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General Rules

The PhD programme consists in three/four years of study and research. 
The main selection procedure consists in an entrance examination. This is divided into two parts: in the written part applicants are asked to solve problems from a list given by the entrance committee. The oral exam consists in a discussion on the written test, on the topics studied in the univerisity curriculum, and possibly on the applicant's thesis for the university degree or on other scientific achievements. The applicant's scientific qualifications and references are also taken into account.
Non-EU citizens may be admitted on the sole basis of their previous scientific activity, publications, and references, in a pre-selection procedure. They have to pass a "Qualifying Examination" at the end of their first year.
Student may choose among different plans of study oriented to the different fields covered by their PhD course. In the first month of the PhD programme, the faculty approves the individual plans of study, taking into account the scientific interests of the students and the skills already acquired in the previous university studies. 
In the first year, students attend both basic and more advanced courses. To be admitted to the second year they are required to pass the examinations of the courses included in their plan of study. Students are invited to attend, without examinations, also some courses in fields different from those of their plan of study.
At the end of the first year students start a research project, under the supervision of a faculty member or of an external collaborator approved by the faculty, in one of the research fields of the PhD programme. 
During the second and third year students work for their research projects, participate in the seminar activities of the PhD programme, and attend some courses. Examinations have to be passed only by students who worked in their first year in a different PhD programme.
Students obtain the PhD degree after submitting their PhD thesis and defending it in front of an examination committee, whose members include SISSA staff members and international experts in the field. SISSA PhD in one of the courses of Mathematics Area is by law equivalent to the Italian degree of “Dottore di Ricerca in Matematica”.



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