Cum Laude

Per 1 September 2020, the Doctorate Board has decided to amend the Regulations governing the conferral of doctor’s degrees. To achieve a better balance between supervisors and departments concerning the number of applications for Cum Laude and to avoid gender-bias towards PhD- candidates, the Cum Laude procedure in which the first promotor played a central role has been changed:
As part of the new procedure the members of the Doctorate Committee, except the (co-) promotor(s), will be asked as a matter of course whether they consider the thesis worthy of being awarded Cum Laude using the same criteria as the Cum Laude Committee. If this is the case, a brief written justification (about 5 lines) will be requested from the committee members using the same questions as given to the experts by the Cum Laude Committee. They also will be asked to provide names of experts to be consulted by the Cum Laude Committee.
For each member, the assessment and possible motivation will be shared confidentially with the Dean of the department concerned only. If a clear majority of the above members of the committee are of the opinion that the thesis is worthy of being awarded Cum Laude, the Dean may propose to the first promotor that an application be submitted in writing to the Cum Laude Committee, stating the reasons for awarding the doctorate Cum Laude.
These amendments to the Cum Laude procedure have been built into the online registration and monitoring system for PhD’s: Hora Finita. Thus, as of now, Hora Finita can be used to start the Cum Laude procedure. The manual below provides a step-by-step guide for the different actors involved.
The rest of the Cum Laude procedure has not been changed and is not included in Hora Finita.

Please find the full Hora Finita Cum Laude manual at the right of the page.

1. The proposal, drafted in English, must be turned in together with the dissertation or technological design approximately six weeks before the defense ceremony by email (in pdf format) to the secretary of the Cum Laude Committee, Ms. M.J.W. Mulder, The file has to be smaller than 10MB. The proposal should include the names of 10 independent experts not belonging to the doctorate committee (with email addresses), who will be approached by the CLC to give their assessment of the dissertation. At least 8 of these experts should be professors or associate professors. The first supervisor may not contact the experts. In addition, the relationship of the doctoral candidate to the experts should be made transparent.

2. The proposal should also indicate the start and end dates of the doctoral research. By “end date” is understood: the date that form 2 must be turned in (if the supervisor has made known that the doctorate committee has approved the dissertation). If the nominal duration of four years for obtaining the doctorate is exceeded then this should be justified.

3. For such a proposal, the CLC will be consulted. This committee is chaired by the Rector Magnificus and is further comprised of nine professors from the TU/e, named by the Doctorate Board for a period of four years. The members can be reappointed one time.
The chairman and secretary of the CLC decide which member of the committee in particular will look at the proposal. The proposal is sent to all members of the committee, stating the name of the member that will be looking at the proposal in particular. All members will send a brief response to the proposal to the secretary.

4. The Cum Laude Committee assesses the proposals based on the following elements:
- is there a clearly set goal and to what extent has that goal been achieved;
- is the research clearly innovative;
- is the text clearly written and to the point;
- what is the doctoral candidate’s own contribution to the dissertation or technological design;
- what impact will the dissertation or technological design have on the field of study;
- does the dissertation present an excellent analysis;
- does the dissertation belong to the best 5% within the field;
- has the research been published in leading journals;
- was the doctorate finished within the time period established for it.

In addition the CLC asks the consulted experts if they perceive a conflict of interest in their assessing the given dissertation. 

  1. The member’s assessment goes out to the rest of the committee members via the chairman with the assessment: satisfactory, unsatisfactory or with the proposal for a supplementary assessment by the named referent. The assessment consists of a minimum of one A4.
  2. The CLC must approve the proposal with no more than one vote opposing, otherwise it will be rejected. Abstentions are not permitted.
  3. The decision of the CLC will be announced to the members of the relevant doctorate committee, dean of the department and PenP no later than one week before the defense ceremony. If the decision is positive then the doctorate committee also receives a copy of the request.If the decision is negative then only the supervisor receives a written rejection. If the supervisor wishes to receive further details about the rejection then the Rector will provide them.
  4. After the conclusion of the defense, the doctorate committee decides by a written vote whether to grant the proposal “cum laude” once the decision to grant the doctorate has been made. In the voting on the "cum laude" there may be a maximum of one vote against. Abstentions are not permitted.
  5. If there is a possibility that "cum laude" will be awarded, two certificates will be prepared, one with the designation "cum laude" and one without. The unused certificate will be destroyed immediately after the deliberations.
  6. On the TU/e website special attention is devoted to the awarding of the doctorate “cum laude”.

Composition CLC:

  • Rector Magnificus (also chairman)
  • 9 TU/e professors

The updated Doctorate Regulations can be downloaded here.
For questions about Hora Finita, please contact