First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague Charles University in Prague

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1. A precondition for admission to a doctoral state examination is a successful completion of PhD student’s individual study plan, which must, among other things, include the following:

a) certificate of attending at least two courses (one of which is usually taken at a university abroad);
b) successfully passing an English language exam;
c) co-authorship (or first authorship) of at least one impacted publication;
d) if required by the Field Board, a PhD student must also present an overview of literature, i.e. a text which describes and critically evaluates the current state of knowledge in the particular area of science that is pertinent to the thesis. Knowledge gained by the study of relevant literature helps students formulate scientific hypotheses and questions relevant to their confirmation or rejection. The text ought to include a hypothesis and partial goals that need to be achieved to confirm it. This overview of relevant literature should be 15 to 20 pages long.

2. Unless the Code of Studies and Examinations stipulates otherwise, doctoral state examination takes place prior to PhD thesis defence. Dates of examinations are announced by the dean based on Field Board’s proposal and they are published on the official board of the faculty at least one month prior to the date of doctoral state examinations.

3. The chairperson and members of a committee for doctoral state examination are appointed by the dean of the faculty after a discussion with the Field Board. During the examination, at least five members of the committee must be present. Either the thesis supervisor or a consultant (neither of whom may be, however, appointed by the chair of the committee) are usually included in the committee. At least one member of the committee must be a person who is not member of the academic community of the faculty at which the PhD student is registered.

4. The examination is oral and public.

5. The examination committee discusses the outcome of the examination in a closed session immediately following the examination and decision about the outcome is taken by a non-public vote decided by majority of committee members present. If the vote is indecisive (equal number votes for and against), the vote of committee chairperson decides. The outcome of examination is expressed by classification ‘passed’ or ‘did not pass’.

6. Examination and its outcome are recorded and the record is signed by the chairperson and all members of the examination committee present. Immediately after the closed session of the examination committee, its chairperson announces the outcome of the examination to the PhD student and records the outcome in the student’s record of studies (‘index’). The chair of the committee then sends the record of the examination to the relevant department of Dean’s Office.

7. Doctoral state examinations usually take place within 2 months of lodging a written application, which is submitted to the Field Board via the relevant department of the Dean’s Office.

8. A PhD student can retake a doctoral state exam only once.

9. The dean may, based on PhD student’s written application and recommendation of the Field Board, recognise that some study requirements have been met (for instance those pertaining to exam in English language) if the student had, within the past ten years, met a similar study obligation at a university or another institute of higher learning in the Czech Republic or abroad. A doctoral state examination taken at another university or institution cannot, however, be recognised.

The procedure of registering for a doctoral state examination is described here.


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