The organization of the doctoral studies

General information regarding the doctoral studies

Doctoral studies represent the third cycle of studies offered by Babeş-Bolyai University with the purpose of expanding knowledge through original scientific research. They allow the acquisition of a level 8 qualification according to The European Qualifications Framework and to The National Qualifications Framework.

Doctoral studies are organized by the Babeş-Bolyai University’s Institute for Doctoral Studies as stipulated by the

Doctoral studies are organized in the form of full time studies, and in the form of part time studies. The doctoral student’s required effective attendance can differ from one doctoral school to another, and from one doctoral student to another. It is decided by the doctoral supervisor on the basis of the doctoral studies program nature, and in accordance with the provisions of the doctoral school regulation.

The programs of doctoral studies are organized with state budget financing, with self-financing or based on other legally constituted sources. The state budget doctoral grants which finance the full time positions also include a monthly scholarship, and those for part time positions do not comprise a scholarship. An individual could benefit from state budget financing for only one program of doctoral studies.

There are two types of doctoral studies programs:

  1. Scientific doctorate.

    It aims to produce original scientific knowledge, with international relevance, based on scientific methods. It is a prerequisite for professional career in higher education and research. Subsequent to finalizing the scientific doctorate studies, Babeş-Bolyai University confers the diploma and the title of doctor in sciences, with the corresponding acronym Dr. The diploma certifying the obtaining and possession of this title explicitly specifies the doctorate’s disciplinary or interdisciplinary field.

  2. Professional doctorate, in the fields of arts or sport

    It aims to produce original knowledge, through the use of scientific methods and the systematic reflection upon artistic creations or upon international and national high level sport performances. It could be a basis for professional career in higher education and research in the fields of arts and sport. Subsequent to finalizing the professional doctorate studies, Babeş-Bolyai University confers the diploma and the title of doctor in a professional field, with the corresponding acronym Dr. P. The diploma certifying the obtaining and possession of the title of doctor in a professional field explicitly specifies the doctorate’s professional field.Scientific doctorate studies can be carried out in the fields of arts and sport if the research subjects are circumscribed by the provisions of point a).

The doctoral studies of a doctoral student are planned for a period of 3 academic years (each composed of 2 academic semesters) and comprise:

  1. a training program based on advanced academic studies, carried out in a doctoral school and composed of activities performed in institutionalized study groups;
  2. an individual program of scientific research/artistic creation.

The doctoral studies end with the public defense of an original paper, called doctoral thesis, which is the result of the research activity or artistic creation carried out by the doctoral student during his/her doctoral studies. The title of doctor is granted or not granted on the basis of the doctoral thesis and its public defense.

Doctoral studies are carried out on the basis of a

  • doctoral studies contract

signed by the doctoral student, his/her doctoral supervisor, and by the Babeş-Bolyai University legal representatives. The doctoral studies can be interrupted under the following circumstances: for medical reasons, for maternity leave, and for other serious reasons. Any interruption of the doctoral program has to begin on the first day of an academic semester and has to end on the last day of an academic semester; this way, the period of interruption would comprise a full number of academic semesters. The cumulated length of all periods of interruption granted to a doctoral student is 6 academic semesters at the most. The interruptions are approved by the director of the doctoral studies council, at the request of the doctoral student, with the consent of the doctoral supervisor, and with the endorsement of the doctoral school council.

Admission to doctoral studies

The admission to doctoral studies is made on the basis of an annual contest organized by Babeş-Bolyai University, through the Institute for Doctoral Studies. The annual contest usually takes place before the beginning of the academic year. Only the holders of a master degree diploma or of an equivalent diploma have the right to participate in the admission contest. The registration for the admission contest for doctoral studies can be done regardless of the field in which the candidate obtained the Bachelor or the Master degree diploma.

