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Information on writing a dissertation

Choosing the subject and the rules on preparing the dissertation for the final examination.

Choosing and proposing a subject

To graduate, you must propose a dissertation subject to a Supervisor, who has to be a teacher/researcher member of the Degree Programme Board, who will assess the validity of your proposal in relation to your study plan. If necessary, the supervisor may receive assistance from another faculty member at the University or a researcher from a research organization or company with expertise in the topic, who will act as a co-supervisor.

The Thesis, indicatively 60 to 120 pages long, must be written in English. Please, note: it is forbidden to put the University of Bologna logo on the front page and on the Thesis pages.

About a week before the graduation day you will find the name of your Opponent (controrelatore) in the details of your graduation application on Studenti Online. The Opponent reads the Thesis and has the option to request an interview with you, during which you can present and discuss your Thesis work.

The five Graduation Board members are the following professors: Gargini (BIGEA, President), Cavazza (BIGEA), Pascale (DIFA), the Thesis Supervisor and the Opponent. All the other professors and researchers within the Degree Programme Board can be substitute members of the Board.

The supervisor and the opponent will each provide a written comment on the candidate's work, together with a quantitative evaluation (in 30ths), that will be used by the Board to compute the final grade.

Final grade

The baseline of final mark is the sum of two contributions (reported in 110th):

  1. the average of the marks obtained in the exams weighted by the number of earned CFU (i.e. 84/120);
  2. the mark assigned to the Thesis work, computed as (mark of the Thesis advisor)*0.4 + (mark of the Thesis Opponent)*0.4 + (mark of the Degree Commission)*0.2, normalized by the number of CFU earned (i.e. 36/120) (30 cum Laude = 31).

The baseline mark can be incremented by:

  1. 0.25 points for each honor (laude) earned in 6-CFU exams (if an exam has a different number of credits, the increment will be normalized accordingly);
  2. a fast-career reward assigned as:

    a. 3.5 points for the students graduating in the summer session (June to July) of their second year;

    b. 2.5 points for the students graduating in the winter session (October to December) of their second year;

    c. 1.5 points for the students graduating in their extra session (March) of their second year.


The final mark is rounded at the closest integer (5 tenths are rounded up).

Honors can be attributed to the Degree mark if all these three conditions are verified:

  1. the final mark is above or equal 109;
  2. supervisor, opponent and commission assign at least 29 to the Thesis;
  3. the Commission agrees unanimously.