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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions




How do I apply for admission to doctoral studies?

Applications for admission to doctoral studies are handled by the coordinators of each doctoral programme. You can submit your application online from the admission section, where you will find the contact details for the coordinators and administrative staff of each of the doctoral programmes.

What qualifications do I need for admission to doctoral studies?

The general access requirements for doctoral studies are established by e Royal Decree 99/2011 and can be consulted in the access requirements section.

Can I be admitted to doctoral studies if I have a foreign qualification that has not been homologated?

Yes, provided that it has been legalised. If you are applying for an European Higher Education Area (EHEA) doctoral programme, the academic committee will verify that your qualification accredits a level of education equivalent to the corresponding official Spanish qualifications before admission can be granted. This verification is not required if you are in possession of a qualification issued in a country that forms part of the EHEA framework.

More information on legalisation

Where do I apply for homologation of my foreign qualification?

Homologation is issued by the corresponding government ministry:

Subdirección General de Títulos y Reconocimiento de Cualificaciones

Servicio de Homologación de Títulos Extranjeros Universitarios
Adreça: Paseo del Prado, 28. MADRID 28014
Tel: (+34) 91 506 56 00 - Fax: (+34) 91 420 35 35
Pàgina web:

Delegación de la Alta Inspección del Estado

(N.B.: only for submission of documents)
Carrer Bergara 12, 1r.
Tel.: (+34) 93 301 06 47


How do I legalise my documents?

The procedure for legalising foreign academic documents depends on the country in which they were issued and on the specific international agreements to which this country is a signatory.

Further information

Do my documents need to be translated?

Documents issued in a language that does not have official status in Spain must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. The translation must be issued by one of the following:

  • The Spanish embassy or consulate in the country of issue.
  • The embassy or consulate in Spain of the applicant’s country of origin or of the country in which the documents were issued.
  • A sworn translator registered in Spain.


    Enrolment and recognition of previous studies

    When can I enrol?

    There are two enrolment periods:

    1) First semester: September (*)
    2) Second semester: February (*)

    (*) The exact dates can be consulted in the academic calendar.

    Can I enrol outside the standard enrolment periods?

    Yes, provided that you obtain authorisation from the coordinator of the doctoral programme and submit the documentation required to complete the enrolment procedure.

    What should I enrol for?

    This link will give you all the information regarding what you can enroll in depending on the Royal Decree which you are linked

    Where do I enrol?

    You should formalize your enrolment to the unit (department, centre or institute) in charge of the doctoral programme. Once your application has been verified it will be processed. You will then need to pay the corresponding fees to formalise the enrolment. If your application cannot be processed because you have not submitted all of the required documentation, or if additional documentation is required, you will be duly notified and given ten days in which to provide any missing documentation.


    You can obtain a list of programmes from the unit in charge of the doctoral programme.

    How much does it cost to enrol for doctoral studies?

    Consult the section on enrolment fees. The cost is regulated by the Generalitat de Catalunya, which sets the fees for the provision of academic services by public universities in Catalonia.

    How do I pay the enrolment fees?

    You can pay in cash at any branch of a bank that has a specific payment agreement with the UPC. You can also set up a direct debit from an Spanish account. And you can also pay by credit card or línia oberta online banking via the e-Secretaria service.


    Click on this link for further information.

    How do I set up the direct debit?

    To pay for enrolment fees by direct debit it is essential that you submit the SEPA direct debit order, which includes your IBAN bank account number, to the administrative unit for your doctoral programme.


    Follow this link to find instructions on downloading this direct debit order from the e-Secretaria.


    If you are a new doctoral student, please do this by following this other link.

    Can I pay in three instalments?

    Yes, in both semesters.

    Can I request the reimbursement of enrolment fees? How and when do I submit the request?

    The conditions and periods for the reimbursement of enrolment fees are established in the UPC’s annual budgetary arrangements. Requests for reimbursement of enrolment fees must be submitted to the unit in charge of the doctoral programme, within the established period. Once the amount to which you are entitled has been confirmed, the request will be forwarded to the Academic Management Service so that the reimbursement can be processed.

    Can I make changes once I have completed the enrolment procedure?

    Only if they are required due to changes in the organisation of the programme, and subject to approval by the coordinator of the doctoral programme.

    I am carrying out a research placement at the UPC. Can I enrol for doctoral studies?

