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Course obligations

©Scuola Normale Superiore/ foto Laura Lezza

Course obligations

During the overall period of their career at SNS, PhD students are required to carry out the following activities:

a)  to sit and to pass at least 3 exams on 3 annual* courses, preferably chosen among those offered by the Scuola Normale for the PhD courses;

b)  to attend training activities specifically addressed to the PhD courses and organized by the SNS or by other universities or research centres for a total of at least 150 hours.

The courses taught at the SNS and specifically addressed to PhD students can be counted towards the 150 hours referred to in paragraph b); if a student chooses one of these courses only for the attendance, she/he is not required to sit the exam on it.
Students who submit their study plan in SER.SE. must indicate all the courses they are going to attend, whether they intend to sit the exam on them or not.

At the end of every academic year, PhD students are to submit an annual report, in which they are required to describe in detail all training activities not offered by the SNS (and for this reason not entered in the study plan in SER.SE.) and that they want to be counted towards the 150 hours referred to in paragraph b). The PhD boards can ask students to sit more than 3 exams, to attend more than 150 hours of training activities and to attend courses considered preparatory to others; they may also require proficiency in one or more foreign languages, if these are considered fundamental for the annual reports on the PhD activity and to maintain the position as a PhD student.

* an “annual course” is a course which lasts at least 40 and up to 80 hours and can consist of more than one module. 

Courses addressed to PhDs and to Undergraduates

The courses to be attended to fulfil the obligation described in paragraph a) can be chosen among those offered for the PhD courses and those offered for the undergraduate courses; a course chosen among those offered for the undergraduate courses cannot be counted towards the 150 hours referred to in paragraph b).

It is hoped that students will choose a course not belonging to the disciplinary area of the PhD course in which they are enrolled. 

Seminars and other training activities at SNS

The activities that can be counted to complete the 150 hours referred to in paragraph b) can also be chosen among the following:

  •  the cycles of seminars organized by the SNS specifically addressed to the PhD courses;
  • the courses on the safety regulations and on scientific instrumentation in the laboratories ;
  • the language courses, including courses of Italian for overseas students, English, French,
  • German, and Chinese offered by the Scuola, directly or in convention with other institutions;
  • the courses on the management of research, on European and international research systems
  • and on intellectual property organized by the SNS.

The activities described in points 3 and 4 can be counted for up to 20 hours. Attendance must always be certified, specifying the exact number of hours attended. 

Training activities in other universities or research centers

Cycles of seminars, schools, advanced courses and other activities can be counted towards the 150 hours referred to in paragraph b) if they are addressed only or mainly to the doctoral students.

Attendance of these activities must be certified, specifying the exact number of hours attended. 

Final exam

Art. 8, paragraph 2 of the regulations governing the PhD courses at SNS, whereby PhD students can be admitted to the final exam to defend their PhD thesis for up to 2 years after the conclusion of the legal duration of the course, after which they will no longer be admitted to the examination and will lose any benefit connected to their status as students, is valid only for students enrolled starting from the XXIX cycle onwards, that is, those who started their PhD in the academic year 2013-2014 or in subsequent years. 

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  • segreteria.studenti@sns.it