The Ph.D. School in Physics, Astrophysics and Applied Physics (from now on called Ph.D.School) is linked to a Consortium including the Department of Physics and the Institute of General and Applied Physics of the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Milan, the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology for Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Milan and the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the Catholic University of Brescia.

Besides, the Ph.D. School has various international connections and in particular with the ISAPP (International School of Astroparticle Physics), the Ph.D. School in Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials (PCAM)  and the IDAPP (International Doctorate of Astroparticle Physics). This latter School allows students to obtain degrees mutually acknowledged by the Universities of the Network (a dozen of European Institutes).

Apart from these international agreements, the PhD School promotes the co-tutoring based on bilateral agreements between the School and another foreign Institution; the co-tutoring enables students to obtain a joint degree of Ph. Doctor and provides that the student carry out his research activity at the partner Institution for at least 6 months.

Student’s Duties

The first year the student chooses the research activity that will be presented to the Directive Committee (CD) of the School and approved by his Supervisor. The student, in agreement with his Supervisor may indicate a co-Tutor who is not involved in the same research activity as his Supervisor.

Each student must attend two or three courses (following the Supervisor judgment), at least one of which chosen within the approved list available from web page The profit examinations must be passed before the end of February of the second year: this deadline may be postponed only for important and justified reasons approved in due time by the CD. The student can attend additional non-compulsory courses of their choice.

The courses have to be chosen among the ones organized by the Ph.D. School and among the LaureeMagistrali of the University of Milan and of the Catholic University of Brescia, approved by the CD (see the list of the courses on the Home Page). Following the CD’s  approval, the student can choose other Universities’ courses.

Both the chosen courses may concern the student’s scientific research area, subsidiary one to the other. Besides, the student must participate in an International Summer School and give a seminar on the topics of that School. The seminar will be refereed.

At the end of every year the student will give a seminar on his activity addressed to his Supervisor, his co-Supervisor and some experts in his field of research.  The reporting of First-Year students of our PhD School will be carried out in the form of a “Workshop”. Each First-Year student will give a short talk introducing the topic of his/her thesis, and expressing the main motivations why he/she finds that particular topic interesting and worthwhile. Please notice that the purpose is not to discuss technical details, but to give an overview of the topic of your work. We regard this event as an important opportunity for all the students and professors of our School to meet and know each other, and share interests and scientific discussion.

The student must attend the Physics Colloquia organized by the Ph.D. School.

Approval by the Council

The student must present his study plan consisting of:
- a form with the title and topic of his research, together with the name of the Supervisor and, in case, that of the co-Supervisor.
- the list of the courses that he will attend and which he shall take the examination for.

This study plan must be presented to the Ph.D. School Secretariat usually within February 15th of the first year and will be approved by the CD within the end of February.

The choice of the Summer School may be presented later on, so that the student can study his topics in depth.

Following the Supervisor ’s proposal, the CD will judge the student’s activity. If positive, the student will pass to the next year. After the positive judgement of the third year’s activity, the student can be admitted to the final examination to get the degree of Ph. Doctor. This examination is based on a thorough discussion of the student’s thesis presented to a Committee made up of local,  external, and often foreign members.


The credits are 60 per year, corresponding to 1600 hours per year. If the student does not get the 60 credits within the year, may apply to the CD for admittance to the next year with a “debt”. This is possible only for a “debt” less than 6 credits. Vice versa a student may save up extra credits during the year, to be used in the next years.  Student who got more than 180 credits at the end of the PhD School can obtain a Diploma “supplement”, stating it officially.

