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Frequently asked questions


We provide you with useful answers to common questions about the International Doctoral School and answer your questions!

students on campus

We provide you with useful answers to common questions about the International Doctoral School and answer your questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In general, in order to access an official doctoral programme, it will be necessary to hold an official Spanish Bachelor's degree or equivalent, and a Master's degree or equivalent, provided that at least 300 ECTS credits have been passed in these two courses.

    The general requirements, established by current legislation, can be consulted in detail in the Comillas Doctoral Regulations.

  • Yes. The agreement of the Governing Council of 4 March 2014 establishes that the degrees of licenciado/a, ingeniero/a Superior and arquitecto/a Superior issued in Spain give access to doctoral studies.

  • If you have an accreditation credential or declaration of equivalence to a degree and academic level of graduate, architect, engineer, doctor or graduate (whose duration, in accordance with EU law, is at least 300 ECTS) granted by the Ministry of Universities, the procedures to be followed to apply for admission to doctoral studies will be the same as those for students who have obtained their degree in Spain.

    If you do not have a homologation credential or a declaration of equivalence, you must present the documentation detailed in the following question.

  • To gain access to doctoral studies, it is not necessary to homologate the entrance qualification beforehand. It will be necessary to present the original duly legalised degree or a certified photocopy of it together with an academic certificate that must include: the official duration of the studies in academic years, the syllabus followed, the subjects taken and the number of hours or credits completed. Likewise, a certificate of the level of studies must be presented in which the university of origin certifies that the studies carried out by the candidate give access to doctoral studies in the country issuing the degree.

  • If you are in possession of the DEA (R.D. 778/1998) or research proficiency (R.D. 185/1985), you can access a doctoral programme. If you are not in possession of the DEA or the certificate of research proficiency, you must do a university master's degree or access via the bachelor's degree route if you have this qualification. You must apply for admission to the programme you are interested in and submit all the corresponding documentation as if you were a new student.

  • Initially, it is advisable to contact the programme coordinator to assess the possible line of research and thesis supervisor. Afterwards, you will have to register in the admissions portal and upload the necessary documentation. Depending on the programme, this documentation may vary, please read carefully the information note of the selected programme where the required documents are detailed.

  • The doctoral programmes regulated by RD99/2011 are configured on a semester basis. Enrolment must be formalised during the months of September and February.

  • This fact implies non-compliance with the financial obligations contracted with the University, so that in application of the provisions of letter g) of art. 92.2. of the General Regulations, the student will lose the status of student and will consequently be withdrawn.

  • If you are authorised to take a temporary leave of absence from your studies for the duration of the leave, you will not have to register. If the leave of absence is due to illness or maternity/paternity/paternity, the calculation of the deadlines affecting your thesis defence will be interrupted for the duration of the leave of absence. On the other hand, if the temporary leave of absence is not due to medical reasons, the calculation will not be interrupted in the maximum periods that affect the defence of the thesis.

  • A maximum of four years, full-time, and seven years, part-time, from the date of first enrolment in the doctoral programme until the application for submission of the doctoral thesis is made.

    When the doctoral student is a person with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33 percent, the duration of the doctoral studies will be a maximum of six years full-time and nine years part-time.

    These deadlines apply to doctoral students who have started their studies after the date of entry into force of Royal Decree 576/2023 of July 4 (see, July 19, 2023). In the case of those students who had started doctoral studies prior to July 19, 2023, the doctoral regulatory provisions in force at the time of the start of said studies will apply, which established that the duration would be 3 years to full-time, and 5 years part-time, after which, the extension could be authorized for one more year, which could exceptionally be extended for another additional year, under the conditions established in the corresponding doctoral program. And in the case of part-time studies, the extension may be authorized for two more years, which could also, exceptionally, be extended for another additional year. These deadlines were calculated from admission to the program.

  • If the thesis has not been deposited by the end of the study period, the CA of the programme may authorise an extension of one year, with the approval of the Directorate of the International Doctoral School.

  • Yes, you can request a change of mode during the ordinary period of duration of these studies, bearing in mind that this change will affect the duration of your studies proportionally and will therefore modify the end date of your studies, which can be consulted at the General Service for Academic Management and Degrees.

  • Yes, in which case you will have to choose part-time mode.

  • It has two accounts: one for students(claveacademica@alu.comillas.edu) and one for PDI (Research Teaching Staff) ( nombre.primerapellido@comillas.edu). The first is used to access Moodle, where you have access to academic materials and virtual classes, and the second to access iPDI, where the activities carried out during the doctoral studies are recorded, following the indications of the Doctoral Activities Management Guide for students.