    The academic committee may endorse the enrolment of students from outside the doctoral programme who are involved in a short-term research placement at the university. By granting admission, the academic committee ensures that your work will be recorded and monitored and that you have access to the resources required for your research. As a registered doctoral student, you will also be eligible to apply for any grants or scholarships applicable to your placement and to take out compulsory student insurance.

    Can I change to another doctoral programme?

    Yes, you can change to another doctoral programme, but you must apply for a place and be granted admission. Once you have received confirmation of admission to the new doctoral programme you should notify the unit in charge of the programme on which you are currently enrolled. If no objections are raised, you will be issued a document signed by the programme coordinator authorising the closure of your academic record for the current doctoral programme.

    You should keep copies of the confirmation of admission to the new programme and the document authorising withdrawal from the current programme, together with all enrolment documentation.

    Do I have to enrol every academic year?

    Not if the academic committee for the doctoral programme has given you permission to temporarily interrupt your studies for an academic year.


    If you do not enrol you will not be considered a UPC student for the duration of that academic year.


    Click on this link for further information.

    How do I include recognised credits in my academic record?

    To include recognised credits in your academic record you will need to enrol those credits in the enrolment period or periods after the ruling and pay the corresponding fee.


    Grants and scholarships

    Are grants or scholarships available for doctoral students?

    The UPC oversees a range of grant and scholarship programmes. Information is available from the RESEARCH SUPPORT UNIT.


    Certificates and other academic documentation

    How do I request a certificate or transcript?

    Certificates, transcripts and other official academic documents can be obtained via the e-Secretaria service.

    How do I legalise a Spanish transcript or degree certificate for a country outside the European Union?

    Information on legalising official Spanish academic documents for countries outside the European Union can be found in the section on legalisation.

    What is and how do I obtain the provisional doctoral degree certificate (CTT)?

    The CTT is a provisional certificate issued to students who have completed their doctoral studies. It displays the date of the thesis defence, the specific qualification obtained and the date on which the request for issue of the doctoral qualification was approved.


    The provisional certificate confers the same rights as the definitive doctoral degree certificate, is provided at no cost and can be legalised via the standard diplomatic channels. Requests for provisional certificates should be sent to the administrative unit of the doctoral programme.


    Provisional certificates are issued in more than 15 days, provided that the Doctoral Studies Office has received the corresponding record of assessment and the student has paid the fee for the issue of the doctoral qualification at the administrative unit of the doctoral programme.

    What is and how do I obtain the academic record transfer certificate?

    The academic record transfer certificate contains your complete academic record and all specific achievements corresponding to the period of doctoral studies and is issued for the sole purpose of academic record transfer to another university.


    To obtain the certificate you must provide at the management unit the original copy of the document confirming admission to the doctoral programme at the university to which you are transferring. You can request the certificate via the e-Secretaria service.


    Thesis defence

    Once I have completed my thesis, how long will I have to prepare for the thesis defence?

    You should allow approximately 35 days, although the exact period will depend on the unit in charge of your doctoral programme. The following conditions apply in all cases:

    • The thesis will be held in deposit for at least 10 days.
    • The thesis defence date will be set at least 10 days after appointment of the examination panel, for administrative reasons.
    • At least 10 days must be allowed for notification of the thesis defence to the Doctoral Studies Committee. The Committee will be notified by the secretary of the examination panel or the administrative coordinator of the unit in charge of the doctoral programme.

    You should also bear in mind that the thesis will be assessed by the unit in charge of the doctoral programme before the thesis defence can be organised. This assessment includes an appraisal by two independent experts, who may request that changes be made before the thesis can be deposited.

    Further information

    What documentation will I need to register the thesis?

    To register your thesis, you must submit the following documentation:


    N.B. If your qualification was issued by a non-EU member country, you must provide a certified photocopy of the degree certificate and (if applicable) official master’s degree certificate and all corresponding legalisations or homologations. In addition, if the original documentation was not issued in Spanish, you must provide official translations.

