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Dissertation submission & defense

From setting a date for your PhD conferral to steps to take with your doctoral thesis.

Steps to take with your doctoral thesis


When your manuscript has been approved by the Thesis Committee and Form II has been sent to the Beadles Office and registered by them, you will receive a confirmation email. From that moment on you can contact the Beadles Office to set an option for a date for the defense of your thesis. As soon as a definite date has been set, you will receive by email the information relevant to the preparation of your defense. You can also read the conditions for the submission of the thesis on this page.


No later than 5 weeks before your graduation date, you should have delivered 5 copies of your thesis to the Beadles Office. If circumstances make this impossible, the beadle reserves the right to postpone the defense ceremony until a date to be agreed. The beadle ensures that a copy of the dissertation is provided to the faculty and the unversity library. The doctoral candidate shall provide the members of the thesis committee with a copy.


Before the dissertation is printed, the title page requires the approval of the Rector. To this end, you must upload the title page in Hora Finita. After approval by the rector you will receive a confirmation email. The title page must be formatted as shown in the text example. Pay special attention to capital letters, punctuation marks, etc. On the reverse side of the title page you should name the supervisor(s) and any co-supervisors. There should be nothing on this page other than the prescribed text. See also the Doctorate Regulations, Article 19. If you have the thesis printed without complying with the above conditions, you do so at your own risk.


A dissertation always includes a summary in the language of the dissertation as well as a summary and a translation of the title in English. Doctorate Regulations article 18 applies.


Every thesis defended at the Vrije Universiteit will be published on the internet after permission has been obtained from the PhD candidate on the basis of a licence agreement. If for copyright reasons publication on the internet is not possible, digital publication will be limited to the cover, title page, table of contents and summary of the thesis in Dutch (if any) and in English. The dissertation is listed in the Dissertation Overview (DARE) on the website of the University Library VU (UBVU) and can be requested and printed digitally via this overview.

The obligatory licence agreement should be in the possession of UBVU in duplicate at least 6 weeks before the defense ceremony date.


You can submit your thesis digitally by using your PhD ID. You will receive this personal code by email as soon as the date of your defense ceremony is final. To upload your thesis, go to and follow the instructions. The UBVU expects the digital version of your dissertation no later than 6 weeks before the date of the PhD ceremony in order to prepare for publication on the internet. You can find more information about submitting your thesis digitally on the University Library website.


The public defense ceremony is limited in time. The PhD candidate has 10 minutes to present his PhD dissertation and one hour for defense. The whole procedure is highly ceremonial and special procedures apply. You will be duly informed about these procedures by the Beadles Office.