Guidelines for Dissertation Defence

In the Finnish universities, the evaluation of the doctoral dissertation has two stages: the preliminary examination process and the public defence of the doctoral dissertation. In the preliminary examination, two outside experts evaluate the manuscript and both examiners have declare that the manuscript meets the qualifications set for dissertations with a written statement. Thus the preliminary examiners recommend the dissertation proceeds to the second part of the evaluation process, the public defence of the doctoral dissertation. The preliminary examination is done in a set time period, in 2–3 months (depending on the faculty).

After the preliminary examination, the dissertation is evaluated in the public defence where the 1–2 opponent(s) appointed by the faculty are responsible for the final examination. In the defence, the opponent leads the critical and evaluative examination and discussion. In the Finnish universities, the defence of doctoral dissertation is a public event and open to all. Furthermore, the dissertation needs to be published and made available at least 10 days before the dissertation defence.

In addition to the preliminary examiners, an evaluation committee is appointed in some faculties. The committee participates in the evaluation of both the dissertation and the dissertation defence.

    ​Dissertation process in phases
    1. When the statements of the preliminary examiners arrive to the faculty, they are delivered to the doctoral candidate. According to Chapter 44, Section 2 of the Universities Act (2009/558), the doctoral candidate has to have an opportunity to give a written response to the examiners’ statement before the handling of the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation.
       
    2. Depending on the faculty, the doctoral candidate delivers the dissertation manuscript edited during the preliminary examination process or a written account of the changes made to the manuscript according to the preliminary examiners’ statements to the faculty (see the instructions of your faculty).
       
    3. The faculty decides on granting the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation on the basis of the preliminary examiners’ statements. An opponent, Custos and the possible evaluation committee are appointed to the dissertation defence. In some faculties, the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation and/or the appointment of the opponent and Custos have to be applied for with a separate form (see the instructions of your faculty).
       
    4. The doctoral candidate drafts a press release of their dissertation according to the University’s instructions.
       
    5. The doctoral candidate takes care of the publication, possible printing, and release of the dissertation, as well as the distribution of printed copies and arrangements for the dissertation defence.
    Dissertation manuscript for preliminary examination

    The doctoral candidate delivers the dissertation manuscript to the faculty as well as a suggestion for appointing the preliminary examiners and possibly for appointing the opponent and Custos. A certificate of the Turnitin plagiarism check and other possible attachments required by the faculty have to be delivered with the manuscript.

    The faculty ensures that the preliminary examiners are impartial and qualified and that the contents and structure of the manuscript are in order. The faculty decides on the commencement of the preliminary examination. During the preliminary examination process, the faculty’s procedures are followed with the preliminary examiners.

    There are differences between the faculties in the preliminary examination process. There are no instructions that apply to all the faculties, so the doctoral candidates have to check their faculty’s instructions on the web pages. The process described below is an outline of the preliminary examination in the University of Turku.

    Outline of the preliminary examination process

    1. Commencing the preliminary examination process

    • The doctoral candidate delivers the dissertation manuscript to the faculty as well as a suggestions for appointing the preliminary examiners and possibly for appointing the opponent and Custos; doctoral candidate provides the certificate of the Turnitin plagiarism check and other possible attachments required by the faculty.
    • The application is signed by the doctoral candidate, all the supervisors, and possibly the responsible person at the major subject/department.

    2. Appointing preliminary examiners

    • The doctoral/doctoral training committee or another expert body appointed by the faculty ensures that the contents and structure of the manuscript are such that the dissertation is ready for preliminary examination and that the preliminary examiners are impartial and qualified.

    • The dean or faculty council appoints the preliminary examiners.

    3. Preliminary examination (2-3 months depending on the faculty)

    • The faculty informs the doctoral candidate about the appointment of the preliminary examiners and gives instructions to the preliminary examiners.
    • According to the faculty's instructions, either the faculty or the doctoral candidate sends the manuscript to the preliminary examiners.
    • The faculty defines the procedures for communication between the doctoral candidate and the preliminary examiners, and for working on the doctoral dissertation during the preliminary examination process.