    Apart from access to these two portals, both addresses are email accounts. All academic information will be sent exclusively to the student account, so we recommend redirecting them.

  • There is a specific model to present your plan, endorsed by your Director and Tutor. You must also attach the Appendix: Social impact of the thesis (model ABC). You must submit it before the end of the first year after admission to the programme and, thereafter, each year until the application for the deposit of your thesis.

    In the first year you must also attach the Application for approval of the processing of personal data and ethical aspects of the doctoral thesis/Responsible declaration of no report requirement.

  • Annually, the programme's academic committee will evaluate the research plan and the activities document together with the reports that the tutor and the director must issue for this purpose. A favourable evaluation is a prerequisite for continuing on the programme. In the event of an unfavourable evaluation, which will be duly justified, the PhD student must be re-evaluated within a maximum period of six months, for which purpose a new research plan must be drawn up. In the event of a new unfavourable evaluation, the PhD student will be permanently withdrawn from the programme.

  • Yes, but if you are readmitted, the calculation of the deadlines does not restart. In order for the calculation to start again, the new research must be objectively and significantly different from that carried out in the previous stage, something that must be verified and approved explicitly by the academic committee. It will also be necessary to have a different address from the previous one.

  • PhD students may choose to write and, where appropriate, defend their thesis in Spanish or English. However, the General Doctoral Committee may authorise the writing and, where appropriate, defence of the thesis in a language other than Spanish or English, if there is justification that this language is customary for scientific communication in the field of knowledge in question. A favourable report from the academic committee responsible for the doctoral programme is required. The application to write and, where appropriate, defend the thesis in a language other than Spanish and English must be submitted to the General Doctoral Committee prior to the submission of the thesis.

  • Yes, there is a specific model for this.

  • The International Mention in the PhD degree will be included when:

    • An international stay of at least three months has been carried out.
    • Part of the doctoral thesis, at least the summary and conclusions, has been written in a language other than the official languages in Spain.
    • The thesis has been peer-reviewed by at least two experts from foreign institutions.
    • At least one foreign expert has been a member of the examining board of the thesis.

    The thesis will be under international co-directorship when:

    • The thesis is not part of a joint programme.
    • It is supervised by two or more PhDs from two universities, one Spanish and one foreign.
    • A minimum stay of six months has been spent at the institution with which the co-supervision agreement has been established.
    • A co-supervision agreement for the thesis has been formalised between the two universities, which determines the supervision of the thesis by these doctors, the activities to be carried out by the PhD student and the terms of the stay at the foreign institution.
  • You must apply for admission to the programme as if you were a new student, but the Academic Committee of the programme may recognise activities carried out at other centres and exempt you from taking the programme's Training Activities and Training Complements. In this case, you may continue with the same director of the previous programme as long as you also have a tutor from the Comillas Doctoral Programme.

  • When assessing the admission of a student to one of the Comillas Pontifical University Doctoral Programmes and establishing the Complementary Training and/or Training Activities required, all the subjects and academic activities carried out by the student are assessed.

  • This is a document that includes an individualised record of all the activities that the doctoral student carries out during their studies. It must be supervised by the director and evaluated annually by the Academic Committee. All the activities carried out during the PhD must be registered through the iPDI portal, accessing with the PDI passwords, and following the indications of the Guide for the management of doctoral activities for the student.

  • This is a document signed by the University, the doctoral student, their tutor and their director, which establishes the supervisory functions of the doctoral students, the rights and obligations of the parties and covers all aspects relating to intellectual or industrial property rights that may be generated during the course of the doctoral programme.

  • No, you can defend your thesis at any time if it is admitted for defence, but you should note that the minimum tuition fees are three years full-time and five years part-time.

  • You must apply to the Academic Committee for authorisation to deposit the thesis(form 6A), together with a favourable report from your supervisor and a copy of the thesis. You must also attach the final version of the Appendix: Social impact of the thesis (model ABC) and the Application for approval of the processing of personal data and ethical aspects of the doctoral thesis/Responsible declaration of non-report requirement. To avoid paying more fees than necessary, please note that the period of time that elapses from when the deposit is requested until the thesis is admitted for defence can be up to two months, as you must have paid the doctoral tuition fees including the semester in which the thesis defence authorisation is approved.

    The thesis must be deposited in a pre-established format that you can consult in this link.

  • The programme's Academic Committee is responsible for deciding whether the thesis is admitted for defence. Likewise, the assessment panel is proposed by the Academic Committee, which must be made up of five PhDs with sufficient accredited research experience in the subject.

  • The thesis defence does not require the payment of any additional amount, the student must have formalised the enrolments within the established deadlines and in the event that the defence takes place before the scheduled date, the minimum fees must have been paid.