Step-by-Step Guide

The following is a 9-step plan to graduate in the MSc Logic. It takes 8 to 10 months to execute. You should start preparing at the beginning of your second year.

Please note that you can only defend your thesis once you have completed all course and project elements of your programme and all corresponding grades have been officially registered.

Step 1.
10 to 6 months before the thesis defense.
You start discussing potential thesis supervisors with your mentor. You talk to these potential supervisors and discuss possible topics. See also our hints for how to find a supervisor.

Step 2.
4 to 3 months before the thesis defense.
You reach an agreement with your supervisor. Together you write a short description of the project and fill in your approval form. The form is signed by you and your supervisor. Please note:

  • You cannot submit your approval form unless you have completed at least 72 EC worth of coursework (and preferably the full 90 EC). To defend between June 1 and September 30 of a given year, you must submit your approval form no later than March 1 of the same year.
  • The courses that you list on your approval form are final, i.e., they will be the ones that appear on your transcript. If you list courses on this form that you don't finish, then you cannot graduate. If you forget to list a course on that form, then it will not be on your final transcript.

Step 3.
5 to 1 month(s) before the thesis defense.
You write the thesis.

Step 4.
1 month before the thesis defense.
As soon as you have an approximate date for the defense, your supervisor should contact the Examinations Board (at to request the assignment of a chair for your thesis committee. If there is a canonical candidate among the members of the Examinations Board, your supervisor can cc this request to this person.

Note that as the examinee, you should not be involved in the selection of the members of your committee. You can, of course, give your preferences to your supervisor.

After a chair for your thesis committee is assigned, your supervisor will make suggestions for the committee members to the chair who will then appoint the committee members and inform you who is in the committee.

For those wishing to defend near the end of the academic year, the preferred time to do so is June. Generally, defenses in July and August are not possible. In exceptional cases, you can request a defense date in July or August by writing to the Examinations Board (at Any such request must be received before June 1. In well-argued cases, we will try to help, but we cannot guarantee the availability of an appropriate committee in July or August. The latest possible defense date in a given academic year is August 31 (if you defend later you have to re-enrol for the next academic year).

Step 5.
1 month before the thesis defense.
You fill in the thesis arrangement form and submit it to the programme manager (Tanja Kassenaar). She will make sure a room is arranged, the committee members are informed, and the defense is added to the News and Events section of the ILLC website.

Step 6.
3 weeks before the thesis defense.
At least three weeks before the defense date, you send a PDF of the final version of your thesis, including an abstract and the offical title page, by email to the committee members with a copy to Tanja. At the same time, you also officially file your thesis with UvA Scripties Online.

Step 7.
The public thesis defense.
You present your thesis for 20 minutes and the committee asks questions for 30 minutes. After that the committee retires for typically around 30 minutes to discuss the grade and write the grade report. They then call you in to inform you of their decision and to give you the opportunity to ask a few short questions. After that, you and the committee return to the defense room, where there is opportunity for your supervisor to congratulate you and give a short speech. The process is described in more detail in the MoL Thesis Defense Guidelines.

Step 8.
After the thesis defense.
You make sure you get the final thesis grade report from the chair of your defense committee.

You go to the Education Service Centre of the Faculty of Science to apply for your diploma, bringing:
  • the final thesis grade report,
  • a copy of your passport or identity card (a driver's licence is not good enough),
  • a copy of the diploma which allowed you to be admitted for the MSc Logic programme.

If everything (including yourself) is properly registered, the printing of the diploma will be ordered, and the diploma supplement will be created. As you have to sign your diploma to make it official, you have to pick it up at the ESC desk in person (but see this page for other solutions). If you need a document to confirm your graduation before you receive the diploma (for applications for instance), please also contact the ESC.

You deregister from the UvA through Studielink. Please note that your graduation date will be the last work day of the month in which you have your defense. You can be deregisted as of the first day of the month after that, but you have to deregister before the start of this new month.

Step 9.
Up to 1 month after the thesis defense.
All MSc Logic theses are published online. In general, the published version is the one submitted to the committee. As a courtesy to our students, we give you 4 weeks after the defense to make necessary, but minor changes, in line with the feedback received from the committee during your defense. If we have not received an updated version within 4 weeks of the defense, then the originally submitted version will be published online. Please send your revised manuscript to Tanja.

About 4 to 6 weeks after you applied for the diploma and the diploma supplement you can expect an email from the ESC to come and collect it (or have it collected, see Step 8).