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1.- Application for admission

  • The candidate who meets the access requirements applies for the admission at the General Registry, within the application deadline established by each program, selecting the full-time (3 years to submit the thesis for deposit, extendable for 1 year and 1 additional year in extraordinary cases) or part-time option (5 years, extendable for two years and 1 additional year in extraordinary cases). These deadlines are calculated from the admission to the deposit of the thesis. Likewise, the candidate meets the Coordinator of the program in order to study the possibility of assigning him or her a Supervisor, who belongs to the Faculty of the program.

2.- Proposal on admission

  • The Academic Commission (AC) of the program admits the candidate by proposing a Tutor and a Supervisor (model 1) and, if the case may be, the Complementary Training that he or she must undertake. If the AC does not propose a Supervisor at the admission, it must assign it within a period of 3 months (model 2A). For justified reasons, the candidate can request the change of both the tutor and the Supervisor of the thesis (model 2B and 2C).

3.- Resolution for admission

  • The Vice-Rector in charge of Doctoral Studies (currently VII) values the AC admission proposal, approved by the Dean / Director of the Faculty / School. The Rector resolves it (model 1).

4.- Enrollement and start of activity

  • The student enrolls for the corresponding semester, within the period stipulated in the Admission Resolution, signs the Commitment Document (Annex II) and initiates the research, directed by his or her Supervisor, carrying out, if the case may be, the Complementary Training and, in any case, the compulsory Training Activities established by each program.
  • Once admitted and enrolled, it is imperative for the student to check his or her email account, formed by the numerical academic code, followed by the domain @ alu.comillas.edu. All academic information will be sent exclusively through this account.
  • In addition to the student account, any doctoral student who is not hired by the University will receive the keys of a second account as a PDI (Personal Docente Investigador). That is, all doctoral students will have two identities (email addresses), although they can redirect each other. All activities carried out throughout the Doctorate studies must be registered through the iPDI portal, logging in with the PDI keys and following the instructions of the Guía de gestión de actividades de doctorado para el alumno.

5.- Research plan

  • Before the end of the first year, the PhD student submits a Research Plan to the AC (model 3), approved by his or her Supervisor and Tutor.

6.- Research plan assessment

  • The AC evaluates the plan positively or negatively (model 4). If the assessment is positive, the PhD student continues the research, renewing his or her enrollment twice a year in September and February, carrying out the compulsory Training Activities established by the program and submitting annually a Research Plan until the thesis is finished. If the assessment is negative, the student can submit a new plan within a period of 6 months, for which he or she must be enrolled. If there is a second negative evaluation report, the student will be removed from the program.

7.- Deposit application

  • Once the doctoral thesis is finished and within the established deadlines, the PhD candidate requests authorization from the AC to deposit the thesis (model 6A), together with a favourable report from the Supervisor and a copy of the thesis.
  • The period of time between the deposit of a thesis and the authorization to defense can be up to a month and a half, according to the deadlines provided in the regulations. The doctoral student must take this into account to avoid paying more fees than necessary, since he or she must have paid the doctoral fee including the semester in which the thesis defense authorization is approved.

8.- Deposit application assessment

  • The AC assesses the request by:
    • Asking a report of the thesis to two external experts
    • Meeting the PhD student for an oral presentation of the thesis
    • Obtaining an Originality Report from Turnitin
    • Checking that the Activity Report includes the compulsory Training Activities

9.- Resolution for deposit

  • The AC resolves the deposit authorization within a month (model 6B) and sends it to the International Doctorate School (IDS) together with:
    • The Activity Report approved and signed by the student
    • A pdf copy of the thesis
    • The Originality Report

10.- Thesis committee proposal

  • Once the thesis deposit is authorized, the AC proposes a Thesis Committee to the competent Vice-rector (model 9). The Rector resolves.

11.- Public exhibition of thesis

  • The IDS verifies the formal validity of the documents and communicate the public exhibition of the thesis for a period of 15 school days (model 7) to all the doctors at the University, so that they can present their observations.

12.- Authorization for thesis defense

  • Once the public exhibition period has expired, the AC decides on the authorization of the thesis defence (model 8). The student who obtains such authorization will not have to enroll for the next semester.

13.- Thesis defense

  • The thesis defense must take place within 3 months from the defense authorization.


For more information you can consult the Regulations for Doctorate Programs at Comillas Pontifical University, the PhD Programs Frequently Asked Questions and the PhD Supervision: Good Practice Guide, as well as the IDS website.

This guide does not address the ecclesiastical doctoral programs, which have a specific Regulation.