Defense and 4th year

PhD defense and 4th year

A PhD lasts 3 years. Hence you must defend your thesis before the end of your 36th month of doctoral contract. If this is not possible you must request an authorization, and register for a 4th year. However, each university has its own rules. This is what we know at mid-September 2017.

Legal year

  • The begining of the legal year has shifted to the 1st of September. However, most universities extend the duration of the previous year up to the 30th of September. Registration is required, for all years, from these dates:
  • PSL/OP: 1st October
  • UPSaclay: 1st September
  • SU: 1st October
  • USPC/P7: 1st October

4th year registration

Whatever this date, registration rules depend on the university. You may benefit from a "light" registration or a full fledge one.

  • PSL/OP:
  • Full fledge registration for all defenses after the 2nd of October.
  • Specific authorisation and a proof of funding until the defense are required.
  • You may be refunded of part of the fees after the defense.
  • UPSaclay:
  • Defense before the 31st of December: "light" registration. (in French)
  • Defense after the 31st of December: full fledge registration. (in French)
  • See the document on registration. The English version predates the new "arrêté", and is probably obsolete. It may help as a database for the french administrative language, but you should check the more recent French version.
  • SU:
  • See the informations.
  • Defense before the 15th of December: "light" registration - No fees.
  • Defense after the 15th of December: full fledge registration.
  • USPC/P7
  • Defense before the 30th of November: "light" registration - No fees.
  • ("Le prolongement de l’inscription universitaire de deux mois, soit du 1er octobre au 30 novembre pour les doctorants en troisième année est autorisé sous conditions d’une soutenance de thèse avant le 30 novembre 2017. Le doctorant effectuera son inscription administrative avec dérogation mais n’acquittera pas les droits de scolarité.")
  • Defense after the 30th of November: full fledge registration.
  • Specific authorisation and a proof of funding until the defense are required.
  • See the help file prepared by Clément Perrot (in French).


  • December 8th: Congratulations to Camille Gennet (AIM) and Eduardo Vitral (IAP) elected PhD student representatives for two years. Great thanks to Nicolas Dagoneau and Elena Bellomi for their service to the doctoral school.
  • December 4th: The 2020 Elbereth conference will take place on February 26th-18th at IAP.
  • November 25th: The PhD advisors are invited to submit their PhD projects from their ADUM account before February 2nd.
  • October 11th: Congratulations to Océane Barraud and Nicolas Oudart, first and second prize of the contest my thesis in 5 minutes from the French Association for Astronomy
  • October 4th, 2019: Kick-off for the 2019-2020 year of the doctoral school in Meudon Observatory. Foreign students are expected at 10am for a special meeting. General meeting at 2pm.
  • September 1st, 2019: Registration at PSL University are now done online only. PhD students must fill in their registration on ADUM, PhD advisors and Lab Heads validate on ADUM only. No more papers to be signed.