The thesis defence procedure in detail



The Academic Council (CS) of Paris-Dauphine University has set up a compulsory internal procedure:  the pre-defence. The aim of this procedure is to:

  • either encourage the candidate to continue his work by providing him with a maximum number of suggestions and notes, and thus improve the quality of the future thesis;
  • or suggest a transfer to the Diplôme Supérieur de Recherches Appliquées (DSRA), a university qualification awarded by Paris-Dauphine University;
  • or to dissuade him from continuing with work that the university could not accept without undermining its scientific credibility.


This pre-defence must take place at the latest 6 months before the defence.
It must be supported by a dossier comprising a report of the work completed and a  work plan up to the completion of the thesis.
It is held before an examining board consisting of at least two members: the thesis supervisor and another member who will subsequently form part of the defence examining board.
In the event that the duration of the thesis exceeds 3 years, the pre-defence must take place at the latest before the end of the fourth year of the thesis.
It gives rise to a detailed report from the pre-defence examining board indicating the date set for the defence or, where applicable, the necessity of another pre-defence and sets the date for this.


When the doctoral student foresees the end of his work and wishes to schedule his defence, he should obtain a defence dossier from the Joint Research and Valorisation Department (SCRV).
This dossier must be submitted to the SCRV at least 7 weeks before the date of the proposed defence.

The composition of the Examining Board is then sent for approval to the Director of the Doctoral School and then to the President.
The dossier is referred to the SCRV, which prepares various documents for the defence.
The recording secretaries are contacted.
Reports preliminary to the defence must arrive at the SCRV 3 weeks before the defence.
Once the reports are received, they are presented to the Director of the Doctoral School for comment and to the President of the University for defence authorisation.
When the defence is authorised, the Vice-President in charge of Research signs the notices to convene the examining board and the candidate.
These notices are then despatched with a copy of the reports.
Please note that if the reports are received too late, the members of the examining board will not be able to receive these notices to convene within a reasonable time before the defence.
It is in the interest of the student that the members of the examining board have time to read the full contents of the dossier before the defence (particularly the reports).
Moreover, the purpose of the reports is to help the student prepare the defence. This preparation is all the more effective when the reports are received within the required timeframe.
Students are therefore asked to pay particular attention to meeting deadlines relating to defence.
When the defence is authorised, a notice is posted. The defence is notified to the various departments involved.
On the day of the defence, the student must call in at the SCRV to collect the Defence Register and a document that will authorise him to collect the key to the defence room (D520) from security.
After the defence, the doctoral student must ensure that the Defence Register is returned to the SCRV. It is on the basis of this register that the dossiers that enable the Central Registry to draw up qualification certificates are prepared.