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University of Silesia in Katowice

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doctoral student

The obtainment of a doctoral degree after the entry into force of Act 2.0

Dear All,

We would like to inform you that pursuant to Article 35 of the Act of 14 May 2020 on amending certain acts with regard to protective measures in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 875), the previous wording of Article 179, paragraph 4 of the Act of 3 July 2018 has been amended. The regulations introducing the Act on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1669 as amended).

Article 35 in the Act of 3 July 2018 – The introductory regulations of the Act on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws item 1669, item 39 and 534 of 2019 and item 695 of 2020) in Article 179:
1) the paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:
“4. The proceedings referred to in the paragraphs 1 and 2, and doctoral theses not completed by 31
December 2022 will be discontinued or closed, as appropriate.”;


The procedure for obtaining a doctoral degree has fundamentally changed with the entry into force of the Act on Higher Education and Science. In the current legal situation, there are several parallel paths which enable one to reach the goal of a degree. All doctoral candidates will appear before the new bodies authorised to award doctoral degrees, namely the scientific councils of the institutes or an interdisciplinary committee. However, they will go through very different paths before they come before this committee.

Those who started preparing their PhD thesis before 1 October 2019 are partially or fully subject to the new procedure. Those doctoral students who have previously pursued a doctoral dissertation can now complete it, but no later than 31 December 2022. After that date, all the unfinished theses are closed by law. However, this does not mean the cancellation of previous efforts but only a transition to a new mode, which largely means a change in procedures and requirements rather than a halt in the flow of scientific work. Those people who have not pursued a dissertation in doctoral programmes commenced before 1 October 2019  and those who wish to obtain a degree through an extramural procedure (formerly known as a “free-standing doctorate”) are generally subject to the same procedure as doctoral students in doctoral schools opened after the entry into force of Act 2.0. The difference is visible only in the first stages, above all in the appointment of the supervisor.

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