Doctoral Examination

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The doctoral examination takes place within six years from the provisional admission to the doctoral studies.

Key steps

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Set date for doctoral examination

:At the latest one month before the planned doctoral examination the date of the examination should be established with the Chair, in consultation with the supervisor and the co-examiners. Reservations for the examination room are made by the D-PHYS Doctoral Administration Office.

Months with even numbers (Tuesday afternoons in FS 2017 and Wednesday mornings in HS 2017)
Chair: Prof. G. M. Graf
Organise date with secretariat: Nadia Orlando; Tel.: 32577; e-mail:

Months with odd numbers
Chair: Prof. J. Faist
Organise date with secretariat: Erna Hug; Tel.: 32089; e-mail:

The approval of doctoral examinations taking place 3 weeks or less before the next Department Conference may be postboned to the next Department Conference.

If the doctoral examination takes place 1 week or less before the next Department Conference approval will definitely be postboned to the next Department Conference.

Confirmation of credit points

It is recommended to have the credit points confirmed about 6 months before the examination date. At the latest three weeks before the examination you must get the confirmation from the D-PHYS Doctoral Administration Office that you have obtained the required credit points. Please bring along the completed form Registration for Doctoral Examination, the course attendance confirmation sheet for doctoral students and/or extracts from myStudies.

Registration for the examination

No fewer than 12 working days before the examination a definitive registration of the examination with the Doctoral Administration Office (Academic Services), ETH Zentrum, is needed.

Candidates may only register for the doctoral examination with the agreement of the supervisor and in consultation with the co-examiners and the Chair.

The following documents have to be delivered to the Doctoral Administration Office (Academic Services):

  • Completed registration form with all confirmations
  • Copy of the thesis operative for the examination (bound: ring or adhesive binding); see the Ordinance on Doctoral Studies
  • Separate author CV.

Submission of the operative thesis version

Also no fewer than 12 working days before the examination the version of the thesis operative for the examination has to be submitted to all examiners, with a request for review.

The version of the thesis that is submitted to the Doctoral Administration Office, the supervisor and co-examiners is binding for the examination. However, the supervisor and the co-examiners should also receive a copy in advance so that they have enough time to write a review.
Please note: A PDF version of the thesis should be submitted to the D-PHYS Doctoral Administration Office via e-mail or polybox.

Official invitation to the examination

At the latest 10 working days before the examination the D-PHYS Doctoral Administration Office sends out the official invitation to the examination with the request that the reviews be submitted. The reviews of the supervisor and the co-examiners must be received one week before the examination at the latest (by e-mail or postal mail). The originals of the reviews may be brought to the examination and be signed there.

Examination day

(Procedure according to the Department Conference ruling of 28 February 2014)

  • The entire examination lasts at least 1 hour.
  • The 20-to-30-minute talk at the beginning of the doctoral examination is in principle open to the public. The Chair may decide otherwise.
  • The part of the examination after the talk is NOT open to the public.
  • Both the committee and the invited professors may ask questions. All D-PHYS professors are invited.

The minimum number of persons from the Examination Committee obliged to be physically present at the doctoral examination are the chairperson, the thesis supervisor and at least one co-examiner. Other members of the Examination Committee may participate via videoconferencing.

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