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Dissertation event logistics. Appointment of Committee members

Thesis defense proposal


Proceedings for the defense and appointment of the assessment committee are initiated once the period of public review of the thesis is over.

The Postgraduate Office will contact the student to start this process by filling out, along with the tutor/advisor, the Authorization of thesis defense and appointment of committee  (stating the student's candidacy to the Doctorado Internacional distinction, when applicable) and forwarding it to the Academic Committee for approval. All required documentation must be attached to this document.


The Coordinator of the Academic Committee will forward the authorization to the Postgraduate Office as a formal request for approval of the thesis defense and assessment committee by the Doctoral School.

The defense committee

The defense committee consists of three appointed examiners (President, Secretary, and Spokesperson) and a reserve examiner. They must all hold a Ph.D. degree and have a proven track record in research. Only one of the examiners may be a member of uc3m faculty, as the majority of the Committee must be based outside uc3m.

The following profiles cannot be considered for defense committee membership:

  • The Ph.D. candidate's tutor or advisor, except in joint degree (cotutelle) instances whose terms of agreement cover this option.
  • The supervisor of the Ph.D. candidate's research visit at the host institution.
  • Co-authors of the Ph.D. candidate's publications.

For students eligible for the Doctorado International distinction, at least one member of the committee must be an expert from an institution of higher education or research center outside Spain, different from the student's supervisor at the host institution.

Authorization of thesis defense and appointment of committee


The Dean of Doctoral Studies authorizes thesis defenses and the appointment of their committees on a weekly basis, according to the calendar established for every academic year:



January 11, 18, 25
February 1, 8, 15, 22
March 1, 8, 15, 22
April 5, 12, 19, 26
May 4, 9, 17, 24, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 28
July 5, 12, 19
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11, 18, 25
November 6, 15, 22, 29
December 11, 20


The Postgraduate Office will notify you of the due date for approval of your thesis defense by the Dean of Doctoral Studies. All required documents must be submitted to the Office before said date. The defense cannot be held 15 days before or 3 months after the date of authorization.

Logistics of the defense session


The defense session is an open event to be held during academic term time. The thesis is to be defended either in Spanish or any of the languages commonly used for scientific dissemination in the field.

The President of the defense committee is responsible for setting the date and place and notifying the rest of committee members and yourself. The President or Secretary will notify the Postgraduate Office of this date at least 15 working days in advance.

Also 15 working days prior to the defense, you must send a file copy of the thesis (including any corrections resulting from the review period) to the Postgraduate Office and to each of the examiners on the defense committee. 

The Postgraduate Office is responsible for reporting the details of the event to all members of the university as well as booking the designated place for the defense session. This will ordinarily be held at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. However, for justified reasons, the Head of the Doctoral School may authorize the examination at a different location.

Only in exceptional circumstances may the thesis defense be conducted by videoconference. The Academic Committee will be responsible for authorizing this procedure. The Postgraduate Office in collaboration with the President of the defense committee will be responsible for processing the administration and logistics in these cases.

Thesis defense fees


The payment of the following academic fees must be fulfilled in order to proceed to the thesis defense:

  • Enrollment tuition fees for the current academic year
  • Thesis defense fees

The Postgraduate Office will provide the forms to fulfill these payments.