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Graduation procedure and thesis defense

You and your supervisor are asked to contact the Examination Board at the latest one month before the two parts of the thesis are completed and submit a completed version of the required form (available from the Student Advisor's office), as well as a 200-word summary of the theme of the research article. The Examination Board will thereupon appoint a jury of examiners to judge the thesis. The jury is made up of:

  • A ‘first examiner', who is the thesis supervisor.
  • A ‘second examiner' (also called ‘second reader'),  who is a teacher belonging to a different section from the supervisor.
  • A ‘third examiner', who is the chairman of the Examination Board and whose task is confined to checking whether the thesis complies with the rules for writing a thesis.

The Examination Board also appoints an external adviser, who is asked to assess the ‘publishability' of the article in an official referee report. The examiners, though not bound to follow the verdict of the external adviser, will take his or her verdict into account in their deliberations.

The thesis is evaluated in the following way:

  1. When the supervisor deems the two parts of the thesis to be of satisfactory quality, the other two members of the jury of examiners will be called upon to assess the quality of the finished work.
  2. If the second examiner deems the thesis "acceptable for further evaluation", and if the permanent examiner considers it to comply with the formal requirements, the first examiner signs a statement declaring the thesis to be "acceptable for defence". This means that the thesis is judged to be adequate and an examination may be requested. At this point, the Secretary of the Examination Board sends the publishable article to the external adviser.
  3. At least two weeks before the examination, the first examiner compiles a written, substantiated, provisional evaluation of the two components of the thesis.
  4. At least two weeks before the examination, the second examiner communicates his or her substantiated, provisional evaluation to the first examiner.
  5. At least one week before the examination session, the external adviser sends his  or her report to the secretary of the Examination Board. The latter forwards the referee report to the examiners and to you.
  6. The examination session is attended by the first and second examiner.
  7. After the defence, the committee of examiners decides on the final grade, taking into account both the quality of your thesis and your defence. A Judicium may be conferred according to the criteria specified in art. 5.16 of the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER).

For more information please see the complete procedure (pdf, 77 kB).