    4. Preliminary examiners deliver their statements to the faculty.

    Permission for the defence of dissertation

    In order to print, publish, release, and defend a dissertation, a permission for the defence of dissertation is needed from the faculty.

    The faculty (the Dean, Vice Dean or Council) gives the permission for the defence of dissertation and appoints the opponent and Custos for the defence. Turku School of Economics, the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Education, and Faculty of Social Sciences also appoint an evaluation committee/evaluation group.

    Permission for the defence of dissertation can be given, when

    1. preliminary examination statements in favour of the permissions have arrived
    2. studies required for the doctoral degree have been fully completed

    The process leading to the permission for the defence of dissertation as well as the pre-examination process have faculty-specific differences. There are no instructions that apply to all the faculties, so the doctoral candidates have to check their faculty’s instructions on the web pages. The process described below is an outline of the preliminary examination in the University of Turku.

    The general outline of the process leading to the permission for the defence of dissertation

    1. When the statements of the preliminary examiners arrive to the faculty, they are delivered to the doctoral candidate. According to Chapter 44, Section 2 of the Universities Act (2009/558), the doctoral candidate has to have an opportunity to give a written response to the examiners’ statement before the handling of the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation
    2. Depending on the faculty, the doctoral candidate delivers the dissertation manuscript edited during the preliminary examination process or a written account of the changes made to the manuscript according to the preliminary examiners’ statements to the faculty (see the instructions of your faculty).
    3. The faculty decides on granting the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation on the basis of the preliminary examiners’ statements. An opponent, Custos and the possible evaluation committee are appointed to the dissertation defence. In some faculties, the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation and/or the appointment of the opponent and Custos have to be applied for with a separate form (see the instructions of your faculty).
    Publishing and printing doctoral dissertation

    The doctoral candidate decides how they publish their dissertation. Most often, the dissertation is published both electronically and as a printed version. Usually, the dissertation is published in the University of Turku Annales Universitatis Turkuensis publication series, but the doctoral candidate may also publish their dissertation in some other way.

    Online publishing promotes open science and access to scientific information and it is therefore recommended. The dissertation does not have to be printed as a book if the doctoral candidate publishes it electronically. The electronic version of an article-based dissertation does not include the articles. However, the dissertation does not have to be published electronically if the doctoral candidate does not want to do so for a specific reason. In these cases, the dissertation has to be printed.

    > Instructions for both forms of publication and for electronic publication only (on the utuguides.fi website)

    > Download the Word template of the Annales Universitatis Turkuensis publication series from the utuguides.fi website

    Read the Graphic Standards of the University of Turku Annales Universitatis Turkuensis publication series for good advice for e.g. grammatical correctness and typographic notation:
    > Graphic Standards of the Annales Universitatis Turkuensis series

    Printing

    If the dissertation is printed, the doctoral candidate has to take care that, after getting the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation, the printed dissertation is released publicly at least 10 days before the dissertation defence. Doctoral candidates have to contact the printing house well in advance. It is recommended to contact the printing houses and ask about the schedule already before getting the permission to defend the doctoral degree. This is especially advisable when the schedule is tight.

    Approximately, 10 weekdays should be reserved for the printing process. If the layout of the content pages is done at the printing house, 21 weekdays should be reserved for the layout and printing process.

    The University has tendered the dissertation layout and printing services.

    In case the doctoral candidate receives support for dissertation publishing from the University, the tendered supplier must be used for carrying out the (layout and) printing of the dissertation.

    On the basis of tendering, the suppliers have been selected in the following order of priority:

    1. Painosalama Oy
    contact person: Tero Kylä-Junnila, painosalama@painosalama.fi, t. +358 2 241 0105

    2. Punamusta Oy
    contact person: Jan Bergman, asiakaspalvelu.turku@punamusta.com, t. +358 50 409 6413

    3. Grano Oy
    contact person: Ilkka Mäki, ilkka.maki@grano.fi, t. +358 400 783 480

    The doctoral candidate must follow the order of priority when procuring the service by first contacting Painosalama Oy that is ranked first. If the supplier ranked first cannot accept the commission or does not respond to the enquiry, the second supplier on the list must be contacted.