    1. A certified photocopy of the national identity documend (DNI), passport or foreigner identification number (NIE) (original and photocopy).
    2. The enrolment form.
    3. A paper copy of the thesis, for submission to the Doctoral School Office.
    4. An electronic copy (PDF, etc.) of the complete thesis.
    5. An electronic copy (PDF, etc.) of the thesis summary, in English and Catalan/Spanish, of no more than 4,000 characters (see the forms section).
    6. The doctoral training log, signed by the tutor and the thesis supervisor.
    7. Authorisation from the thesis supervisor and the internal examiner (if applicable).
    8. Authorisation from the academic committee to proceed to the thesis deposit, including original copies of the external expert reports, if applicable, or a statement from the academic committee that the thesis has been externally assessed and approved for public defence.
    9. Examination panel proposal. There should be five or seven candidates, for a proposed panel of three members and two substitutes or five members and two substitutes:
      • President
      • Secretary
      • Member
      • Member (optional)
      • Member (optional)
      • Substitute
      • Substitute

      The following conditions apply:

      • Only a minority of the panel should be from the UPC (or, in the case of an interuniversity doctoral degree course, from any of the universities involved).
      • Members should be recognised experts in their field. UPC members must prove they have accredited research experience.
      • If the author of the thesis has requested the International Doctorate certification, the examination panel must include at least one doctor from a higher education institution or research centre outside Spain. This examiner cannot be the supervisor of the period of study or research at the foreign institution.
      • Neither the supervisor(s) nor the reader may sit on the examination panel.
    10. The author statement for the incorporation of the thesis to TDX.
    11. Optionally: application for the International Doctorate qualification and the accompanying documentation listed in the international doctorate certification section.

    What documentation do I need to submit if I want to apply for the International Doctorate qualification?

    - Request for the International Doctorate qualification.
    - Preliminary reports issued by at least two PhD holders from higher education institutions or research centres in countries other than Spain, on official headed paper. These external experts may be the same as in the pre-assessment phase.
    - Certification of the minimum stay of three months, on official headed paper of the institution or research centre at which the period of study or research was carried out. The period of study or research must be approved by the thesis supervisor and authorised by the academic committee for the doctoral programme. Students must obtain a certificate from the director(s) of the research group, institution or institutions in question and submit the original, complete with institutional stamp. The details of the period of study or research spent abroad will be included in the doctoral training log.

    To be eligible for the International Doctorate qualification, the thesis defence must be held on UPC premises.


    N.B.: If you have signed a co-tutoring agreement this fact does not relieve you of the obligation to comply with the requirements described above.

    Does the three-month stay have to be completed over a single period?

    No. In addition, you can conduct your study or research at more than one institution or research centre. However, the total period must be at least three months.

    Can I submit my doctoral thesis as a collection of published articles?

    Yes, but you must request express authorisation from the Academic Committee of your Doctoral Programme before submitting the thesis to the unit in charge of your doctoral programme.

    Click on this link for further information.

      Can I defend my thesis in another language?

      The thesis can be written and/or defended in Catalan, Spanish or English. If sufficient justification is provided, the academic committee for the doctoral programme may authorise a doctoral student to write and defend the thesis in another language.

      Who can be a thesis supervisor?

      As a general rule the thesis supervisor should be a lecturer or researcher contracted by the UPC, in possession of a doctoral degree and with proven research experience. This includes doctoral-level staff at associated schools, as decided by the Governing Council, and at UPC-affiliated research institutes, under the corresponding collaboration and affiliation agreements.

      Further information

      Can I change my thesis supervisor or co-supervisor?

      The thesis supervisor (or one of the supervisors, if more than one has been appointed) can be changed at any time before the thesis deposit, at the request of the academic committee for the doctoral programme, the current supervisor(s) or the student. A written request outlining the reasons for the proposed changed must be submitted. If the new supervisor belongs to the same doctoral programme, approval must be given by the academic committee.

      How do I publish my thesis once I have completed the thesis defence?

      This process is mandatory for all doctoral students who defend their doctoral theses after 11 February 2012.


      The TDX server allows users to view full-text theses and to search for a thesis by author, title, topic and university.


      All doctoral theses read at the UPC may be consulted exclusively for research and teaching purposes from anywhere in the world, at no cost.

      What documents do I need to upload my thesis to the TDX repository?

      In addition to the documentation required for the thesis deposit, you must provide:

        Two signed copies of the completed Author statement for the incorporation of the thesis to TDX.

        Can a publishing firm publish my doctoral thesis?

        Yes, as long as the thesis is also published in an open repository (in the case of theses defended at the UPC, in the TDX repository). Compulsory publishing in an open repository does not, however, apply to theses that are susceptible to patent protection or bound by a confidentiality agreement.


        What is a Creative Commons licence?

        Spain's Intellectual Property Law (Ley de Propiedad Intelectual - LPI) gives authors the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute and publicly disseminate their works, and only grants users specific rights such as the right to make private copies and the right to cite the work.