When registering for the admission contest, the doctoral studies candidate chooses a doctoral supervisor, out of those Babeş-Bolyai University doctoral supervisors offering doctoral student positions for the admission contest, and competes for occupying a position offered by that particular doctoral supervisor. The doctoral supervisor will coordinate the doctoral studies of the successful candidate within the doctoral school the supervisor has tenure. During the doctoral studies, the doctoral student is also supported by a guidance committee composed of 3 additional members of the teaching or research staff from Babeş-Bolyai University, holding the title of doctor and at least the function of academic lecturer or level III scientific researcher. The composition of the guidance committee is decided by the doctoral supervisor, following the consultation with the doctoral student, no later than 30 days from the date of the doctoral student’s enrollment.

Regardless of the field of study, the admission contest to doctoral studies comprises at least two tests:

  1. a written specialty test, based on themes made public by the doctoral supervisor at least two months prior to the date of the admission contest;
  2. an interview analyzing the scientific/artistic activities of the candidate, his/her aptitudes for research/artistic creation and the theme proposed for the doctoral thesis.

Other tests (even eliminatory tests) could be included in the admission contest, depending on the field nature, at the request of the tenured doctoral supervisors and with the agreement of the doctoral school council.

The training program based on advanced academic studies

This program is meant for enriching the doctoral student’s knowledge and would help the development in good conditions of the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation, and would contribute to the acquisition of advanced competencies specific to the cycle of doctoral studies. Within the training program based on advanced academic studies, the doctoral student participates in the activities of 3-4 doctoral courses during the first year of doctoral studies.

The doctoral student’s training program based on advanced academic studies will comprise courses chosen by the doctoral supervisor, together with the doctoral student and the doctoral school council. These courses can be chosen from the courses offered by the doctoral school the doctoral student belongs to, or from the courses offered by another doctoral school from Babeş-Bolyai University, but all courses have to be offered in the same academic semester.

Each course taken by the doctoral student could end with an examination, but the examination is not mandatory for the doctoral student. If the doctoral student wishes to be examined, he/she would ask in writing the director of the doctoral school to name an examination commission and to assign an examination date, within the examination sessions established by the faculties. The examination result is appreciated with one of the following qualifications: Very good, Good, Sufficient or Insufficient. The result of the examination can condition neither the doctoral student’s program of doctoral studies, nor his/her financing.

The doctoral student will receive a participation certificate for each course attended at Babeş-Bolyai University, within the training program based on advanced academic studies. If the doctoral student sat for the course examination, the certificate would mention the obtained qualification.

The individual program of scientific research/artistic creation

The main objective of this program is the elaboration of the doctoral thesis by the doctoral student. The program is planned for the whole period of doctoral studies. The doctoral supervisor holds the responsibility for the structure, content, organization and carrying out of the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation. This program involves the doctoral student’s participation in one or more scientific/artistic projects established by the doctoral supervisor.

Three oral presentations in front of the doctoral supervisor and the guidance committee will be planned within the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation, to assure a coherent scientific/artistic creation program of the doctoral student:

  1. in the 1st year of doctoral studies, the doctoral student presents the scientific research/ artistic creation project for the doctoral thesis elaboration;
  2. in the 2nd and 3rd year of doctoral studies, the doctoral student presents research reports/artistic creation reports regarding his/her progress in the scientific research/artistic creation and the results of this activity.

Following each presentation, an official report will be written, recording the main observations and recommendations addressed by the doctoral supervisor and by the members of the guidance committee.

Besides these planned presentations, the doctoral student has the obligation to present activity reports to his/her doctoral supervisor and to the guidance committee as many times as he/she may be requested.

The details of the training program based on advanced academic studies and those of the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation are recorded in an

Individual Curriculum

drafted by the doctoral supervisor and the doctoral student. This Curriculum is subject to approval by the doctoral school council and is submitted to the secretary’s office of the Institute for Doctoral Studies no later than 30 days from the date fixed by the Babeş-Bolyai University Senate as enrollment date for doctoral students admitted through the admission contest. The Individual Curriculum is an annex to the doctoral studies contract.

The doctoral student who has finalized his/her doctoral thesis will hand in copies of it to his/her doctoral supervisor and to the members of the guidance committee, for a specialized evaluation. The organization of the public defense of the doctoral thesis can be initiated only after the doctoral supervisor and the members of the guidance committee have given their written consent for the public defense.

