Thesis committee and thesis defence

You are ready to defend your thesis. The great day comes and with it the end of several years of efforts and intensive research. We explain you how the thesis committee has to be and how the process of the public thesis defence is.

Composition of the thesis committee

The thesis committees of the UB usually consist of three members. In some cases, such as in thesis with co-tutorship, the number of members may vary to fit the requirements of the different universities.

If there are three members, only one can be from the UB. The other two members have to be from another university. In addition, only two of them can be from the same university. While preparing the thesis committee proposal, it is necessary to bear in mind that there is a maximum budget for travel and accommodation for people who come from other universities.

Not every doctor can be a member of the thesis committee. It consists of three full members (one president, one secretary and one chair) and three substitutes, all with a doctoral degree and with proven research experience. This research experience will have to be proven by being at least in one of the following conditions:

a) Be part of a consolidated research group.
b) Be part of a funded and competitive project.
c) To have a living research section or to have five reserach sections.
d) To have a certification of research or advanced research.
e) Exceptionally, the doctoral Commission of the centre may accept other kinds of recognition of the research experience.

The thesis supervisor or the tutor cannot be part of the thesis committee unless the thesis is presented in the framework of bilateral agreements for co-tutorship with foreign universities and this is specified in the agreement.

Among the members of the court, a president and a secretary are designed.

In the event that the doctoral thesis is written in another language different from the official languages of the UB, it should be taken into account that the members of the thesis committee should know the languages in which the thesis is written and the one/s of its defence.

In case you want to apply for the international mention you have to take into account some specific requirements to be able to apply for the European mention of the Doctorate degree. At least one of the members of the thesis committee has to be part of a higher education institution or research centre of a member state of the European Union different from Spain taking into account the applicable regulation established in the additional provisions of this regulation.

Legislation and regulation applicable to the procedure


Thesis defence

The defence of the doctoral thesis is a public event which is announced in advance.

In order to be considered valid the three members of the thesis committee have to be present. If one of them cannot be present, he/she has to be replaced by a substitute. And if any of the substitutes cannot either, the doctoral Commission of the Faculty has to designate a new member.

Its length varies according to the different disciplines. The event usually begins with a defence of the thesis by the doctoral student (the time will be set by the president of the thesis committee, usually around 45 minutes). Then the members of thesis committee will ask questions or say general considerations about the thesis and the doctoral student will have to answer (individually to each member of the court or when they all have spoken, according to the President of the thesis committee).

Doctors are invited to participate in the public event by asking questions at the moment and in the way indicated by the president of the thesis committee. Supervisors and tutors are usually specially invited to participate if they consider saying something in defence of the thesis.

Once the thesis defence is finished, the public has to leave the room and the thesis committee deliberates. The thesis committee has to issue a report and the overall grade. Then the doctoral student and the public are called to come in again and the grade is announced in public. It can be Bare Pass, Pass, Merit or Excellent.

The cum laude mention is not announced the day of the thesis defence, as it is a secret vote. The thesis committee may award a mention of cum laude if the overall grade is excellent and its award was unanimous.

The thesis committee has to sign a report and bring it to the Academic Secretary's office.

If you have passed the thesis defence...Congratulations! You are already a Doctor! You just have to go to the Academic Secretary's office to get the cum laude grade and pay the rights of the issuance of the degree.

Legislation and regulation applicable to the procedure



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