Credits can be obtained as follows:

  1. courses and related examinations;
  2. certified attendance of a course;
  3. Attendance of Physics Colloquia (also institute seminars, etc.)
  4. seminars given by the student
  5. participation in summer school and/or participation to conferences
  6. presentations to conferences (poster and talks)
  7. stage in outside laboratories or companies, concerning the research activity
  8. publication of papers, patents, internal reports
  9. research activity and thesis preparation (as certified by the supervisor)

The credits are assigned as follows:

  1. 6 credits for passing the course examination. Credits may be raised to 8 if , according to the teacher, the student’s activity has been more than required. These credits are certified by the regular teacher of the course.
  2. 3 credits for every course attendance (in case the course final examination is not taken), following teacher’s certification
  3. 1 credit for participation in five Physics Colloquia or other Department seminars; the credits for the Physics Colloquia are certified by the PhD School Secretariat according to the attendance.
  4. 2 credit for giving a seminar. The end of the year’s seminar must be public and if possible, the CD will ask one of its member to participate in the seminar, together with the Supervisor and the co-Supervisor (usually the seminars should be held in one of the associated universities). These credits are validated by the Supervisor.
  5. 6 credits for the participation to a one-week long Summer School or Conference. Upon return, the student is required to give a seminar on the School’s topics: this seminar must be officially announced by the Doctorate secretariat and, if possible, a CD member should be present at the seminar. The student’s Supervisor certifies these credits.
    5 bis. The certified participation in Schools, Conferences, Workshops etc. will get 2 to 3 credits according to the length and importance of the event.
  6. 2 to 5 credits for every presentation (posters included) to Conferences, Workshops, etc. according to the event’s and presentation’s importance and is validated from the Supervisor.
  7. 6 credits for every month spent in external laboratories or companies. Please note that research activities strictly related to the thesis work and carried out in national or international laboratories cannot be considered stages.
  8. 2 to 6 credits to the publications, according to their evaluation. The Direction Committee grants these credits, following the Supervisor’s proposal.
  9. The tutor can give credits to the research activity or thesis preparation as follows:
    • 45 credits for the 1st year;
    • 49 credits for the 2nd year;
    • 57 credits for the 3rd year.

N.B. all the above credits are approved by the Direction Committee and confirmed by the CD.

The compulsory credit refer to (numbered according to the above list)

1. at least two, for 6 credits each
2. compulsory for the Physics Colloquia
4. at least one for 2 for each year of the Course
5. at least one for 6, replaceable by Stages or series of seminars, if suitable Schools are not available.

Validations are put on the electronic report card in the personal student’s site by the Ph.D. School Secretariat.

The credits of the first year will be marked in the student’s report card and validated by the Secretariat (point 1 and 3) and by the Supervisor (point 2) following the course teacher confirmation.


1st year

  1. The student must choose his research topic and attend two/three courses. The study plan shall be presented within Feb 15th and must be approved by the CD
  2. At the end of the year he shall give a seminar on his research plan in the Workshop.
  3. At the end of the year the CD, together with the Tutor and the co-Tutor decide to pass or not the student.
  4. Within Oct 15th he must fill in his electronic report card.
  5. If the CD decides to pass the student, he may be granted a fellowship for the next year.

2nd year

  1. The student shall take the examinations within February.
  2. He shall give a final seminar on his research plan. The title should be communicated to the Secretariat within Nov 10th, that will put it in the PhD web site.
  3. At the end of the year the CD, together with the Tutor and co-Tutor will decide to pass the student.
  4. Within Nov 15th he must fill in his electronic report card.
  5. If the CD decides to pass the student, he may be granted a fellowship for the next year.

3rd year

  1. At the end of the year the student shall give a seminar on his research plan. The title should be communicated to the Secretariat within Nov 10th, that will put it in the PhD web site.
  2. He shall participate in an International Summer School and give a seminar on the topics of the School within the end of September of the III year.
  3. The CD will decide to pass or not the student and authorize the Thesis presentation following the Supervisor’s and co-Supervisor’s opinion. If the thesis presentation is postponed, the permission must be required within October.
  4. The Supervisor ask for the Referee examiner within Sept 15th.
  5. The student presents a thesis’ draft to his Referee within Sept 30th.
  6. Within Oct 15th he must fill in his electronic report card.
  7. He sends electronic version of the final thesis within 20 days before the Final Exam to the Final Exam Committee members.
  8. The final examination is taken between November and January (if not delayed).

N.B. In case of Co-Tutoring or International PhD School the present Vademecum may change according to the partner institutions requirements.