- Minimum duration
The minimum duration of doctoral studies is two years. Therefore, to initiate proceedings for the defence of the thesis, you must have been enrolled in at least two academic years and have been favourably evaluated at least twice.
Exceptionally, in the case of doctoral students governed by previous regulations, subject to authorisation by the vice-rector, earlier enrolments will be taken into account and only a favourable assessment of the doctoral activity document and the research plan will be required.
- Maximum duration
Article 3 of Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, states that the maximum duration of doctoral studies is three years full-time from the date of the first enrolment to the programme to submission of the doctoral thesis. If the student fails to apply to submit the thesis within this period of three years, the academic committee responsible for the programme may authorise an extension for a further year and, exceptionally, for an additional year.
With the permission of the academic committee responsible for the programme, students may pursue doctoral studies part time. In this case the studies may have a maximum duration of five years from the date of the first enrolment to the programme to submission of the thesis. For part-time studies an extension may be authorised for a further two years and, exceptionally, for an additional year.
For the purposes of calculating the minimum academic progress requirements, leave of absence due to illness, pregnancy or any other reason prescribed by the regulations is not taken into account.
Doctoral students may also apply for voluntary leave of absence from the programme for a maximum period of one year, extendable to an additional year. At the time when the student decides to return to the programme, they must initiate the process to resume the doctoral studies.
- Deadlines for the doctoral thesis defence
Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programmes under Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October:
- Doctoral students who completed the first enrolment from 11 February 2011 have until 29 September 2017 to defend the thesis (First Transitory Provision, Point 3, of the Academic and Doctoral Enrolment Regulations for the 2016-17 academic year).