PhD Program - General Information

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Admission to the Ph.D. courses

Admission to the Ph.D. courses takes place through a selection based on academic qualifications and a public examination (see Entrance Exam). Non-EU students unable to attend the admission exam can be evaluated by means of a Spring Pre-selection based on academic and scientific qualifications only (see Preselection Application for Non European Candidates). The Admissions Committee for the entrance examination must be composed by at least three members: two Faculty Members (including the head of the Ph.D. program) and one member from another institution.

General Rules

The academic and research activity of each Ph.D. student is monitored by the Faculty Members of the Sector in charge of each Ph.D. program. The members are communicated to the Director of SISSA by the Head of the Ph.D. program at the beginning of each academic year. Students entering a Ph.D. program will be assigned a scientific project and will follow directions from a supervisor. Each scientific project is expected to be feasible within three or four years. SISSA is expected to provide the appropriate scientific environment in terms of space, facilities and scientific supervision. Students will receive a handout with the rules at the beginning of their Ph.D. course.

For more information, take a look at the website of the PhD you are interested in:


The teaching activity of the Ph.D. program is organized into courses and seminars held by internal and external lecturers. All the students admitted to the Ph.D. program follow general courses that are common to all curricula. Topical courses specific to each curriculum are also organized. The number of curricula that can be followed and their topics depends specifically on each Ph.D. course.


Each student, according to the chosen curriculum, starts a research project under the supervision of a Faculty Member. The designated supervisor must be approved by the Council of the Area the student has joined. The supervisor may request that a student carries out part of his/her research in another institute, and/or under the joint supervision of a researcher not belonging to the Faculty. Besides the scientific supervisor, each student may have up to two tutors, which will help him/her in case of possible problems either scientific or related to everyday life at SISSA.