You are hereMD-PhD Lausanne > UNIL-EPFL > UNIL

Admission and thesis procedure

Admission | Credits and doctoral programme | Thesis procedure | Thesis deposit | Doctorate abroad


To be eligible to a MD-PhD doctoral programme, the student should

  • be holder of a Master from a Swiss university or a University degree deemed equivalent by the Admission office (Service des Immatriculation et Inscriptions) ;
  • be admitted to the MD-PhD programme by the MD-PhD Commission of Lausanne;
  • have achieved the preparatory training (Track I or II);
  • have a thesis Director and having defined with him/her the research field of the thesis work;

--> Admissions Service

--> MD-PhD Secretariat

Règlement PhD - FR  (4940 Ko)


Credits and doctoral programme

A total of 12 ECTS credits must be obtained during the doctoral studies. For details see the "Règlement PhD" and "Directives pour le Doctorat en médecine et ès sciences (MD-PhD)".

More details


The MD-PhD students do not have a specific doctoral programme but follow the doctoral programme in Life Sciences (PhD).

Doctoral programme in Life Sciences (PhD)


Thesis procedure

New thesis director

If the thesis director changes during the thesis, the doctoral student should send the new « Attestations pour les candidat(e)s au doctorat » togeter with the form "Changement de Directeur thèse" to the Doctoral School.

Co-direction of thesis

The thesis work is managed by professors (full or associate) of the Faculty or by private university lecturers or lecturers and researchers (type 1) having a stable position in the FBM or the CHUV.
Private university lecturers or lecturers and researchers (type 1) without stable positions can also be thesis directors if  co-directors are selected among the full or associate professors of the Faculty.

The co-direction according to the Directive 3.11 means that there are two thesis directors and that the doctoral student is supervised by both of them (both members of the jury). The co-direction can be with a swiss or foreign university, an other faculty of the UNIL or an other department of the FBM.

Annual reports and Mid-term exam

According to the indications in the "Directives concernant l'examen intermédiaire pour les participants au programme MD-PhD" a mid-term exam must be presented at the latest two years after the beginning of the thesis work.

End of the thesis work

At the end of the work, the candidate writes a thesis describing his research according to the indications in the "Règlement pour l'obtention du grade de Docteur ès sciences de la vie (PhD)". 

The thesis exam includes two parts :

  • The examination session (private thesis defense)
    The candidate presents his thesis to the jury.
  • The public thesis defense
    The public thesis defense is generally held in French and aims the popularization of the results of the thesis work.


Thesis deposit

For the examination session, the thesis work must be submitted according to the Art. 12 of the "Règlement pour l'obtention du grade de Docteur ès sciences de la vie (PhD)".

After the public thesis defense, the candidate transmits the form "Avis de dépôt de thèse" and the thesis copies at the BCU and orders the diploma with the form "Commande de diplôme MD-PhD".

The candidate can deposit an electronic version of his thesis on SERVAL.

The candidate receives the grade of "docteur en médecine et ès sciences (MD-PhD)" delivered by the UNIL.

Doctorate abroad

Under the MD-PhD programme, the duration of stay abroad for the thesis work should not exceed 12 months


The aim of the co-supervision of theses programme is to promote scientific cooperation between two countries by encouraging mobility among doctoral students. The special feature of this programme is that the doctoral student does research under the responsibility of two thesis directors, (one in Switzerland and the other in a partner institution in another country). There is one viva voce but two diplomas are awarded, one issued by the UNIL, and the other one by the partner University. The names of both co-supervisors appear on both diplomas. The doctoral student is enrolled in both universities, and in addition he must comply with the administrative requirements of both institutions (regulations, course requirements, doctoral examinations ).

More information: International Relations Office



The term "co-direction" means that there are two thesis supervisors, one at the UNIL, the other at a partner university or institute abroad; that the doctoral student is supervised by both professors (who will both be members of the jury); but that the final PhD will be awarded by the home university only.

Secretariat MD-PhD - Bureau 324 - Amphipôle - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 40 06
Fax +41 21 692 40 05