        Some of the most popular licences are those offered by the Creative Commons Foundation. The works offered under these licences may be reproduced, distributed and publicly disseminated, although the authors may authorise other uses such as the modification and/or commercialisation of the work. In any event, original authors must always be cited and acknowledged, and the conditions for the licence must be made clear if the work is reused or disseminated.

        Quines llicències Creative Commons existeixen?

        CC Attribution: commercial use of the work and derivative works is permitted, as is their unrestricted generation and distribution.
        CC Attribution-NonCommercial: commercial use of the work is not permitted. Derivative works may be generated as long as they are not used commercially.
        CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: commercial use of the work and derivative works is not permitted. The distribution of derivative works is subject to the same Creative Commons licence as the original work.
        CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: commercial use of the work is not permitted, nor is the generation of derivative works.
        CC Attribution-ShareAlike: commercial use of the work and derivative works is permitted. The distribution of derivative works is subject to the same Creative Commons licence as the original work.
        CC Attribution-NoDerivs: commercial use of the work is permitted, but not the generation of derivative works.


        Homologation of doctoral degrees

        Take a look at our section homologation for further information:

        I have a doctoral degree from a foreign university. How can I have it officially recognised as being equivalent to a doctoral degree in Spain?

        A certificate of equivalence between a foreign doctoral degree and a doctoral degree of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya officially recognises that the course of study leading to the award of the foreign doctoral degree is equivalent to a course of study leading to the award of a doctoral degree by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

        The certificate of equivalence is issued by the rector of the UPC and gives details of the applicant’s foreign degree and the awarding university.

        Interested parties must submit an application form and pay a fee in accordance with the established procedure, which can be consulted by clicking on this link.

        When will the doctoral studies governed by Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, be withdrawn?

        All doctoral studies governed by Royal Decree 1393/2007 will have to be adapted to the provisions of Royal Decree 99/2011 before the start of the 2013-2014 academic year. They will then be definitively withdrawn before 30 September 2017.

        You must apply for a place on the new programme via the e-admissions form.

        Industrial Doctorate Plan

        Can any doctoral programme submit a project to the Industrial Doctorate Plan?


        Yes, any doctoral programme in any of the UPC's areas of knowledge can participate in the call for projects.


        What conditions must a project meet to be eligible for co-funding?

        • The term of the collaboration agreement between the University and the company must be 3 years.
        • The company shall employ the doctoral candidate and pay a minimum gross annual salary of €22,000 and the corresponding employer's contributions. The amount may be the same every year or it may start out being a smaller amount and increase progressively. This depends on the company’s remuneration policy.
        • The workplace must be in Catalonia.
        • The thesis must be completed in a maximum of 3 years. Funding from the Generalitat de Catalunya shall never exceed a period of 3 years.
        • The Generalitat will fund the items outlined in Question What are the economic terms of the research project?

          What conditions must a project meet to be eligible for a specific grant?

          Specific funding are foreseen in the following cases:

          1)  When the company does not have the means to employ the doctoral candidate directly and so agrees to compensate the University for the employment costs in some manner.

          2)  When the doctoral candidate cannot work on the project and the doctoral thesis full-time. In this case, the duration of the doctoral project and the agreement between the University and the company may be more than 3 years.

          3)  When a TECNIO network centre with legal capacity acts as a company and covers the cost of employing the doctoral candidate.

          4)  In other cases not foreseen above, as deemed necessary and duly justified by the recruitment committee.

          5)  The Generalitat will fund the items outlined in Question What are the economic terms of the research project?

          What does the doctoral candidate need to do to participate in the call?



          • Fill in the section “To be filled in by candidate” on the form for industrial doctorate projects.
            • Personal details
            • Candidate profile
            • Motivation and personal interest in the project


          How and when is a candidate chosen for a project?

          Recruitment procedure (HOW?)


          • A committee comprising at least one member of the company and one member of the University is appointed to assess the candidates.
          • The committee may select a candidate on the basis it deems appropriate (CV, test, interview, etc.)
          • The committee shall submit a document to the AGAUR containing the following:
            • Selection criteria (minimum conditions to be met and those subject to appraisal) and the weight assigned to each of them.
            • Name, NIF, post and signature of the members of the recruitment committee.
            • Priority list of candidates that indicates the selected candidate and candidates' scores in relation to the selection criteria.


          Calendar (WHEN?)


