Public examination

Whalmans hat with pins

Arrangement and costs of the public examination

The doctoral candidate must agree with the opponent and the custos on the time and venue of the public examination. The doctoral candidate, the dissertation supervisor and/or the staff of the candidate’s major subject are responsible for arranging the public examination and providing information on it.

The examination venue can be booked by contacting the facility booking service of the University of Helsinki Centre for Facilities and Properties. Contact information is available at Sufficient time must be factored in between the granting of permission for the public examination and the public examination itself, so that information about the dissertation can be distributed and the dissertation can be made available to the public.

The custos and the opponent are not obligated to agree to the arrangement of a public examination outside normal working hours. When deciding on the venue of the public examination, the additional costs relating to a distant location should be taken into account.

The Faculty does not grant funding to cover the costs of printing a dissertation or arranging a public examination. Doctoral candidates can apply to the university for a grant to cover the printing costs (intranet Flamma). They should agree on the distribution of other costs (including the travel costs of the Opponent) with their major subject and research group. The doctoral candidate’s department often pays the costs of renting a facility for the public examination. The candidate’s major subject and research group or graduate school/doctoral programme may also contribute.

The faculty pays the opponent’s fee and the pre-examiners’ fees. For the payment of these fees, the relevant form, together with the required enclosures, must be submitted to the Faculty Office.

Public examination

The custos supervises the public examination and ensures that the customs of the university and faculty are followed. The public examination begins with an introductory lecture (lectio praecursoria) by the doctoral candidate, which is then followed by the opponent’s comments and questions as well as the doctoral candidate’s responses. The duration of this examination may not exceed four hours. At the conclusion of the public examination, the opponent makes a final statement. Others present at the examination can then make comments or ask questions. The overall duration of the public examination may not exceed six hours. If the examination lasts longer than three hours, the custos must interrupt it for a break of a reasonable duration.

The language of the public examination is determined in advance by the custos after consulting the doctoral candidate and the opponent. The language of the public examination must be either Finnish or Swedish, or the language in which the doctoral dissertation was written. The examination may also be conducted in another language if the doctoral candidate agrees to this. The doctoral candidate and the opponent may also speak different languages at the public examination, if so agreed.

See also the general instructions of the University of Helsinki for the public examination.