To do:

Issues on the PhD ceremony are described in the VU University Doctorate Regulations 2021, articles 25-30. Check the articles for full description and conditions

In principle, the Doctorate Committee at the day of the defence is the same as the Doctorate Committee that assesses the manuscript

In the event that a member is unable to attend on the day of the defence, with the result that the committee does not meet the requirements any more, a new member must be appointed. The new composition of the committee must be approved by the dean (see 'Tips')

The PhD ceremony is chaired by the Rector Magnificus, a by the VUmc dean deputized independent emeritus or full professor

Necessary documents:

not applicable


Also check the information for PhD Candidates in step 9 (Defence) in PhD graduation

The required composition of the Doctorate Committee (to assess the manuscript) is described in the VU University Doctorate Regulations 2021, article 13. The Doctorate Committee at the day of the defence must also meet these requirements. Check the article for full description and conditions. The document below gives a summary of the required composition

After approval of the committee, all members (opponents) will be informed on relevant details concerning the defence ceremony (such as date, time, location, committee members), through an email sent from Hora Finita

Find information on the day of the defence, including practical issues (like clothing) on the VU University website (link below)

A week before the ceremony the opponents, the PhD candidate, the (co-)supervisors, and the chair of the ceremony will receive an email from the Beadle’s office VU with additional information about the ceremony and login details for (possible) online participation. Only when agreements have already been made about this, the ceremony takes place fully online


The (co)supervisor may briefly address the PhD candidate who has just obtained his/her PhD. Due to the tight schedule of the ceremonies, a laudatio of max. 4 minutes is allowed. Laudatio's by more than one person are not allowed. Other and longer speeches should be postponed to a possible festive occasion.

Dress code

  • Professors wear gown and beret with dark clothing / shirt with dark tie, dark (socks and shoes) underneath. That means, among other things, no jeans, no shorts, no T-shirts, no sweaters, no colored pumps, no sneakers.
  • Co-supervisors and opponents who are not professors wear dark, occasion-appropriate clothing / tenue de ville / shirt with jacket and dark tie. That means, among other things, no jeans, no shorts, no T-shirts, no sweaters, no colored pumps and no sneakers.
  • During the PhD ceremony, the PhD candidate and paranymphs wear full dress suit or other clothing suitable for the occasion (tenue de ville). Appropriate clothing can also be understood to mean appropriate traditional clothing from the country of the PhD candidate. The PhD candidate conforms to the judgment of the beadle.

Location of the ceremony

The address of the main building is: De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam. Public car parks (paid) are available near the VU University (for instance in P3; entrance Van der Boechorststraat)

You will find the Toga room next to the Hall of the Auditorium, Room 1 C 17 (first floor) of the main building of the University

VU University prefers the participants to wear their own toga during participation in the ceremony. The hostesses are located at the entrance of the Aula and will accompany them to the Toga room. Unfortunately no toga’s are available to use

The Forum room (room number 2D-02) is the meeting place for the all the members of the commission. This room is located on the second floor, at the top of the stairs and passing the Aula


With regard to Covid-19, check the actual information on the VU University website