    > Guidelines for Printing Doctoral Dissertation (PDF including the information for the request for quotation and order)

    The doctoral candidate is responsible for the proofreading of the dissertation and permission to print (approving the manuscript for printing). The doctoral candidate is also responsible for the outward appearance of the printed dissertation. Doctoral candidates have to take care that the dissertation corresponds to the formal requirements of the University and their faculty and that the work includes the abstract both in Finnish and English.

    Print run (number of copies)

    > The University's guidelines on the minimum printing requirements for and distribution of dissertations from 1 October 2019 onwards (PDF)

    For more detailed instructions, the faculties should be contacted (contact information below).

    Publishing support

    The amount of and prerequisites for publishing support for dissertations have changed since 1 October 2019:
    > Rector’s decision on publishing support for dissertations from 1 October 2019 onwards (PDF)
    > Appendix 1 to the Rector's decision: The University's guidelines on the minimum printing requirements for and distribution of dissertations from 1 October 2019 onwards (PDF)

    For the printing of the doctoral dissertation, every doctoral candidate at the University of Turku receives publishing support. The publishing support is paid on the basis of actual and verified costs, however, no more than €600 (+ VAT 24%). In printing, the contract printing houses of the dissertations of the University of Turku must be used. If the doctoral candidate publishes their dissertation in electronic form only, the publishing support can be used for purchasing the layout service solely.

    The printing house delivers the electronic invoice directly to the University. The instructions for invoicing are found in the file Guidelines for Printing Doctoral Dissertation (above). For invoicing, the doctoral candidate must state the faculty-specific internal order (cost centre number):

    Faculty of Humanities: 26003181
    Faculty of Medicine: 26002330
    Faculty of Education: 26003160
    Faculty of Science and Engineering: 2606000
    Faculty of Law: 26001563
    Faculty of Social Sciences: 2603000

    In Turku School of Economics, the printing house can be chosen freely, and the doctoral candidates are responsible for paying for the invoice themselves. Publication funding for dissertations can be applied from the Turku School of Economics Association (Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme of Turku School of Economics can be contacted for the application), and it is paid after graduation.

    > Instructions of Turku School of Economics

    Additionally, some foundations and organisations award grants to cover the costs caused by the publication of a dissertation. Further information is available in the Aurora grant database.

    Distribution and release

    Releasing the dissertation means submitting it to the University.

    The electronically published dissertations have to be delivered as a publishable file (PDF) to the University’s Library 15 days before the public defence of the doctoral dissertation. The dissertation is published in the publication archive no later than 10 days before the defence. If the dissertation is published only in print or both in print and electronically, the printed version has to be submitted to the University no later than 10 days before the dissertation defence by 12pm to: Feeniks-kirjasto, Yliopistonmäki, 20014 TURUN YLIOPISTO.

    The Dean can grant continuation to the release deadline. The decision on the continuation has to be delivered by the deadline to the Feeniks Library, where also the printed dissertation must be delivered to for publishing as well as to the Library Publication Services to julkaisut@utu.fi.

    Distribution of a printed dissertation

    > The University's guidelines on the minimum printing requirements for and distribution of dissertations from 1 October 2019 onwards (PDF)

    For more detailed instructions, the faculties should be contacted (contact information below).

    In addition, the dissertation has to be delivered to the Opponent and Custos. At some units, the doctoral candidate has to deliver the dissertation to some other parties as well. The Custos can be contacted for more information.

    Press Release

    The dissertation defence press release offers you the chance to tell about your research and to practice the popularisation of research, making your research known to the general public.

    Announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation

    After the faculty has granted you the permission to print and appointed the opponent and Custos, they will grant you permission to defend your dissertation. Next, fill in the announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation to the University Communications, which is for the media coverage of the public defence.

    Do not fill in the announcement before you have been granted the permission to defend your dissertation.

