Formal graduation procedure

Below you will find the steps of the formal procedure concerning the defence of the thesis. In bold: the person who has to take action.

Step 1

Your supervisor informs the Dean that he has approved your manuscript. He asks the Dean to appoint a Manuscript Committee. After appointment of the Committee the supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all Committee members receive a copy of the thesis in time.

Step 2

Within five weeks the chairman of the Manuscript Committee notifies the Dean and the supervisor of the Committee’s findings. After approval the supervisor informs the PhD candidate of the outcome in writing or by e-mail.

Step 3

The PhD candidate sends a request to defend the doctoral thesis to the Registrar (Office of the Beadle, Comeniuslaan 2). This request should include:

  • the title of the thesis;
  • the academic or scholarly field to which it relates;
  • the names of all supervisors and co-supervisors.

By that time it would be good to contact the registrar personally. The Registrar shall, in consultation with the candidate, set the date and time for the public defence.

The Dean of the relevant faculty nominates members for the Doctoral Examination Board.

Step 4

PhD candidate. No sooner than after step 3 can the thesis be printed. There are regulations regarding the content and lay out of the title page (see full text Doctorate Regulations). The title page has to be approved by the Registrar and the proofs of the whole thesis by the supervisor. You can send your title page, preferably as a Word document, to

Step 5

At least four weeks prior to the defence the candidate:

  • delivers 15 copies to the Registrar. You are kindly requested to make an appointment by sending an e-mail to or calling (024) 361 61 36;.
  • sends a copy to each member of the Doctoral Examination Board;
  • must upload a digital copy to the university’s central library (;
  • at the Faculty of Law you deliver:
    • one hard copy to the Graduate School coordinator, Dean’s Office, room 02.055;
    • the members of the Board of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Law: one copy
    • via the secretary of the Faculty Board, the PhD candidate receives a list of professors of the research centre to which the PhD candidate is affiliated. They also receive one copy each.

Step 6

Further preparation of the defence and reception:

  • The ceremony will be held in either Dutch or English. If English is to be the language, the candidate must inform the Registrar at least two weeks in advance. Use of another language must be authorized by the Rector Magnificus.
  • AV equipment and support during the defence can be arranged in consultation with the Registrar., tel. 024-3612680
  • In principle, there is always a room available in the Auditorium for receptions. When you deliver your hard copies to the registrar, you can indicate your intention of having the reception in the Auditorium. About one month before the ceremony you can contact Monique van den Heuvel,, (024) 3615990) to discuss catering.

Step 7

Public defence of the doctoral thesis: in most cases, this will take place in the auditorium on Comeniuslaan 2. The candidate shall defend the thesis before a Doctoral Examination Board, consisting of the Rector Magnificus, the supervisor and at least five other members, including the members of the Manuscript Committee. In a closed meeting immediately after the defence, the Doctoral Examination Board shall decide by majority vote whether to award the doctorate.