Changes to the procedures concerning the final phase of the doctoral degree

At the end of the year, proposals for changes to streamline the final stage of doctoral degree were sent to the Doctoral Degree Programme Directors and the Deans of Faculties for comments. The proposals concerned shortening the pre-examination time, nominating the pre-examiner as the opponent, and changing the permission to defend to the chairperson’s decision. The proposals were generally supported by the Doctoral Degree Programmes and Faculties. The Management Group of the University of Oulu Graduate School has decided to implement the proposals.

The following procedures will be adopted in the final stages of the doctoral thesis:

  • The time allowed for pre-examination is shortened from two months to six (6) weeks
  • The supervisor is asked to submit the thesis materials to the pre-examiners within one week of the appointment of the pre-examiners
  • There are usually three doctoral thesis experts, two pre-examiners and one opponent. However, on proposal of the principal supervisor, the Chair of the Doctoral Programme Committee can nominate the pre-examiner to act as the sole opponent on justified reasons.
  • To be awarded the grade “Pass with distinction”, the grade must be recommended by at least two of the individuals appointed as the doctoral thesis experts, of which one must be the opponent. If the pre-examiner is acting as the sole opponent, grade “Pass with distinction” is possible to award when the opponent and other thesis expert recommend it.

The change of the permission to defend to a personal decision of the chairperson was supported by the Doctoral Degree Programmes and the Management Group of the Graduate School. However, this change will be postponed since it requires a change in the Education Regulations of the University of Oulu.

We kindly ask doctoral researchers and supervisors to take these changes into account when planning the final phase of their doctoral thesis.

If you have any questions or feedback on the changes, please contact the Graduate of School (uniog (at)

Last updated: 20.3.2024