    > Make an announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation to the University Communications

    Press release - the business card of your research

    The press release of the dissertation is written in Finnish. If you do not know enough Finnish to draft a press release, please ask your Custos or supervisor for help. The press release of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation is sent nationally to nearly 400 media representatives. The press release may be used as a basis for a news article by itself or as a tip for a larger story, in which case a reporter might contact you directly.

    Interviews are generally conducted prior to the public defence.  Therefore, it is important that you can be reached from the phone numbers given in the press release during the week before your public defence.

    University Communications helps with final press release

    Sum up the main points of your dissertation into a one-page press release draft in Finnish. Send the draft and a high-quality picture of yourself to the University Communications three weeks before your public defence: communications@utu.fi

    The press release draft is edited into its final form together with a Communications Officer. The Communications Officer will contact you before sending off the press release. The University Communications sends the finished press release to the media approximately a week before the defence.

    The press release consists of two parts. The first part is the actual press release. The second part is written by the University Communications and it presents the basic information of your dissertation based on the information given by you.

    Start the press release with results

    The press release is aimed at journalists. For that reason, it is important to use standard language and avoid using specialised terminology. The press release is written in opposite order than a scientific article:

    • Begin by introducing the most important result of your research
    • Provide background information and explain the result more towards the end.

    How to write a good press release draft:

    • Title: Try to come up with a clear and enticing heading. Avoid using difficult terms.
    • The Introduction summarises your research in a few sentences, and it functions as a preface for the text. Aim to begin the introduction with a short statement, e.g. with the most important result of your research. Here you can also explain why your research is important. Avoid long sentences and keep the introduction short.
    • Body is the actual text of your press release. It should not be longer than a page. Begin with your results and think what kind of new information your research has revealed. Explain foreign terms when you use them for the first time. Concentrate on the essential information and write concisely. Write short sentences.
    • Sub-headings give structure to the text and make it easier to read.
    • Quotations make the text easier to approach and bring the researcher’s voice into it. Quotations also make it easier for the journalists to use the text in the media.

    You can model the press release after the previous press releases published on the University’s website (in Finnish)

    Questions about press releases?

    Tuomas Koivula, communications@utu.fi

     

    Procedure and dress code in dissertation defence

    ​​Dress code

    These guidelines are for the Doctoral Candidate, Opponent and Custos, who follow the rules of a dignified dress code that is appropriate for the event. The guidelines are traditional and do not have to be followed to the letter.

    There is no special dress code for the audience.

    Black tie

    Men can wear a black, dark grey, or dark blue suit with a single or double-breasted jacket. The material can have faint stripes and the suit can include a waistcoat of the same fabric or in similar colours. A white shirt and a restrained colour tie or bow tie that matches the suit (but not white), dark socks and dress shoes.

    Women can wear an elegant black or dark dress, a light jacket suit or a trouser suit, light court shoes (pumps) and, for example, stockings that match the shoes.

    White tie

    Men should wear a black tailcoat, a black waistcoat, a white shirt with a stiff front and collar. The trousers should have satin strips on the side seams.  A white bow tie is always worn with a tailcoat. Dress shoes and black socks are always worn with a black waistcoat, no pocket square or wristwatch. At dinner and in the evening, wear a white waistcoat and patent-leather shoes. With a white waistcoat, you can use a pocket square, unless unless you have decorations. At a so-called gentlemen’s dinner, a black waistcoat is used also in the evening. Outer garments consist of a black coat or cloak and a white scarf and white gloves.

    Women can wear a black full-length dress with long sleeves or a jacket or trouser suit and elegant festive shoes. The neckline of the dress should not be open. At dinner and outside, you can also wear black gloves.

    Doctoral Gown

    If one of the aforementioned attendants wears a doctoral gown, the rest will decide amongst themselves whether black or white tie is a suitable dress code.

    How the defence of a doctoral dissertation proceeds

    Beginning of the event

    The first one to enter the hall is the doctoral candidate, the second the Custos and the last the opponent.

