PhD Graduation

The PhD degree is granted upon successful completion of the final exam, which may be attempted only twice. The degree is awarded by the rector of the Politecnico di Milano.
To be admitted to the final exam, the candidate must first have acquired at least 75 credits in the various academic activities that are part of the PhD programme curriculum. Exact dissertation deadlines will be given to the candidate by the PhD program secretary.
1.Indication of 2 External Examiners
During the third year, the Ph.D. candidate, together with his/her Supervisor, is required to indicate 2 External Examiners.
The Examiner has to be a highly qualified professor, also belonging to foreign institutions, and external to the Politecnico di Milano.
The Examiners' role is to provide an in-depth evaluation of the thesis. (deadline indicated by the secretariat)

2.Plagiarism check of the thesis
Before the delivery of the final thesis, the Ph.D. candidate, together with his/her Supervisor, is required to submit the thesis into a plagiarism check service ("Turnitin") provided by the Ph.D. School. 

(deadline indicated by the secretariat)

3.Thesis delivery
The Ph.D. candidate is required to send a version of the thesis as close as possible to the final one to the secretariat before the final assessment of the 3rd year.

Final assessment of the Ph.D. thesis through a presentation to a commission composed by members of the Ph.D. Board for the admission to the final exam.

5.External Examiners evaluation
If the final assessment is positive, the thesis and a dossier listing the candidate’s activities, titles (participation to conferences, as both attendee and speaker, or research projects, seminars, workshops, etc.) and his/her scientific publications, are submitted to the 2 External Examiners selected.

The Examiners will provide their evaluation through a form, indicating:
a. general and detailed comments
b. scientific soundness and significance
c. quality of the written document (quality of the abstract and of the properly supported discussion and conclusions, thesis structure, adequacy of the references, clarity).

The Examiners will also suggest an overall assessment and a possible outcome of the evaluation to the Board, among the following choices:

- PhD thesis not ready to be defended - suggesting the level of revisions required among:

. minor revisions (up to 1 month)
. major revisions (up to 3 months)
. substantial revisions (up to 6 months)

- PhD awardable
- PhD awardable cum laude

6.Send the final version to the Examiner and final thesis delivery
The Ph.D. candidate is required to send the final version of the thesis (improved on the basis of the evaluation comments) to the Examiners by the time required.

If asked for substantial revisions (6 months), the Ph.D. candidate is admitted to the final exam and the thesis will be supported by a 2nd evaluation by the Examiners.

The Ph.D. candidate is also required to send the final version of the thesis to the secretariat.

The purpose of the dissertation is to present an original contribution to design knowledge that has been obtained through research. The originality of the knowledge must be explicitly shown and documented in the dissertation so as to be transmissible. Furthermore, the dissertation must show mastery of the analysis of the sources, of relevant literature, and of the data, as well as skill in choosing research methods. The dissertation may be written either in English or in Italian.
The presentation lasts 30 minutes + 15/30 minutes of Q&A session.
The commission is composed as described in the "University regulations for doctoral programmes", art.11, comma 5
Administrative Requirements
To be admitted to the final examination, candidates must register online (under “Servizi Online”) and present the Doctoral School secretary's office (Segreteria Dottorandi) with the paper receipt (printed out from the registration procedure) to which they have affixed two €16.00 excise tax stamps (marche da bollo).

In addition, prior to the final examination, candidates are required to:

  • send the Design PhD program secretary's office their dissertation abstracts for publication in the Doctoral School's annul bulletin,
  • submit the dissertation electronically to the Politecnico di Milano archives (POLITesi). Instructions for online submission are published in the “INFO E ASSISTENZA – TESI DI DOTTORATO” section of https://www.politesi.polimi.it/

The Politecnico di Milano will use the online procedure to transfer a copy of the dissertation submitted for deposit in the Biblioteche Nazionali in Florence and Rome, as stipulated in Article 6, Paragraph 11 of Ministerial Decree No. 224/1999.