2015-07-02