    If the Custos and the opponent have a doctoral degree from a Finnish university, they hold their doctoral hat in their hands when entering the hall.

    When everyone is in place, the Custos opens the proceedings with the words: “As the Custos appointed by the Faculty of …, I declare the beginning of this public defence of a doctoral dissertation.”

    The doctoral candidate, standing, delivers their lectio praecursoria (mainly in Finnish, doctoral candidates who do not know Finnish can give their lectio praecursoria in English) and it may not exceed 20 minutes. If needed, the opponent will be supplied with a translation of the lectio praecursoria.

    The doctoral candidate begins with the greetings: “Learned Custos, my esteemed opponent, Ladies and Gentlemen…”

    After the lectio praecursoria, the doctoral candidate states: “I respectfully ask you, esteemed Professor (Doctor etc.) … as the Opponent appointed by the Faculty of … for the public defence of my doctoral dissertation, to present your criticisms of my doctoral dissertation.”

    The opponent, stands up and delivers a short statement concerning the scientific status and significance of the topic and other general questions. After this statement, both the doctoral candidate and the opponent resume their seats.

    Examination of the dissertation

    The opponent should begin the examination of the dissertation by handling methodological and general questions and then proceed to a detailed scrutiny of the text.

    The opponent may not spend more than four hours on the examination of the dissertation, so that enough time remains for other speakers to present questions or criticisms. If the examination takes a long time, the Custos may announce a break. The total duration of the public defence may not exceed six hours.

    The correction of misprints is not part of the proceedings at the public defence. The doctoral candidate may submit to the opponent a written list of errors which they have found, and this list may be appended to the opponent's statement submitted to the Faculty.

    Conclusion of the public defence

    When the opponent has concluded the examination of the dissertation, the opponent and the doctoral candidate stand, and the opponent delivers a final statement.

    The doctoral candidate , still standing, then thanks the opponent.

    Next, the doctoral candidate turns to the audience and invites their contributions as follows:
    "I now respectfully invite any members of the honoured audience who wish to offer criticisms of my dissertation to request the Custos for a permission to speak."

    The Custos may then grant permission for members of the audience to speak and is responsible for ensuring that the doctoral candidate is able to reply immediately to the offered criticism and that the discussion does not stray from the matter at hand.

    Finally, the Custos stands up and terminates the proceedings as follows:
    "This public defence of the doctoral dissertation is now concluded."

    Afterwards, there is usually a coffee service in the front of the lecture hall.

    Traditional post-doctoral party

    The post-doctoral party organised after the dissertation defence on the same day is an old academic tradition. The Finnish name for the party, “karonkka”, comes from the Russian word “korona” (diminutive form “koronka”) meaning crown, i.e. the post-doctoral party crowns the long dissertation process.
    The doctoral candidate organises the party in the honour of the Opponent.

    Post-doctoral party in short

    Most often, the post-doctoral party is organised as a private event in a restaurant, but it can also be held in another venue or at your own home. The doctoral candidate pays for the party and selects the location. However, it is good to keep in mind that the post-doctoral party is meant to be a festive occasion and the setting is part of the celebration. The party normally starts between 6 and 8pm.

    The doctoral candidate decides how large a party they want to organise, but it should be discussed beforehand with the guest of honour. One possibility is to organise only a small dinner for the key persons at the beginning of the evening and a second celebration for family and friends. Many also throw the party in two parts: first a dinner for the key persons and a more informal after-party for a wider group of people.

    The doctoral candidate has to make sure that the Opponent is picked up for the party. Often, the Custos picks the Opponent up from a hotel.
    At the post-doctoral dinner party, it is customary to serve a starter, a main course, dessert, and coffee or tea. In addition to alcoholic beverages, make sure there are non-alcoholic drinks available as well. It is recommended that the course of the evening is discussed with the restaurant, preferably in writing, so that the personnel is aware of the different stages.

