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What is?
The doctoral thesis consists of an research work  on a matter related to the scientific, technical or artistic proper field of the doctorate program  realized by the candidate for doctorate, and is necessary to be directed by a doctor.
Who can be the thesis director?

The Thesis will have to be directed for a doctor with permanent or temporary entail with the coordinating department / institute of the doctorate program (in case of treating itself about a program of interdepartmental or interuniversity doctorate it will be able to be linked by any of the departments / institutes that take part in the program). Any other doctor will be able to be the previous director of thesis agreement of the Doctorate Commission.

Appointment of the thesis director
  1. The department responsible for the doctorate program will arbitrate the mechanisms of authorization and appointment of the thesis director.
  2. In case the director does not belong to the structural unit responsible for the program, the coordinator will name a thesis tutor that, necessarily he will have to be a teacher doctor member of the department / institute.
Thesis language
The thesis will be able to be written, and defended, in any of the official languages in Catalonia or in English, except if I belong to the philologies areasc or of translation and interpretation.
Once the thesis finished
Once the thesis finished, will be left to the deposit (that will last 10 school days), for it will need the previous favorable report of the director of the same one. To realize the deposit there must have passed a minimum of two years from the  inscription date of the thesis project.
If during this deposit period there is no observation that indicates that the thesis is not prepared, there will be authorized the public defense of the doctoral thesis before a court of three members, doctors with investigative accredited experience, and one of them at the maximum can belong of the UPC.
The public defense act will be summoned by the president and communicated to the Postdegree School with a minimal anticipation of 10 calendar days to the celebration date.
Join supervision of doctoral thesis
The UPC will be able to formalize agreements with foreign universities for the accomplishment of doctoral theses, that will be ruled by the corresponding agreement and they will bring to the obtaining of a doctor's degree for each of the involved universities.

Students who wish to apply for joint doctoral thesis supervision must ensure that the following requirements are met:
  • They must be enrolled for the research stage of a doctoral programme at the UPC and at the partner university.
  • They must submit a request for joint doctoral thesis supervision and receive approval from the Academic Committee of the doctoral degree.
  • Authorisation must be given by the General Secretary of the UPC for signature of the joint supervision agreement.
  • The specific joint supervision agreement must be signed by the UPC and the partner university, respecting current regulations governing the thesis defence.
  • Students must undertake a stay at each of the participating universities, the duration of which will be defined in the agreement.

For further information, consult the regulations on the signing of agreements linked to doctoral studies at the UPC.

Doctoral thesis as a collection of published articles

Students who wish to submit the doctoral thesis as a collection of published articles must receive prior authorisation from the Doctoral Studies Committee of the UPC.
At the time of enrolment, students must submit the full thesis, which should include the collection of articles, an introduction outlining the consistency of the research topic covered in each article, a general summary, discussion of the results and the final conclusions.

The requirements and administrative procedures for submitting the thesis as a collection of published articles can be consulted in the corresponding section on doctoral theses.

If you want to submit the thesis as a collection of published articles you must apply for it before the process of thesis deposit. It takes 15 days from your request to the approval (or not) from the Doctoral Committee.

International doctorate certification in the doctoral degree

Students who would like the International Doctorate certification to be displayed on their doctoral degree certificate must spend a period of study or research of at least three months at a higher education institution or research centre outside Spain.

The period of study or research must be approved by the thesis supervisor and authorised by the Academic Committee of the doctoral programme. Students must obtain a certificate from the director(s) of the research group, institution or institutions in question and submit the original, complete with institutional stamp, for validation by the UPC. The details of the period of study or research spent abroad will be included in the doctoral training log.

The external examiner appointment proposal must include a PhD holder from a higher education institution or research centre outside Spain. This examiner cannot be the supervisor of the period of study or research.

Writing of the thesis, assessment of the thesis prior to reading and defence, and the composition of the examination panel must comply with a series of specific requirements explained in the thesis reading procedure.


At least part of the thesis, as well the abstract and conclusions, must be written and submitted in one of the languages commonly used for scientific communication in the area of knowledge in question. This language may not be any of the official languages of Spain. This rule shall not apply if the student's time abroad takes place in a Spanish-speaking country, the reports are in Spanish and the experts are Spanish speakers.


At least two doctoral-level experts from a higher education or research institution in another country must issue official preliminary reports on the thesis.