• The thesis defence is a public event so an audience can attend. There are no specific rules concerning the length of the thesis defence at UPF. In general, the event takes from 1 1/2 to 3 hours in total and the doctoral student defends his/her thesis during 45 minutes approximately.
  • The chairperson of the committee leads the thesis defence proceedings. The proceedings must consist of the doctoral student's exposé of the research work carried out, the methodology used, the contents and conclusions, with special reference to its original contributions. The members of the committee may ask the doctoral student any questions they deem appropriate. Likewise, the doctors present at the public defence proceedings may ask questions at the time and in the manner stipulated by the chairperson of the panel.
  • When the defence is completed, the members of the committee grade the thesis Fail, Pass, Good or Excellent. They may also propose the thesis for a "cum laude mention".


Official documents

The secretary of the committee should supervise and collect all the official documents of the Doctoral Thesis Defence, and hand them in to the PhD Programme Secretariat after the defence (PRBB, 3rd floor, office 300.04)

Documents to fill out on the defence day

Data to be reported

Signed by

Who will provide these documents?

Doctoral Thesis Reading

  • Grade

  • Language of exposition

  • Meeting time

The 3 committee members

The PhD Programme Secretariat will prepare all the required documents in advance and will leave them in a folder at the Doctoral Thesis Defence room.

TESEO Document

  • Grade

  • Meeting date and time

The committee Secretary

Doctoral Thesis Report

  • Fill out the personal details

  • Answer the questions

  • Date

Each member must sign her/his report

Cum Laude Secret Ballot & Extraordinary Award Secret Ballot

  • Cum Laude secret ballot

  • Extraordinary award secret ballot


Possible doctoral thesis grades

  • Fail
  • Pass
  • Good
  • Excellent.

Only when a doctoral thesis is graded Excellent, the members of the committee may propose a "Cum Laude mention" by secret ballot.

After the defence, the Academic Committee of the Doctoral Progamme is responsible for counting the votes and grading the doctoral thesis Excellent Cum Laude, if the secret ballot is unanimously in favor. The Academic Committee of the Doctoral Programme is also responsible for informing the doctoral student, the thesis supervisor and the members of the committee of the final grade within the week after the defence.