You're about to graduate. That means there’s a lot to be arranged. The university expects you to take certain steps, as does your faculty and/or institute. Your faculty has various regulations and procedures in place that you need to follow carefully when arranging your graduation.
Steps towards graduation
Graduation means there’s a lot to be arranged. Below you will find a general overview of the steps to be taken. Make sure to first read the information provided by your faculty and department, as regulations and procedures can vary.
- You receive the final grade needed to fulfil your examination requirements.
- You request graduation: look under the faculty/study programme tab to find out exactly what steps your programme requires you to take to arrange graduation. You may receive a message from uSis entitled ‘You can graduate’. This message will explain the options available if you wish to delay graduation.
- Your student registration will not automatically be cancelled when you graduate. You have to cancel your registration yourself via Studielink. However de-registration is not compulsory if you have a reason for not wishing to do so. Make sure to carefully read the information on de-registering or re-registering.
Requesting postponement of graduation
If you receive a message from uSis entitled ‘You can graduate’, but you don’t yet want to graduate because you are taking additional courses or an internship that you want to be mentioned on your final transcript, you can request postponement of graduation. Look under your faculty or study programme tab for more information.
Conditions of postponement
The maximum duration of postponement you can request is until you have been registered on your study programme for the official programme duration plus one additional year. For Bachelor’s programmes this is 3+1 years, for most Master’s programmes this is 1+1 year. If you are more than a year behind in your studies your request will not be granted.
Official regulations on postponing graduation
The regulations and agreements concerning the postponement of graduation have been laid down by Leiden University Executive Board in the Leiden University Regulations on Postponing Graduation.
During the year, if you want to graduate, you have to inform the Science Student Administration at least 5 weeks before you get your last grade (last examination or graduation interview). You can do this via e-mail or in person at the Science Student Administration.
In the Summer Period the processing time is longer, because of the amounts of graduation requests. Therefore, if you want to graduate in Summer it is safe to inform the Science Student Administration two months in advance.
At that time, not all grades are expected to be registered in uSis. But you can already check whether all the grades that are in your course history are also visible in your academic requirements.
Ensure that your academic requirements are properly processed as quickly as possible. You can read how to do this under 'Academic requirements in uSis'. You can also consult uSis-Help, where necessary.
Don’t forget to de-register via Studielink if you have fully completed your studies and will no longer be studying.
If you decide to take a Master’s degree after your Bachelor’s, you also have to register via Studielink for this Master’s degree programme.
Some Study Programmes have specific information. If so, you see a studyprogramme TAB. Check the information there.
The following is general information.
If you want to start your master study at the 1st of September, you have to finish your bachelor study by the end of august. You must then follow the graduation process mentioned below:
The deadline for registration is 1st July.
When you register at the Science Student Administration, please hand in a graduation programme, that is signed for agreement by the Exam Committee.
At that time not all grades have to be known in uSis, but ensure that your academic requirements in uSis are properly processed as soon as possible and certainly by 15th July at the latest.
Make sure that your final grade, after finishing the course has been handed in to the Science Student Administration as soon as possible. It is you own responsibility to check this! Don’t assume that your lecturer will hand in your grade!
For some degree programmes there are chances to take a last-minute re-sit. If you still have to obtain your very last grade in the last week, the Science Student Administration staff will take this into account. Let them know your plans and schedule when you register for graduation.
If you do not want to graduate yet, you can request postponement of graduation at the exam board of your institute. To do this, you can use the webform.
The Board of Examiners shall accommodate the request if the student has been enrolled in the programme for which the request has been submitted for no longer than the duration of studies plus one year. If you have already passed this duration your request will most likely not be approved.
If you want to graduate in the summer, the following process applies. This helps to spread the work load for the student administration department.
The deadline for registration is 1st July.
When you register at the Science Student Administration, please hand in a graduation programme, that is signed for agreement by the Exam Committee. At that time not all grades have to be known in uSis, but ensure that your academic requirements in uSis are properly processed as soon as possible and certainly by 15th July at the latest.
Make sure that your final grade, after finishing the course has been handed in to the Science Student Administration as soon as possible. It is you own responsibility to check this! Don’t assume that your lecturer will hand in your grade! For some degree programmes there are chances to take a last-minute re-sit. If you still have to obtain your very last grade in the last week, theate Science Student Administration staff will take this into account. Let them know your plans and schedule when you register for graduation.
The “Academic Requirements” section in uSis describes which programme you need to follow in order to pass in accordance with the OER (Course and Examination Regulations). Only when your course history appears under “academic requirements” can a diploma and the respective Diploma Supplement be prepared.
Under “academic requirements” you will see the compulsory subjects on your curriculum and also a number of the most popular elective subjects.
However, as there are so many elective subjects available, not all of the subjects that you can take have been named. To obtain permission for one of these elective subjects you have to submit a petition request to the Board of Examiners. For students nearing graduation, you could consider the following two scenarios:
- In the past you have already obtained permission for a subject. In this case, hand in proof of this permission to the Science Student Administration. The Science Student Administration staff will make sure that this permission is processed in uSis;
- You don’t yet have permission from the Board of Examiners to take a subject. In this case you should submit a petition request as shown under Electives.
