Doctorate (PhD)

The Faculty awards PhD titles in its fields of competence. The PhD title attests that its holder has the knowledge, competence, and capacity required to perform high-quality scientific research.


The doctoral studies at the Faculty of Science and Medicine are regulated by the doctorate regulation.


Doctoral student event

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CUSO doctoral school

Procedure for finishing a thesis

The next doctoral student event will take place at the end of Spring Semester 2025.

Regulation EN translation(No legal validity)

Contact at the Dean's office:

  • Start your thesis
    • To start a thesis, a thesis supervisor, who is part of the Professorship of the Faculty, must fill out the registration form for doctoral studies. The original signed copy of this document must be handed in at the Dean's office. Note that if the supervisor is not a full professor at the Faculty, special directives apply. 
    • If they are not yet registered at the University, the candidate registers with the admissions service. If the candidate is already registered at the University, registration to the PhD is done by the person in charge of doctorates at the Dean's office as soon as all the admission conditions are met, and does not go through MyUniFR. 
    • In case of a joined supervision with a supervisor from a partner University, financial support is possible. The request must be made by the 31st of March (see  Cotutelles de thèse).
  • During your thesis
    • At the latest one year after the beginning of the Thesis, the supervisor decides whether the thesis should be interrupted or continued. They submit a report to the Dean's office.
  • Finishing your thesis

    Jury selection

    • In order to finish their thesis, the candidate and their thesis supervisor agree on a jury. The jury is made up of at least the thesis supervisor, two experts of which at least one is external to the UniFR), a president (usually the president of the department, chosen by the Dean's office).
    • At least one of the experts must be independant from the candidate as defined by the Regulation.
    • The supervisor submits the composition of the jury to the Dean's office. The composition must be validated by the Faculty Council (3 meetings per semester).

    Initial submission

    • The candidate sends their thesis to the members of the jury (except for the president), who read it and send  back an examiner's report to the Dean's office. It is advisable to give the members of the jury one month to submit their report.
    • A model for the title page of the thesis is available.
    • The candidate generates the invoice for the doctoral examination registration in their MyUnifr account (under "Exams") and pays it (under "my Faculty bills"). The price for the doctoral exam is CHF 400. This examination fee covers the compensation of the experts and the organisation of the graduation ceremony.
    • The candidate submits an electronic copy of their thesis and a (personally written) declaration of honour in their MyUnifr account (under "Exams"), as well as a printed copy directly to the Dean's Office. This version of the thesis is accompanied by a CV and the declaration of honour. It can be bound with simple rings.


    • As soon as the Dean's office receives the jury reports, the thesis and the reports are put in circulation in the department where the candidate performed their thesis work. This circulation takes at least two weeks.
    • At no time does the candidate have access to the jury's report or the comments made during the circulation.


    • Once the Dean's office has received the jury reports and the circulation is completed, the Dean's office contacts the candidate to confirm the date of their defense. The defense occurs at least one month after the Dean's office received the reports.
    • The defense takes place in the presence of the jury members and generally lasts for one hour at least. At the end of the defense, the jury decides if it was satisfactory.
    • If the candidate fails their defense, they can repeat it at earliest three months later.


    • After a successful defense, the candidate gives a public presentation of their thesis.

    Final submission

    • At the latest 6 months after the date of the defense, the candidate must submit the final version of their thesis. This version may differ from the initial version, depending on the comments and suggestions of the members of the jury.
    • A first unbound copy is submitted for validation by the Dean. Once it is validated, the candidate prints four bound copies and hands them into the Dean's office. A checklist for the final submission is available.
    • With the final submission, the candidate submits a summary of their thesis.

    The month of August does not count towards the submission process. For example, if you plan on having your PhD defense during the month of August, all necessary documents must arrive at the Dean's office before the end of June.

  • List of PhD titles awarded by the Faculty