When a person is awarded PhD there is a date the Phd is awarded. This date is later used as an eligibility criteria for fellowship applications (i.e., time passed since the Phd was awarded). In France, there is a PhD defense. Assuming that the defense was successful, is the date of PhD defense becomes a date of PhD award? Or there are additional procedures and the date of PhD award is usually later?


  • 1
    Do you have a date on your PhD certificate? That's it, I would say. But when in doubt, ask the fellowship. Jul 1, 2018 at 14:15
  • No experience with France, but I would be surprised if there was nothing like "[Researcher] (...) has been awarded the degree of Doctor of [discipline] (...) on [date]" - at least it's on my diploma.
    – user68958
    Jul 1, 2018 at 14:43
  • my question was: suppose someone has a planned defense for some date, will the date of the PhD be the defense date? Jul 1, 2018 at 16:44
  • If it can ease your mind: every single time there was a restriction on the date of the PhD for some procedure in France, they explicitly asked "day of the defense", not "day of the award" or something else. There are some procedures after the defense, but they are not important in that regard.
    – user9646
    Jul 2, 2018 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


The date the PhD is awarded is almost always the date of the defense in France (and it is usually the date of the defense that counts for France-specific deadlines, such as qualification, post-doctoral scholarships or PhD awards). The only exception I am aware of is if the PhD is not awarded on the day of the defense (very rare, but it can of course happen!).

Note that the diploma is not typically issued on that day (and, indeed, may take months to be issued), but that it is possible to get a certificate the day itself or in the next few days. Graduate schools are aware of typical deadlines and typically help the student obtain this certificate by these deadlines.

  • An important document is the "defense report" (rapport de soutenance), signed by all the members of the jury and attesting that you got the PhD (+ comments on your defense/thesis). You get it on the day of the defense and it's good enough for any administrative procedure, usually.
    – user9646
    Jul 2, 2018 at 7:39

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