Course plan and credits

During the first semester of enrolment, the candidate has to submit a study plan.

n.50 academic credits are required to be accumulated for the Design PhD curriculum

These 50 credits must be acquired via the courses offered by the PhD in Design programme, the courses offered by the PhD School and the activities provided by the educational programme listed below.
For the admission to the final exam, acquisition of at least 50 credits is mandatory.
The third year should be entirely devoted to the development of the thesis.


The courses

Candidates are required to take 6 PhD courses:

  • 4 are provided by the PhD programme in Design
  • 2 are provided by the Polimi Phd School, that organizes general and Interdoctoral courses every year that can be freely selected here.

Other 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.
To secure approval of these, the candidate must send a request to the PhD Secretary Office,providing a description of the external activity selected; furthermore, it is fundamental the external activity selected to:

  • be addressed also to PhD candidates or researchers as well;
  • be relevant to the candidate’s research topic;
  • last at least 25 hours.


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 scientific university production is a fundamental element to spread the scientific knowledge and research topics developed in each department and to be part of an international exchange of ideas.

PhD candidates are required to obtain 10 credits within their Educational Framework.
Scientific publication(s) must be in English, addressed to an international academic audience.

  • type A: a publication within conference proceedings / non-indexed journals provides 5 credits
  • type B: a publication in indexed journals (Wos and/or Scopus) provides 10 credits
  • the publication of papers/journal articles has to be validated by prof. Lucia Rampino within the “Scientific production” course.
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.


Fundamental information

  • complete period abroad: 6 months (10 ects)
  • minimum period abroad: 3 months (5 ects)
  • it is allowed to stay abroad more than 6 months (up to 18 months); the number of ects will not increase
  • to activate the exchange, there has to be a signed invitation letter from the university/research centre specifying the period dates and a short description of the activity that will be accomplished by the PhD candidate. An invitation letter is necessary for each period abroad
  • the internship can be done in more than 1 institution


NB: for PhD candidates with scholarship granted by the Politecnico di Milano
For the periods spent abroad (lasting a minimum of ten days and a maximum of 6 months), the scholarship is increased by 50% for a maximum of 6 months.

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.