When your grade for the approved elective subject is determined in uSis, it will appear under your academic requirements and you will be a step closer to graduation. Do you still have questions about any of the above? Then send an e-mail to your study advisor (if it is about the contents of the subjects or your programme) or firstname.lastname@example.org (if it is a question about uSis).
The official rules concerning graduation can be found on the university website.
Master exam procedure
The various phases of the final research project that lead up to the award of the MSc degree are outlined below.
Research and thesis preparation
The first step is to find an examiner of the Mathematical Institute (typically, a postdoc or an assistant/associate/full professor, but exceptions can be made by the Board of Examiners) who is willing to act as the main thesis advisor. If necessary, a second advisor can also be appointed, who need not be an examiner (for example, if the project involves an internship or an external researcher).
After the advisor(s) have been found, please complete the ‘Master Thesis Check-In’ form on the Brightspace page of the MSc program.
The candidate works together with the advisor(s) on a research project within the broad area of mathematics. The results of this research are presented in the form of a thesis that is written in English, unless the Board of Examiners allows another language.
If the thesis is to be prepared within the framework of an internship, at the beginning of the project the main thesis advisor must make an arrangement with the enterprise or organisation in the case that the project will involve confidential information. In particular, it must be guaranteed that the project can lead to a scientific talk and a thesis that are suitable for public presentation, while still containing enough material to demonstrate the mathematical quality of the work.
The thesis should be worth 40 EC for the applied math and algebra/geometry/number theory specializations. For the other specializations it must be worth either 20(+), 30 or 40 EC, as specified in the appendices to the Course and Examination Regulations of the year in which you started your MSc program. Please note that the information in this document does not cover the European ALGANT programme, where the thesis is worth 34 EC.
Towards the end of the project a thesis committee will be formed, which will assess the execution of the research, the thesis, the scientific talk and the defense. It is the responsibility of the main thesis advisor to assemble this committee, with the exception of the chairperson who is appointed by the Board of Examiners from among its members. The thesis committee consists of at least three members, including the main thesis advisor, but excluding the chairperson. At least two of the members (excluding the chairperson) are examiners (typically, scientific staff members of the Mathematical Institute that hold a PhD, contact the Board of Examiners for possible exceptions or clarifications). If the thesis was written within the framework of an internship, the external advisor is also asked to become a member of the committee. At least one of the members of the committee (excluding the chairperson) must not have been involved in any part of the research and writing process.
The scientific talk is an integral part of the research project and must have taken place before the final exam can proceed. It is highly recommended to schedule this talk at least one week in advance of the final exam, but the board of examiners can grant an exception if this does not turn out to be feasible due to exceptional circumstances. The scientific talk has a length of 45 minutes (excluding questions) and should be suitable for an audience that has a general mathematical background in the field of the thesis topic. The members of the thesis committee (excluding the chair) should be present during the talk.
Five weeks before intended exam date
Once the main thesis advisor has certified that the master thesis meets the requirements for the exam, the candidate informs the secretary of the Board of Examiners about the intent to graduate. This should be done at least 5 weeks before the intended date of the exam, see the Science tab for further details. Please apply by June 1st for exams in July and August in order to allow extra time to account for the various holiday schedules.
If all the requirements are met, the Board of Examiners approves the exam. The main thesis advisor then consults with the candidate and the thesis committee to schedule dates and times for the scientific talk and the final exam. In practice, the chairperson is often appointed after these dates have been set.
Two weeks before scheduled exam date
The candidate prepares the final version of the thesis, including a title page that contains the following items:
name of author
title of thesis
name of thesis advisor(s)
date of the exam
logo of the university
"Master thesis, Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden"
The candidate delivers an electronic version (in pdf-format) to the main supervisor. The main supervisor sends this version to the thesis committee, including the chair. The chairperson uses an appropriate software package to confirm that the thesis is free from plagiarism. The date, time, location and title of the scientific talk are publicly announced by the main supervisor.
One week before scheduled exam date
The date, time and location of the final exam are publicly announced by the secretary of the Board of Examiners. As discussed above, it is highly recommended that the scientific talk takes place at least one week before the defense, but in all cases it must have taken place before the final exam can commence.
Protocol of the final exam
The exam takes place in the room reserved for it, and is publicly accessible, in particular for friends and relatives of the candidate.
The chairperson asks the candidate to explain the contents of the thesis in a lay-person’s talk of approximately 15 minutes.
The members of the thesis committee subsequently ask the candidate several questions about the thesis. After this, the committee adjourns for deliberation and decides on the final grade.
Back in the room the chairperson announces the overall grade with which the exam has been passed. One of the advisors gives a short personal speech.
After the exam
The main supervisor delivers an electronic version of the thesis (in pdf-format) to the education coordinator for publication in the online repository of the university library.
Some time after the ceremony the candidate will receive an email that the diploma is ready to be picked up at the Science Student Administration (SSA). The candidate will have to sign for receipt of the diploma.