The public defense of the doctoral thesis

With the view of the public defense of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral supervisor proposes a committee of specialists, called doctoral committee. It is composed of a president, the doctoral supervisor, and at least 3 official reviewers, only one of them being from Babeş-Bolyai University. Following the approval of this committee by the doctoral school council and its validation by the director of the doctoral studies council, the doctoral supervisor and each official reviewer would draft a doctoral thesis evaluation report, within 30 days from the date the doctoral thesis was received for evaluation.

The organization of the public defense of the doctoral thesis can be initiated by the secretary’s office of the Institute for Doctoral Studies only after receiving all doctoral thesis evaluation reports. It is subject to approval by the director of the doctoral studies council. Subsequent to the approval of the public defense, the doctoral supervisor communicates to the secretary’s office of the Institute for Doctoral Studies his/her proposal regarding the date, hour and place for the public defense session. There has to be at least a 15-day period between the date of the public defense approval, and the date of the public defense session. The public defenses of the doctoral theses are made public in the section Susţinerile publice ale tezelor de doctorat on the Institute for Doctoral Studies’ web page.

The session for the public defense of the doctoral thesis is led by the president of the doctoral committee and is carried out as follows:

  1. the doctoral student presents the content of the doctorate thesis;
  2. the doctoral supervisor and the official reviewers read their evaluation reports;
  3. the president of the doctoral committee presents the opinions submitted in writing to him/her by specialists who read the thesis or its summary, prior to the public defense;
  4. the doctoral thesis is debated, during which the members of the doctoral committee and the public ask the doctoral student questions.

The doctoral thesis debate (called in other countries defense / défense / Verteidigung / megvédés) is mandatory and will be recorded in the session report. It has to be the central point of the public defense of the doctoral thesis, aiming at highlighting the doctoral student’s knowledge in the field of the tackled theme, and the thesis’ original elements.

On the basis of the public defense of the doctoral thesis and taking into account the evaluation reports, the doctoral commission will deliberate on the qualification to be granted to the doctoral thesis. Each member of the commission grants a qualification. The available qualifications are: Excellent, Very good, Good, Sufficient or Insufficient. The qualification voted by the absolute majority of the commission members becomes the decision of the whole commission.

If the doctoral student fulfilled all requirements of the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation and the doctoral thesis received one of the qualifications Excellent, Very good, Good, or Sufficient, the doctoral commission will propose granting the doctor title. This proposal is forwarded for validation to the National Council for Attestation of Academic Titles, Diplomas and Certificates (CNATDCU) through the Institute for Doctoral Studies. If the Insufficient qualification was granted, the doctoral commission will specify the content elements of the doctoral thesis which have to be redone or completed. The doctoral thesis will be publicly re-defended in front of the same doctoral commission within a timeframe fixed by the commission. If the doctoral commission grants again the Insufficient qualification following the second defense, the title of doctor won’t be granted and the doctoral student will be expelled.

The title of Doctor is granted through an order of the ministry of education, research, youth and sport, subsequent to the thesis validation by the CNATDCU. On the basis of this order, Babeş-Bolyai University issues the Doctor’s diploma.

The extension of doctoral studies

In special situations, when a doctoral student fulfilled the obligations from the training program based on advanced academic studies and those from the individual program of scientific research/artistic creation, but didn’t finalize the doctoral thesis during the period of 6 academic semesters starting from the enrollment date, plus the interruption periods granted in accordance with the Babeş-Bolyai University Regulation regarding the organization and the carrying out of the doctoral studies, the doctoral supervisor can request an extension of doctoral studies with 2 or 4 academic semesters, within the limits of the available funds and with the approval of the doctoral school council. The extension can be granted only one time. The extension request is submitted to the secretary’s office of the Institute for Doctoral Studies by the doctoral supervisor and will be subject to approval by the Babeş-Bolyai University Senate. An additional act to the doctoral studies contract will be signed for the period of extension of doctoral studies, and for each period of interruption of doctoral studies.

