Internal Regulations (old version)

regulations for students of cycles previous than 30

This document covers the principles that regulate the activities of the PhD program, as decided by the Board of Lecturers, and the deadlines associated with such activities. To that end, it should be borne in mind that:

  • The didactic activity undertaken by doctorate students is worth a total of 30 credits (corresponding to 50% of a year’s work).
  • The activities of research and drawing up the Thesis is worth 150 credits (corresponding to two and a half years’ work).

bullet First year
bullet Second year
bullet Third year
bullet Delivery and assessment of the first draft of the thesis
bullet Delivery and assessment of the final draft of the thesis

First year

The Board of Lecturers, in its first meeting following the completion of the competition, will look at the winners’ research subjects and the availability of lecturers, assigning each candidate a Tutor from among the members of the Board.

By March

After talking to the tutors and looking at the competition winners’ curriculum and the educational content of the Doctorate, the Education Commission will suggest a study plan for each post-graduate student. The Board, at the behest of the Educational Commission, will assign the study plan to each post-graduate student on the basis of the following principles.

The 30 credits associated with educational activity are divided in the following categories:


12 for the completion of the curriculum of basic studies, through the completion of a course of 12 credits (or two modules of 6 credits each) within the range of courses of the Master in Engineering in Computer Science. 


10 for completing the doctorate and school courses, usually on the basis of 2.5 credits for a 20 hour course.


8 credits for the attendance of Departmental Seminars, usually on the basis of 0.5 credits for each of 16 seminars in order to ensure the integration of the post-graduate students in the life of the Department and the development of multi-disciplinary competence in the various sectors of Engineering in Computer Science.

The Lecturers’ Board of the Doctorate, at the behest of the Education Committee, may decide that:


in cases in which a doctoral student has a particularly relevant curriculum (by dint of work experience, post-graduate studies and research undertaken before the doctorate, a particularly high number of computer science/engineering exams passed etc) assignment related to category A above may be made automatically without the need to pursue other courses;


in cases in which the curriculum of study for the doctorate falls short from the computer science/engineering point of view, 5 or 10 credits from category B above may relate to science degree courses.


As pre-requisites for admission to the second year, the post-graduate student must have:


taken at least half of the exams prescribed by the study plan;


presented to the Co-ordinator a work plan (8-10 pages as a rough guide) in which the objectives to be pursued in the doctorate thesis are covered in detail, as well as the methodology and techniques required to reach those objectives;


presented to the Board of Lecturers a work plan in a brief seminar lasting 15 minutes + 5 if necessary.

At the time of admission to the second year of the course, based on the plan of work set out for the students, the Board of Lecturers will establish a Thesis Committee which will follow the students all the way to the completion of the thesis. The Thesis Committee is nominated by the Board of Lecturers and is made up of:

  • the tutor
  • a supervisor,
  • possibly a further member in support of the tutor (for those students benefiting from grants by consenting organisations, this member may be a representative of that organisation).

The supervisor may be from inside or outside the college and is usually from a discipline different to that of the tutor, though possibly related to it, so that the suggestions and revision work required may be founded upon on a sufficient level of competence. This work will be carried out, with differing objectives, in the second and third year of the course.

Second year

As pre-requisites for admission to the third year, the post-graduate student must have:


taken all of the exams prescribed by the study plan;


presented to the Co-ordinator a report on the state of progress of the Doctorate Thesis (around 20 pages);


presented to the Board of Lecturers and the Thesis Committee a work plan in a seminar lasting 25 minutes + 5 if necessary.

On the basis of the report and the (written) opinion of the Thesis Committee, the Board of Lecturers will consider admission to the third year.

The report of the Thesis Committee will consist of two parts; the report of the tutor and the report of the supervisor. More generally, in the second year, the supervisor’s role is to follow the student’s work and encourage them to think of different approaches to those suggested by the tutor.  It is in this period that the supervisor may identify any weak points in the work (or areas that may be weak from the supervisor’s point of view), trying to contribute, along with the tutor, to the achievement of an adequate level of quality in the research activities laid out in the thesis plan.

Third year
By June

During the third year, the supervisor’s job is to encourage the student, in synergy with the tutor, to confront any critical points in the work on the thesis, even to the point of offering, if thought necessary, scientific and technical help with the research work. At the end of the third year, the supervisor will present an independent proposal (in tandem with that of the tutor) for two external supervisors. The supervisor is also required to produce a report on the first draft of the thesis (the version sent to outside referees), this is also done independently of the tutor. Finally, the report of the supervisor on the thesis is clearly fundamental to the college’s assessment of the doctorate thesis.

By June, each student will inform the co-ordinator whether they will attend the first or the second session. Two sessions of the final exams are envisioned. The first should be completed by July 31 (of the year following that in which the end of the third year falls), and the second by December 15 (also in the year following that in which the end of the third year falls).

Each student may also ask for a year’s postponement of delivery of the thesis.

Third/fourth year - delivery and assessment of the first draft of the thesis
By July
 (first session)
By December
 (second session)

For each student, the Thesis Committee will propose four names to the Board (two put forward by the tutor and two by the supervisor) among which will be two External Reviewers, Italian or foreign, who will give their opinions on the Thesis. Among the names approved by the Board, according to the scale of preferences established by the said Board, the Co-ordinator, assisted by the relevant tutors, will check the availability of the potential reviewers and will nominate two for each thesis.

By September
 (first session)
By March
(second session)

The student will hand in a preliminary version of the thesis in English; one copy to each member of the Thesis Committee, one to each External Reviewer and one to the Co-ordinator. The preliminary version of the Thesis must contain:

a state of the art analysis;
a general outline of the results;
a description of the results.

Important: The reports of the External Reviewers must reach the Co-ordinator by the middle of November for the first session and by the middle of May for the second session.


The Board of Lecturers will decide on proposals for the following commissions to be nominated by December 31.


The certifying Commission for the two sessions

The Commissions of Judges that awards the title of Doctor of Research is nominated by the Rector and made up of three members chosen from professors and researchers, including outside personnel, who belong to the scientific-disciplinary sector relevant to the doctorate. At least two members must belong to a University other than ‘La Sapienza’, which is not participating in the Doctorate. The Commission of Judges which assesses Doctorate candidates may not include members who are or have been in the last two years members of the College of the said Doctorate.  In certain cases, the Commission may include no more than two experts, including foreigners, chosen from the field of public or private research institutions or bodies.

The three commissioners must be selected by the department responsible for the doctorate, based on a shortlist of 6 nominations decided by college lecturers.


Admission Exam Commission

The three commissioners must be selected by the department responsible for the doctorate, based on a shortlist of 6 nominations chosen by the Board of Lecturers from among their number.

Third/fourth year - Delivery and assessment of the final draft of the thesis
By December 10
 (first session)
By May 10
 (second session)

The student presents the Thesis in a seminar (duration: 40 minutes + 5 if necessary) before the Board of Lecturers, which must express its assessment, based also on the reports by the Thesis committee (reports from the tutor and supervisor) and by the External Reviewers.

By December 15
(first session)
By May 15
(second session)

The student must hand in official copies of the final version of the Thesis to the Doctorate Office of the Athenaeum, the administrative centre of the Doctorate, before the final exam.

By July 31
(first session)
By December 31
(second session)

The student will be required to discuss the Thesis before the commission, appropriately nominated by the Athenaeum, which will issue the title of Doctor of Research.


It is the Tutor’s responsibility to meet periodically with the Thesis Committee to track the progress of the student’s Thesis and to supply the College with the required documents.