    Invitations to the post-doctoral party

    Whether or not the dissertation passes is finally discovered at the end of the public defence when the Opponent announces that they will propose to the faculty that the dissertation is approved. Therefore, it used to be customary to hand out invitations to the post-doctoral party only after the public dissertation defence had ended. Nowadays, however, the doctoral candidate sends the invitations beforehand. Nevertheless, it is good manners for the Doctoral Candidate to ask the Opponent before the defence whether they can start the preparations for the post-doctoral party.

    Everyone can frame the invitation in their own way but it is recommended that it is mentioned that the event is held in honour of the Opponent and include the dress code. The traditional dress code is described below. Remember to also express whether the guests are allowed to bring a partner. Traditionally, post-doctoral parties do not include plus ones. The Opponent must be able to understand the invitation, so if they do not speak Finnish, the invitation can be both in Finnish and English or only in English.

    The Opponent is the guest of honour at the post-doctoral party. Only the key academic people were invited to the traditional post-doctoral party: Opponent(s), Custos, preliminary examiners, supervisors and other people who supported the dissertation research. With article-based dissertation, also the co-authors were invited to the party. Today, a larger group of people can be invited to the post-doctoral party. However, it is good to keep in mind that the post-doctoral party is not a family occasion.
    According to tradition, the “additional opponents”, i.e. people who ask questions or make comments at the end of the dissertation defence, are also invited to the party. According to the same unwritten law, they politely refuse the invitation.

    >> Invitation templates of Turku School of Economics (click at “kutsupohjat”)

    Dress code

    The dress code to the post-doctoral party is evening dress: for men, white tie or business suit, for women, an evening gown. A white vest is worn with the tailcoat, but, if only men attend the post-doctoral party, they can traditionally agree to wear a black vest. Female graduates wear traditionally a black dress, which is the traditional colour for academic celebration attire, or another subdued colour also in the evening. Guests can wear colourful dresses. Women can also wear shorter cocktail dresses as their evening attire. Short evening dress is comparable to a business suit. Casual is not a suitable dress code for the post-doctoral party.

    Bringing doctoral hats to the post-doctoral party can be agreed upon with the Custos and Opponent. According to academic tradition, a separate table should be reserved for the doctoral hats. Also other guests should be informed beforehand whether or not they should bring doctoral hats to the party. However, it is not mandatory to bring the doctoral hat to the post-doctoral party.

    Seating order

    The doctoral candidate hosts the party and the Opponent as the guest of honour sits on the doctoral candidate’s right side which is the most prestigious seat. If there are two Opponents, they are placed on either side of the doctoral candidate. Next in the seating order is the Custos who is placed on the left side of the doctoral candidate. When there are two Opponents, the Custos sits next to the Opponent on the left side. The rest of the guests are seated after the Custos and the members of academia are placed in an order of rank. If the doctoral candidate's partner is invited, they can be seated next to the Opponent. You can find plenty of information on parties’ seating order online.

    The main thing to keep in mind is the academic nature of the party, i.e. the order of rank is based on academic merits. The seating order can be devised according to personal wishes for those guests who have not completed a doctorate. However, drafting a seating order and place cards for everyone makes it easier for the guests to find their seats.

    Programme at the post-doctoral party

    In addition to the dinner, post-doctoral parties include several speeches. The speeches should be rather short and not read from a paper.

    At the beginning of the event and before the dinner, the doctoral candidate welcomes the guests with a short speech such as a toast. Traditionally, speeches are given after the main course, but nowadays all the speeches are often held after the dessert. The doctoral candidate starts the actual speeches. First, the doctoral candidate thanks the Opponent, then the Custos, and after that all the persons who have helped and supported the dissertation research, roughly in the academic order. Relatives and other close persons are thanked last and, traditionally, only the partner is named. The speech progresses in the order of academic importance to the dissertation research, not personal closeness.

    Speeches given in reply are held in the same order as the people are mentioned in the doctoral candidate’s speech. The Opponent starts, next is the Custos, and then the other attendees. Speeches can contain tasteful humour, i.e. they do not have to be too solemn. The Custos can also express general thanks for the dinner on behalf of all the guests.

