UPM / IMDEA Software Institute Specialization Track in Software Development through Rigorous Methods (2017-2018)

The information that follows focuses on the RAs at the IMDEA Software Institute and is an extract of central information at UPM. PhD students who are not affiliated with the IMDEA Software Institute are strongly advised to check instead the central pages of the program and consult their advisers at UPM.

PhD program on Software, Systems, and Computing

Most IMDEA Software Institute research assistants who want to pursue a PhD are enrolled in the doctoral program Software, Systems, and Computing of the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). We give here a brief summary of the requirements and administrative steps in registering in the program and defending a PhD thesis in it. Details not provided here will be given as the process goes on. Please write us if you have doubts or questions.

Admission requirements

The admission is done in two steps: an application is first made to check that you meet all the requirements to enter the Masters program. Once the requirements are verified, you will receive a mail allowing you to proceed to the registration.

During the the application you will be required to upload some documents proving that you have a minimum of 300 ECTS in a higher education institution, of which at least 60 have to be at the level of Masters or equivalent. Other situations and access paths are possible; please check with us.

The main documents you will be required to upload for the application are:

  • Bachelor and Masters diplomas or an official proof that you have passed all the requirements necessary to obtain them.
  • A grade transcript of your previous degrees (at least Bachelor and Master) which makes it clear either the amount of ECTS you have studied (for Universities belonging to the European Higher Education Area, EHEA – see here the Wikipedia page) or the total amount of hours studied otherwise. They should also contain the maximum and minimum grades in your University's system and the number of semesters for each degree.
  • An official proof that your Master degree grants access to a PhD program in your original country.

Please get in contact with us as soon as possible to give you more details about the application procedure and to check that the documents that you have contain the required information. If they do not, you may have to request additional documentation from your Institution. This may long process and it depends exclusively on your Institution, so we will not be able to speed it up. Eventually, for non-EHEA Institutions, the documents will have to be legalized through the Hague Apostille or similar; there is some additional time to do this.

We will check your application before submitting it, so please let us know when you have filled in the information with time enough to review and correct it if necessary. Please forward us any mail / communication that you may receive from the University. It is very important that we monitor all the process to ensure that it goes smoothly. Please write us if you have any doubt.


Besides research duties, the DSSC program requires students to perform a series of activities aimed at providing some competences. These are normally short sessions focusing on well-defined outcomes.

PhD length and graduation requirements

According to current regulations, the expected length of a PhD is three years. This is probably not enough for many fields, so an additional year can be requested and yet another year can be requested in case of "extraordinary situations".

The graduation process involves several steps. A rough description of the most important ones is:

  • Having a PhD adviser at registration time. As an IMDEA Software Institute RA, you already have an adviser. Note that co-supervision is possible.
  • Writing and submitting a thesis progress report every year, which has to be validated by the thesis supervisor.
  • Making a preliminary defense of the thesis in front of a two-people local committee when the PhD thesis is close to be finished. The committee has to approve the thesis contents and the presentation to continue towards PhD completion.
  • Selecting the PhD board committee.
  • Registering for the thesis defense and submitting the thesis and additional documentation to the University.
  • Agreeing on a date for the defense of the thesis.
  • Defending the thesis.

A detailed guide is available in the central pages of the program. Some steps involve committees external to the Institute or require a minimum amount of time. We advise to plan at least four months between the preliminary thesis defense and the final thesis defense. Please write to graduate.school |at| software.imdea.org if in doubt.

Besides the administrative steps, for a thesis to be defended, UPM currently requires a paper accepted in a journal listed in the JCR catalog or a paper ranked in the A or A* category of CORE. The DSS program has already approved not requiring additional merits. The DSSC is in the process of approving them.


Availability of grants and internships

IMDEA Software offers internships and Masters / PhD grants. Please follow the previous links if you are interested.

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