For students that have started their studies in 2021 or later the graduation phase consists of two formal parts:

  1. a graduation preparation phase to prepare your graduation project
  2. your graduation project.

Students starting in 2020 or earlier do not have a preparation phase. If you have started prior to September 2021 please see the graduation checklist CSE/DSiE/IST for forms and procedures.

Prior to starting the final graduation phase you have completed your orientation and decided with what cluster you would like to graduate. We ask you to consult with the cluster contact on your intended study program to see if it matches their requirements. You can find tips on composing your study program on the page of the research clusters below.

Before starting your preparation phase you should first choose and consult the intended graduation project supervisor as they will also supervise your preparation phase. As graduation project supervisors can act assistant professors, associate professors and full professors from the relevant research clusters depicted below:

If you are in doubt how to choose the graduation supervisor please consider contacting your Teacher Coach

You need permission to start your preparation phase. To obtain permission you fill out form 2: start preparation phase. This form also contains an updated version of your individual study program and needs to be cosigned by your intended supervisor - see page preparation phase for more information. When filling out your forms and indicating your intended cluster for graduation please use the codes in the overview above. For Data & Artificial Intelligence, SPOR and Discrete Mathematics please indicate the research group withing the cluster.


During the master project, you should be able to work and concentrate on your project full-time. In practice, however, it turns out to be rather difficult to plan all your curricular activities and, especially, their success. If all courses have been completed, permission to start the master project will be granted. If more than two courses or 10 credit points (whichever is lower) have not been completed, such permission will not be granted. In other cases (no more than two courses or 10 credit points not yet completed) it depends on the status of the uncompleted courses whether permission to start the master project will be granted, and if so, whether it is feasible to work on the project full time. Courses that are to be taken as homologation units must be completed and passed before you are allowed to start the master project. Also, be aware that you are not allowed to finish your project (with presentation and defense) before you have completed all your courses. So do not be too optimistic in doing courses and project together, because it may harm both. For more information, please contact the study advisor. 


Together with your supervisor, you decide on a description of your topic and a global planning. You also arrange the supervision method, including how often you and your supervisor will meet to discuss progress (at least biweekly). Both of you are responsible for the progress, and the supervisor can be expected to give regular feedback. After one month, you should make sure to have a more clear schedule for structure, content, and phasing of the project. The project is concluded with a thesis and a presentation followed by a defense. The thesis should be handed in to assessment committee three weeks before the defense (although in practice, this period may be shorter). It is advisable to do a midterm presentation to show content and progress to a wider audience.

In general, the master project should be completed within 6 months from the start. An extension to 9 months is possible. In exceptional cases, and only if it is clear that the project can be finished, the exam committee may allow for an additional 3 months period. It is important to note that the project must be finished within 1 year. A project not finished within 1 year is automatically cancelled and graded as ”fail”. You then have to start a new project with a different supervisor. The complete graduation regulations can be found on the website. 


Your final project is graded by an assessment committee. The committee usually consists of your supervisor, a staff member from your specialization area, and a staff member from one of the other CS research groups. The supervisor is responsible for forming this committee at least one month before graduation. 

The assessment committee takes the following criteria into account: 

Results: Significance of the results versus difficulty of the problem or project goals.

Report: Structure, completeness, correctness, readability, argumentation. 

Graduation presentation: Structure,contents, clarity, contact with audience.

Defense: Argumentation, demonstration of knowledge, competency in discerning main aspects from details of the project.

Execution of the project: Level of independence, planning, organization, handling deadlines and setbacks, level of own contribution.

The actual assessment form used by the committee has a more fine-grained list of criteria for evaluating the work. Not all criteria are equally important. The assessment committee decides the relative importance of each criterion to arrive at a final grade. The motivation for the grade is documented in an assessment report, see the website. 

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