Final steps

General information | Issuing of PhD diploma

General information

At UNIL, each faculty has its own regulations concerning the stages of the doctorate. It is thus very important to find out about the specific rules and requirements of your faculty.

Therefore, in addition to the general information below, please ask your thesis director and your doctoral program or thesis secretary office for advice.

Indeed, each faculty has its own procedures and deadlines for:

  • Appointment of the jury members (proposal and approval);
  • Submission of the thesis manuscript (number, where, by which deadline);
  • Private defence ("colloque" or jury examination);
  • Public defence;
  • Award of the title of Doctor.

With the exception of Law, the final thesis evaluation includes two steps: the private and the public defences.

The private defence is a discussion conducted behind closed doors lasting several hours between the doctoral candidate, the jury members and the thesis supervisor(s). It allows in-depth discussion of all aspects of the thesis. Generally the candidate is asked to make certain changes at the end of the examination.

The public defence is organised some time after the private defence, once the candidate has made the corrections requested by the jury. Thus the public defence is unlikely to give rise to major differences between the candidate and the jury. The thesis defence is a public event, intended to allow the candidate to present their work.

To help you prepare for your private and publique defences, the Graduate Campus is offering a dedicated workshop.


After the public defence, in order to obtain the title of Doctor, several essential steps still need to be completed, as described below :

Issuing of PhD diploma

Once you have successfully defended your thesis and made any required corrections to the manuscript, a few steps are still necessary before you receive your diploma :

- pay the defense fee

- complete the online diploma request

- submit your thesis to the UNIL library (BCU)

- follow all the specific steps required by your faculty. Please ask your thesis secretary's office or doctoral school.


Important : until all those steps are taken, you are required to stay enrolled as a doctoral candidate and to pay the semester fees.


Useful resources : in French only


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