Final year kit

Course plan and credits

During the first semester of enrolment, the candidate has to submit a study plan, accumulating the academic credits required for the Design PhD curriculum.

These 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. The number of the credits and the typology of courses vary according to the PhD Cycle, and they are therefore outlined in the specific Kit of the cycle of reference.

For the admission to the final exam, acquisition of the expected credits is mandatory. The third year should be entirely devoted to the development of the thesis.

Candidates are required to take PhD courses that can be provided by:

  • the PhD programme in Design: Design Research Critique, Design Research Methodology, Design Research Context and Resources, Design Research Prototyping (Summer School);
  • 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 for the external activity selected to:

  • be addressed also to PhD candidates or researchers as well;
  • be relevant to the candidate’s research topic;
  • not exceed the maximum of hours allowed (25 hours).

Specific information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit.

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.

Specific information can be found inside the PhD welcome kit.

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 a certain amount of credits within their Educational Framework; such an amount depends of the cycle they belong to.
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 within the “Scientific production” course.

Specific information can be found inside the specific welcome kit.

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

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

Further information can be found inside the specific welcome kit.

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 70 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.

NB: European Doctorate
Candidates who would like to ask for a “European Doctorate” must read the “Regolamento del Dottorato di Ricerca del Politecnico di Milano” (art.11(10)) and inform the PhD Secretary Office prior to the 3rd year assessment.

Further information on all the steps of 3rd year path are given in the Final year kit (downloadable above in this page).