Ph.D. Timeline to the degree

First year

The main purpose of the first year is to acquire the necessary background in order to start doing research activity. During the first year, the student chooses  a research topic among those represented in the Department. In particular, the doctoral student immediately begins to participate in the Department's seminar program.

Each student is assigned a tutor, who supervises the student's progress. According to the student's background, scientific interests, and courses of the doctoral program, the tutor and the student design an individual training program, subject to the approval of the Council (courses taken outside the approved curriculum do not count for credits).
 
In particular, by the end of September, the student must have achieved a minimum of 24 training credits, related to activities for which a verification is planned.
Among these, 8 credits must be achieved by participating, during the first months of the academic year, in one of the reading courses activated by the Council for that year. Each academic year, on the basis of the didactic requirements of the incoming PhD students, these courses are selected by the Council among those offered by the Phd Program
 
The rest of the credits can be obtained thruogh other activities, such as
i) other reading courses;
ii) doctoral courses of approximately 24 hours, which are present in the training offer of the Phd Program in Mathematics, the Vito Volterra Doctoral School, or other PhDs or second cycle degree programmes in Sapienza or in other Universities;
iii) participation to International Summer Schools, delivering a certificate of the skills acquired.
 
Moreover, if deemed useful by the Council, the student may also attend Public or Private Research Laboratories by obtaining recognition of training credits, after verification of the acquired skills. The training activities eligible for this purpose are evaluated by the tutor and approved by the Council.
 
Finally, during the first year of training activities, the student is expected to attend courses so as to acquire cross-disciplinary skills, such as doing scientific communications, presenting his/her own scientific results, or drawing up a curriculum or a research project. These courses will be organized in collaboration with the Vito Volterra Doctoral School. If necessary, the student may also attend language courses, choosing among those offered by the Sapienza University.
 
Qualifying examinations are held in October by the Council; passing the examination allows the student to proceed to the second year of the doctoral program. The qualifying exam consists of a presentation of the student's chosen area of research. The function of the Council during qualifying is to verify the student's acquisition of the competences necessary to succeed in the research program he or she has chosen.
Failure on the qualifying exam eliminates the student from the doctoral program.
On the occasion of the exam, the student names his or her future thesis advisor. As a rule, this advisor should be a member of the Department of Mathematics, but this is not mandatory.
 

Second year

The second year of the program is devoted to the completion of the background of the student and to actual work on the Ph.D. thesis.
By the end of September, the doctoral student provides a detailed written description of progress on his or her thesis to the Council. The student's thesis advisor or the Council member assigned to the student in the case mentioned above also reports this progress in writing to the Council.
The Council then examines these reports and may also request a meeting with the doctoral student. A negative judgment on the part of the Council also eliminates a student from the doctoral program.

Third year

The third year is devoted to the completion of the thesis. At the end of the third year, by 31st of October, the student should submit his or her final version of the thesis. After the submission, the Council organizes a seminar in which the doctoral student presents his or her thesis to members of the research group in the Department of Mathematics relevant to the work. The Council also acquires the written opinion of the thesis advisor and send the thesis to two outside referees which should judge the thesis taking into account the requirements that the research be original and be publishable in international journals of high quality, and provide their recommendation about the admissibility of the thesis. The referees’ reports are sent to the Council by the 15th of December. According to these recommendations the Council prepares a final report to be sent to the defense Committee. 

The thesis defense is to be held between December 16th and February 28th and is done in the presence of a Committee named by the Department of Mathematics.
 
If one of the referees does not recommend  admission to the final defense or suggests a revision of the thesis, the student has at most six extra months to improve  the thesis. 
In this case a new revised version should be submitted by June 15th and sent to the referee that required the revision. The new recommendation of the referee must be provided by July 31st.
 
The latest time at which the revised thesis can be defended is September 30th.