Doctoral education

Doctoral defence and post-doctoral party (School of Business)

Both the public defence and the post-doctoral party are academic events which follow a predetermined protocol. During the public examination of the doctoral thesis, or the defence, the doctoral student defends the results of their doctoral thesis against public criticism and answers questions presented by the opponent, who has been appointed to evaluate the thesis. The course of the public defence is supervised by a custos, who usually is the supervising professor of the doctoral student. The post-doctoral party, or "karonkka" marks the end of the doctoral thesis process and is arranged by the doctoral student to thank the opponent, the custos and others who contributed to the work.

Practical instructions

For information on the practical arrangements and IT support, date, place and language of the defence, please see the common instructions for public defence at Aalto University.

Also check out:

Public defence announcement and public display of thesis (aalto.fi)Distribution of thesis (aalto.fi)Graduation (aalto.fi)

Eva Durall's defence on Nov 1st 2018 - Department of Media Photo: Hilla Kurki

Public defence at Aalto University

Instructions for the practical arrangements of the doctoral defences at Aalto University

Doctoral education

The public examination

The doctoral student can arrange for coffee service to be available during the examination proper and at the end of the event at their own expense. 

Proceedings at the public examination

Here you can find detailed information on the course of events in the public defence.

Dress code

Male doctoral students, the chairperson and the opponent(s) wear a tailcoat and a black waistcoat. They may also wear full academic dress or a military uniform, but without decorations. Female doctoral students, the chairperson and the opponent(s) wear a black, long‐sleeved dress with a small neckline and without a hat. They may also wear full academic dress or a military uniform, but without decorations. The chairperson and the opponent are requested to carry their doctor’s hat when entering and leaving the auditorium.

Post-doctoral party, karonkka

The post-doctoral party, karonkka, takes place in the evening of the public examination. It is an old academic tradition. The karonkka party is held in honour of the opponent. The doctoral student acts as the host or hostess.

Even though many traditions are involved in a karonkka party, the doctoral student may follow his/her taste and preferences in the arrangements.

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