Final Exams

The PhD study ends with two committee examinations: I. State Doctoral Examination and II. Dissertation Defence. Typically, they take place jointly. The State Doctoral Examination has to take place prior to Dissertation Defence. For each examination, the student applies on a typified form together with obligatory attachments (see below for details).

Faculty deadlines for application: usually 31st March (for State Exam no later than 30 June) and 31st August (for State Exam no later than 30 November) - see the Faculty "Schedule of academic year 2021/2022 – Ph.D. study" for the actual Academic Year.

I. The State Doctoral Examination (new accreditation)

Before defending her dissertation that completes the doctoral study, the doctoral student has to pass the State doctoral examination (the members of the committee are nominated by the Dean of the Faculty after them being nominated by the programme guarantor and approved by the Subject Advisory Board). The examination consists of the presentation and defence of the so called “Argument theses”: As a material for the examination, the candidate submits beforehand three argument theses that he or she prepared on the basis of his or her previous study requirements. These theses must not overlap significantly with the topic of the doctoral dissertation. The student submits the written theses (3 to 4 standard pages and accompanied by relevant bibliography) to the programme guarantor (or to a person entrusted by the guarantor). Only after all the theses are approved, can the student register for the state final examination. Each thesis forms a structured philosophical text that states a clear thesis (claim) and presents an argument in its favour.

During the public examination, the exam committee chooses two of the argument theses for the exam (state exam subjects: Philosophy Thesis 1 and Philosophy Thesis 2). The candidate then presents each thesis within 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a discussion in which she defends the thesis and its argument. The committee decides the examination outcome after a non-public discussion by vote.

Old accreditation: The three argument theses has to fit in the following areas (broadly conceived): history of philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of education and Comeniology. During the public examination, the candidate presents and discusses each thesis (state exam subjects: History of Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Education and Comeniology). See also here.

[CE: How to prepare an Argument thesis text: The Argument thesis is written as a structured text (you can use numbers, headings, subheadings, etc…). The PhD candidate formulates the problem concerned and, based on her own argument and consideration of relevant literature, she adopts her own position and states it clearly in the text together with the supporting argument or justification. The clear formulation of the philosophical problem, of possible solutions and of the candidate’s argument sets a foundation for discussion. That is how the candidates demonstrates the she acquired the relevant research skill. A mere general exposition of a topic (a textbook overview) is not admitted. The PhD candidate consults the Argument Theses with her supervisor and submits them to the Programme guarantor two weeks before the date of the State Doctoral Examination at the latest.]

Application: The student applies for the state doctoral exam on a typified form by the deadline scheduled by the study plan for the given academic year. The application includes the supervisor’s recommendation. The examination has to take place within three months from the receipt of the application.

For details see Study and Examination Regulations, Article 14: or contact ing. Němcová.


II. Dissertation Defence

The doctoral study is completed by a (successful) public dissertation defence, for which the doctoral student can enrol after fulfilling all the abovementioned obligations. Part of the application is a recommendation written by the supervisor that contains an assessment of the dissertation’s contribution to the subject field.

The members of the examination committee are nominated by the Dean of the Faculty (after the them being nominated by the programme guarantor and approved by the Subject Advisory Board). The examination committee nominates (in accordance with the UPa Study and Examination Regulations) two dissertation opponents that write the opponent reviews.

During the public defence, the doctoral student first presents her dissertation and its outcomes. After the presentation of the opponent’s reviews, she responds to the opponent’s objections and in the following discussion defends her dissertation thesis and answers the questions of the committee and the audience. The committee decides the defence outcome after a non-public discussion by secret vote.

Application: The PhD candidate applies for the Dissertation Defence on a typified form. The supervisor’s and Head of Department’s recommendation is part of the application. Together with the application he or she submits: 1. The manuscript of the dissertation in three copies in the prescribed formatting. 2. Five copies of the “theses of the dissertation” – dissertation summary written in English that contains the basic ideas, methods, results and conclusions of the dissertation in the extent of 20 standardized A5 print pages. [The UPa Printing services have special instructions about formatting, cover and binding.] 3. An overview of the PhD student's professional activities carried out during the study in the doctoral study programme, including the list of original and published results or papers accepted for publication, with evidence of their acceptance for publication or a list of the other works created and any expert feedback on the results of those works and works.

For details see Study and Examination Regulations, Article 16: or contact ing. Němcová.