The first year is mainly devoted to the acquisition of scientific knowledge at both basic and high level. Students are required to complete a series of courses and other educational activities.

Study plan

In the first semester of the PhD Program each doctoral student must submit to the approval of the Teaching Board an individual Study Plan (deadline for submission will be formally notified), drawn up in agreement with the supervisor/s.
The Teaching Board is responsible for discussing and approving each Study Plan, suggesting appropriate changes, establishing the credits amount of any activity not included in the Manifesto.
Students are free to modify their Study Plan in the course of the programme upon consultation with their supervisor. Any change must be promptly communicated and motivated to the Administrative Manager of the program so that to formalize it.
Only if necessary and pertinent to the thesis, students can ask to include a maximum of 2 courses from undergraduate programmes (the Doctoral Program Committee will evaluate the workload and assign the credits respectively).
During the second year the PhD student deepens her/his scientific knowledge and starts to establish her/his thesis work, identifying the objectives and research activities to be developed within the thesis. Students are expected to have reached all required credits type by the end of the second year.
During the third year, the student focuses on her/his personal contribution to the state-of-the-art on the chosen research problem and/or to the development of the proposed technological innovation.

Progression and Monitoring

Admission to the following year (1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd)
At the end of the first and the second year Students are asked to prepare and submit to the Teaching Board an annual report (Doctoral Record) on the research activity done so far. The deadline for delivering the report is communicated to Students by the Secretariat.
Usually, one month before the start of the following Academic Year, Students are requested to illustrate their research in a public presentation, in front of a Committee of at least two-members commission appointed by the Teaching Board. The presentations last from 20 to 30 minutes (plus 10-15 minutes of queries sessions); during this presentation the students have to underline the aims and objectives of the research, the status quo, the scientific relevance and the expected impact of the results (slides are requested).
Failing examinations might result in the exclusion from the Programme.

Admission to the final examination

In the course of the third year, the Supervisors will be asked to formulate and send a detailed opinion on the candidate's performance during the Doctorate, including the status and quality of the draft thesis and the research work carried on so far.
At the same time, Doctoral Candidates will be asked to send the outline and one complete chapter of their thesis.
An internal examination is planned before the end of the 3rd year to access the final examination phase for the graduation. By then Students must have completed all credits requirements and their thesis work must be reasonably close to conclusion.
During the examination Students are requested to illustrate in a public presentation the contents of their thesis in front of an internal examination Board composed of at least two members appointed by the Teaching Board.
In case of positive results, the Teaching Board appoints two or more external evaluators (hereinafter also referred to as referees). Referees are chosen among professors and researchers at Italian or foreign institutions, with high profile, not belonging to the University or to other institutions contributing to the Doctoral Program.
The referees have the task of expressing a written analytical judgment on the thesis and to propose the admission to public defence or in alternative the postponement for a period not exceeding six months, if major revisions are needed. 
Doctoral candidates are allowed to attend the University and Edmund Mach Foundation facilities for completing all activities related to the thesis until the public defence.