          • Applications: Since the projects ara published on the website of the Generalitat de Catalunya and for at least 20 days.
          • Recruitment period: After 20 days of publication of the project on the website of the Generalitat de Catalunya.


          As regards training in the cross-disciplinary competencies outlined in the Industrial Doctorate Plan, what topics are included, how many hours are involved and when does it take place?

          Students on the industrial doctorate are trained in the following cross-disciplinary areas:

          • Coordinating and managing projects and human resources in R&D environments.
          • Drawing up business plans.
          • Public and private fundraising.
          • Patents, intellectual and industrial property rights and the transfer of research results.

          The duration of the training is 60 hours, which are divided as described below.

          • 30 hours in the first year that are taken by all students who participate in the Industrial Doctorate Plan and for which the Generalitat de Catalunya is responsible.
          • 30 hours during the project execution period for which the company and/or the University is responsible (subsequent to the approval of the Generalitat de Catalunya).

          Who supervises the doctoral candidate's work?

          The doctoral candidate has two supervisors, one at the University and another at the company. The thesis supervisor at the University must be a member of a functioning SGR research group recognised by the Generalitat de Catalunya, a researcher from the ICREA programme or a researcher funded by the European Research Council (ERC).


          How is the doctoral candidate's time divided?

          The hours worked by the doctoral candidate on the research project are divided roughly in half between the company and the UPC. In any event the company and the University will make a joint decision on the matter.


          Depending on the research project funding option, the doctoral candidate may be:


          • Co-funding: full-time.
          • Specific grant: part-time.

          Can I take an industrial doctorate at a company outside Catalonia?


          Not if the project is co-funded, as one of the conditions for this funding option is that the company workplace must be in Catalonia.


          On what basis is the doctoral candidate employed by the company?


          The doctoral candidate is employed on a fixed-term employment contract for a specific project or service.

          What are the economic terms of the research project?

          The economic terms of each funding option are shown below.


          a) Co-funding

          The company and the Generalitat de Catalunya are each responsible for 30 additional hours of cross-disciplinary training. Minimum funding on the part of the company is €22,060 per year and minimum funding on the part of the Generalitat is €22,060 per year.

          The University manages doctoral candidates' enrolment, along with other fees.


          b) Specific funding

          The company and the Generalitat de Catalunya are each responsible for 30 additional hours of cross-disciplinary training. Minimum funding on the part of the company is €23,940 per year and minimum funding on the part of the Generalitat is €2,200 per year.

          Funding from the Generalitat de Catalunya shall never exceed a period of 3 years.

          What happens when the doctoral thesis is presented and defended and the term of the employment contract has not ended?


          The employment contract ends automatically when the doctoral candidate is awarded his or her doctoral degree.

          What qualification is awarded when the doctoral thesis is completed?


          A doctoral degree of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya with an industrial doctorate award.


          What types of company are eligible?

          Companies of any size and in any sector that are involved in or are planning to start R&D activities in collaboration with the University are eligible. They may be one of the following:

          a) Private companies.

          b) Public companies and other bodies governed by the Catalan public company statutes, if the purpose of the company's participation in the Industrial Doctorate Plan is to increase its competitiveness and internationalisation in order to secure external funding.


          Is this grant compatible with other grants and types of financial aid?


          What documents must the University and the company submit?

          • This form filled in by the University and the company. It contains the following:
          1. Details of the University and the company. To select a university, the advice of the Secretariat for Universities and Research (SUR) and university results transfer offices may be sought.
          2. A description of the research project on the basis of which future candidates can assess whether they are interested in it. The description must not put the possible confidentiality of the project in jeopardy.
          3. Profile of the candidate.



          Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR)

          Passeig Lluís Companys, 23

          08010 Barcelona

          Ref.: Industrial doctorate project


          The documents must be submitted in the periods specified in stage 1 of the call.


          Other questions

          Who is entitled to student insurance?

          Spanish students aged 28 years or under who are formally enrolled on a doctoral programme in Spain. Student insurance covers the entire doctoral studies period, including the taught stage, the research stage, and the preparation and defence of the doctoral thesis, provided that the general conditions are met. Student insurance is also available to students aged 28 and under from the following countries, which have specific agreements with Spain for this purpose: Andorra, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and countries in Latin America.


          School insurance is compulsory and covers the full academic year.


          What coverage does student insurance provide?

          Detailed information about compulsory student insurance can be found on the following page:


          What should I do if I am not entitled to student insurance?

          You should take out a private insurance policy. Details of suggested providers can be found on the following page: