Course plan and credits

The Design PhD curriculum calls for candidates to accumulate a total of 70 academic credits.

For the admission to the final exam, acquisition of at least 70 credits is mandatory.

For admission to the second and the third year, the acquisition of at least 20 credits (per year) is mandatory.

The third year should be entirely devoted to the development of the thesis.

These 70 credits must be acquired via the courses and the specialist activities provided by the educational programme listed below.

The courses

The courses can be chosen among the courses offered by the PhD in Design programme or the courses offered by the PhD School.

Credits also can be obtained by choosing among courses provided by PhD programmes of other universities or by the attendance of workshops, summer schools or seminars cycles.

Here the courses offered for Cycle XXXIII >>link

Further information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit

Research activity

The PhD candidates could be required to participate in their research team activities, such as collaboration in research projects, organization of seminars, events and other educational/research activities, according to his/her supervisor’s requests.

Further information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit

Tutoring or teaching activities in a course or a design studio

Participating in teaching activities as a teaching assistant or research fellow is part of the ongoing synergy between teaching and research. Therefore, PhD candidates may participate in courses or design studios as tutors during the 3 years upon supervisor approval.

Further information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit

Paper publication
The production of scientific publications is an important opportunity to further the understanding of the research in progress and to be part of an international exchange of ideas.
The scientific university production is a fundamental element to spread the scientific knowledge and research topics developed in each department.
PhD candidates are required to obtain at least 10 credits within their Educational Framework.
The publication of 3 scientific papers is recommended over the three years to support and further the research in progress.Further information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit
Internship abroad

The PhD programme favours the candidates’ research interactions with other groups (universities, research centers, companies) in their research field to develop their research work and thesis.

– PhD candidates with scholarship granted by Politecnico di Milano: internship abroad is compulsory

– PhD candidates without scholarship: internship is recommended but not compulsory; it can be replaced by other activities

– PhD candidates admitted through international agreement: internship is not compulsory; if done, the internship can take place in the country of origin or within the Italian/Milanese context.

The period abroad can last from a minimum of 3 months (5 ects) to the complete period abroad of 6 months (10 ects). It is allowed to stay abroad more than 6 months (up to 18 months), the number of ects will not increase.

Further information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit


The table illustrates the curriculum that each PhD candidate must fill out, for purposes of the attribution of academic credit. At the same time, the candidate will be required to carry out research under the guidance of his/her supervisor and the Design Board of professors.