    Time is usually reserved at the end for additional speeches and this is when those who were not mentioned in the doctoral candidate’s speech can say a few words. Relatives do not traditionally give a speech at the post-doctoral party, but can do so in celebrations organised for friends and family.
    In addition, other programme, such as music, can be planned towards the end of the party.

    Additional things to consider

    The doctoral candidate should thank all who have congratulated them with flowers or a gift. Thanks can be expressed with a traditional or an electronic thank-you card.
    Futhermore, an old tradition is to send flowers to the Opponent’s partner as a thank you for the time that was spent examining the dissertation and preparing for the defence which otherwise would have been spent with family. Many units have given up this practice and therefore you should check with the Custos whether this tradition is still followed.

    After dissertation defence

    Approving the dissertation

    After the dissertation defence, the dissertation is approved and the doctoral degree is granted by the faculty. The opponent(s) writes a statement on the dissertation and delivers it to the faculty according to its instructions. In the statement, the opponent proposes either a fail or a pass for the dissertation. In some faculties, the opponent can also make a suggestion for the grade. In other faculties, the suggestion on the grade is made by an evaluation committee. The doctoral candidate's defence in the dissertation defence is also taken into consideration in the assessment.

    The faculty delivers a copy of the statement to the doctoral candidate and in some faculties also to the supervisor. According to Chapter 44, Section 2 of the Universities Act (2009/558), the doctoral candidate has to have an opportunity to give a written response to the opponent’s statement. The possible response has to be delivered to the faculty within the time frame stated in the faculty’s instructions.

    The faculty council or dean decides on the approval of the dissertation as well as on its grade.

    The dissertation is evaluated with different grades in different faculties:

    •     Faculty of Humanities: Fail - Pass - Pass with Distinction
    •     Faculty of Education:  Fail - Pass with a grade 1 (sufficient) – 5 (excellent)
    •     Faculty of Medicine: Fail - Pass - Pass with Distinction
    •     Faculty of Science and Engineering: Fail - Accepted - Accepted with honours
    •     Faculty of Law: Fail - Pass
    •     Turku School of Economics: Fail - Pass with a grade approbatur – laudatur
    •     Faculty of Social Sciences: Fail - Pass with a grade approbatur – laudatur

    Degree certificate

    Once the dissertation has been approved, the doctoral candidate can apply for a degree certificate from the faculty. It might take a few weeks to receive the certificate. In the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences, the degree is completed and the degree certificate is drafted according to the approval date of the dissertation without a separate application. The doctoral degree certificate is provided in two copies, one in Finnish and the other in English. In addition, the certificate includes a Diploma Supplement which is an appendix to the degree certificate and meant for international use. The Diploma Supplement gives more information about the University, the studies and study attainments included in the certificate, and expertise provided by the degree as well as about the level and position of the degree in the international education system.

    Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees

    All those who have completed the doctoral training receive the doctoral degree. The right use the symbols of a doctoral degree, the hat and the sword, is traditionally granted in the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees. However, nowadays it is possible to buy the doctoral hat right after graduation. The Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees is organised approximately every second year. More information on the ceremonial conferment tradition.

    Alumni

    The alumni of the University of Turku include all the graduates, students and employees of the University of Turku and Turku School of Economics. Participating in the alumni activities is voluntary and you can decide what kind of activities best suit you.

    By registering as an alumni, you receive information of different alumni activities and the University’s latest news. Registration and membership are free-of-charge. More information on alumni activities.

     

    Contact persons in the faculties

    • Faculty of Humanities: Meri Heinonen, humpostgraduate(a)utu.fi
    • Faculty of Education: Anne Niemimäki, edupostgraduate(a)utu.fi
    • Faculty of Medicine: Outi Irjala, med-doctoral(a)utu.fi
    • Faculty of Science and Engineering: Sanna Ranto, sci-docstudies(a)utu.fi
    • Faculty of Law: Teija Alenius, teija.alenius(a)utu.fi
    • Turku School of Economics: Jenni Heervä, tsedoctoralprogramme(a)utu.fi
    • Faculty of Social Sciences: Vesa Rautio, socpostgraduate(a)utu.fi