Everything you need to know about planning and organising your graduation.

Booking of the defence date

The first step of the graduation phase of the PhD programme is to book the defence date. Promotors and chairgroup secretaries can book this date in Hora Finita (for the manual, click here).

The expected available time slots are posted on and the time slots are opened on the first working day of each month 6 months in advance.

The draft thesis

After the defence date is booked, the PhD candidate submits the draft manuscript, authorship statement and propositions in Hora Finita (manual). This version of the manuscript must contain:

  • Table of Contents
  • General Introduction (no co-authors, chapter should be written by the candidate alone)
  • All Chapters (clearly stating all (co)authors)
  • General Discussion/synthesis (no co-authors, chapter should be written by the candidate alone)
  • List of References
  • English Summary

The promotor then has to approve the manuscript, compose an assessment committee and request approval for the assessment committee. The deadline for submission and approval by the supervisor(s) is 15 weeks before the defence date.

PhD candidates: Please check whether you receive an e-mail from Hora Finita conforming that your thesis has been approved by your supervisor(s)! If not, your thesis is not sent out to the opponents.


The PhD candidate submits the propositions together with the draft manuscript in Hora Finita (manual). The propositions are judged by an Academic Board member. An elaboration on what criteria propositions should adhere to can be found here and a template including instructions on the format, font type and size here.

Cover and title pages

Once the draft thesis is approved, the PhD candidate submits the cover (back, spine and front) and title pages in Hora Finita (manual) for approval by the Doctoral Service Centre.

On the spine and front, no text other than the title, author and year of publication is allowed. On the back, no text or barcode is allowed. Images are allowed on the back, spine and front. Logos are only allowed in the case of a joint degree. An example can be found in appendix 3 of the Doctoral Degree Regulations.

The title pages must follow the design format from appendix 3 of the Doctoral Degree Regulations. Pay attention to the different ways that affiliations have to be displayed: the affiliation of WUR promotors and co-promotors consists of their basic organisational unit (chair group or business unit) plus Wageningen University & Research. The other members (the opponents) are listed with their organisation affiliation only. If the city where the institution is located is not mentioned in the name of the institution, it must be mentioned. Affiliations outside the Netherlands must also include the name of the country. E.g.

Dr John Doe, Radboud University, Nijmegen

Dr Jane Doe, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Printed final thesis

After approval of the manuscript, cover and title pages the thesis can be printed. DOI can be applied for at the library via this link: 15 printed copies need to be handed in to the office Doctoral Service Centre 2 weeks before the ceremony date.

PhD theses of WU are printed by This amount includes copies for the opponents and the copy for the Library. Chair groups have to compensate the printing costs for this required number of copies to a maximum of €1250 euro.

Electronic final thesis

An electronic version in PDF has to be submitted to the library. The electronic version must include the propositions and the front and back covers, all in one PDF file and separately, an English abstract of max 999 words. The Library can put an embargo period on your PhD-thesis if needed. During the embargo period your thesis will not be visible online and will not show up in plagiarism-detection software. The embargo will be for a period of 1 year.


Each public defence of a PhD thesis is published on the calendar on the WUR website. Please complete the information form that you receive from the Graduation office for publication of this calendar-item.

Practical information defence

You will receive practical information with regard to the laymans speech, parking, livestreams, photography and the organisation of a reception, lunch or dinner after the defence from the Graduation office. Children younger than 5 years are not allowed to be present in the Auditorium during the defence. Parents are kindly requested to arrange a babysitter of family member to attend to the child(ren).

All promotions, graduation ceremonies, inaugurations, and farewell speeches will be livestreamed via Yuja and published by Wageningen University & Research. The livestream link will become available five minutes before the start of the defence under the header ‘Events’. Please find more information and instructions here.


The Graduation Office offers the service of legalization after you’ve received your diploma. After your graduation ceremony, hand your diploma to the Beadle or at the Doctoral Service Centre in Atlas and fill in the legalization form (available at the desk). You’ll then be given a confirmation of receipt. Please be aware that this receipt is proof of handing in your diploma. The Graduation Office does not arrange for additional legalization at Embassies, which is required in some cases. Please contact the Graduation Office ( for inquiries regarding the exact dates and the procedure.