If the doctoral student doesn’t succeed in finalizing or publicly defending the doctoral thesis within the timeframe fixed by the contract of doctoral studies and its potential additional acts, he/she benefits of a grace period of maximum 2 years to finalize and publicly defend the thesis; exceeding this time limit would automatically lead to his/her expulsion.

Particular obligations for tuition paying doctoral students

The Senate of Babeş-Bolyai University establishes, for each academic year, an annual study fee and the doctoral thesis defense fee, on the basis of the faculty councils’ proposals. These fees are made public before the announcement of the admission contest for that academic year. The fees are collected by the faculties.

For the period of doctoral studies, with the exception of the possible periods of interruption, and with the exception of the possible grace period, the tuition paying doctoral student must pay, under conditions set by the University Senate:

  1. the study fee for each academic semester, including the semester the public defense of the doctoral thesis falls in;
  2. the fee for the defense of the doctoral thesis.

The period of doctoral studies is the period between the enrollment date and the date of the public defense of the doctoral thesis, or the expulsion date. The study fee for one semester of an academic year equals 50% of the annual study fee established by the University Senate for that academic year.

The tuition paying doctoral student would only pay the fee for the 1st semester (respectively for the 2nd semester) of an academic year, if he/she interrupted the doctoral studies at the end of the first semester (respectively resumed the doctoral studies at the beginning of the 2nd semester, subsequent to an interruption).

The tuition paying doctoral student who owes the fee for both semesters of an academic year can pay in full the due amount for the entire academic year (no later than October 15), or at the most in 4 installments, as follows:

  1. at least 25% of the due fee to be paid no later than October 15;
  2. at least 50% of the due fee to be paid no later than December 05;
  3. at least 75% of the due fee to be paid no later than March 15;
  4. the entire due amount to be paid no later than May 15.

The tuition paying doctoral student who has to pay the fee for only one semester of a particular academic year can pay the due amount in one installment (no later than October 15 for the 1st semester, respectively no later than March 15, for the 2nd semester), or at the most in 2 installments, as follows:

  1. at least 50% of the 1st semester fee to be paid no later than October 15, and the entire amount owed for the 1st semester to be paid no later than December 05;
  2. at least 50% of the 2nd semester fee to be paid no later than March 15, and the entire amount owed for the 2nd semester to be paid no later than May 15.
The joint doctorate

The doctoral studies could also be organized as joint doctorates, and in this case the doctoral student from Babeş-Bolyai University carries out his/her activity under simultaneous supervision of two doctoral supervisors. The second doctoral supervisor will be chosen with the agreement of the first doctoral supervisor, after the doctoral students’ enrollment to Babeş-Bolyai University. The second doctoral supervisor can be a doctoral supervisor with tenure at a Babeş-Bolyai University doctoral school or a doctoral supervisor from any other institution which organizes doctoral studies, from Romania or from a foreign country. If the second doctoral supervisor is from Babeş-Bolyai University, the field of study he/she has the right to supervise has to differ from that of the first supervisor, with the exception of the situation when the first doctoral supervisor reached 65 years of age.

If both doctoral supervisors perform their activity at Babeş-Bolyai University, they will sign a written joint doctorate agreement, with the approval of the director of the doctoral studies council, establishing the responsibilities of each doctoral supervisor.

If the second doctoral supervisor doesn’t perform his/her activity at Babeş-Bolyai University, a written joint doctorate agreement will be signed by Babeş-Bolyai University and the institution where the second supervisor supervises doctoral students. This agreement stipulates the requirements for organizing and carrying out the doctoral studies in each of the two implicated institutions, including the financial obligations, in accordance with their role in the joint doctorate, and with the current legislation.

If both doctoral supervisors perform their supervision activity in Romanian institutions, the agreement mentions which one is the main doctoral supervisor. The doctoral student’s activity will be assigned to the main doctoral supervisor, including the rate setting of the supervisor’s teaching and research activity.