Frequently Asked Questions

Versión en español

 Doctoral Program Description

1. What are the regulations governing the Doctoral Program?

Royal Decree 99/2011 regulates official doctoral studies throughout the country. These regulations are developed at the Complutense University of Madrid, by agreement of the Governing Council of the UCM of 23 April 2015 (BOUC nº 10, 25 April 2015).

The Royal Decree 99/2011 also contains a regulation of permanence, which in the UCM is developed for all the Doctorate Programs of the UCM.
Royal Decree 195/2016, of 13 May, establishing the requirements for the issuance of the European Supplement to the University Degree of Doctor.


2. Where is the most relevant information about all UCM Doctoral Programs?

On the next page:
Many of the doubts that we receive are answered in this page and in those that start from it. Read them because these pages explain many of the issues that now arise, and many others, equally important.


3. Where is the most relevant information about this Doctoral Data Analysis Program (DataScience)?

On the next page:

Many of the doubts that we receive are answered in this page and in those that start from it. Read them because these pages explain many of the issues that now arise, and many others, equally important.


4. What are the deadlines for enrolling in the Doctoral Data Analysis Program (DataScience)?

The deadline for applying for admission, throughout the UCM, for any Doctoral Program usually opens in March and extends until September 15.


5. I would like to know if there are topics available for thesis, if there are professors with topics in development with which I can do research.

The teachers and their lines of work are on the following page:

We do not have a catalogue of topics, but with the list in that web  you can get an idea and also have their contact details.


6. In order to apply for a visa, I am asked to provide proof of admission from the Universidad Española.

We cannot issue any admission certificate until admission is effective, and admission requires a visa in advance. However, we may issue a Conditional admission letter.


7. I have seen that it is obligatory to do an interview in order to be admitted, but I live outside Spain and I cannot move until I am admitted...

Unfortunately, this is the case: it is necessary to obtain the corresponding visa before being admitted, because the doctorate cannot be done remotely, but requires a significant part of the presence, especially in its first stage.

The interview is face-to-face and we do not plan to do it online. Although this interview does not appear as such in the admission requirements and is not mandatory, its weight (15%) makes it necessary, taking into account the high demand of our Doctorate Program and the high level of applicants.


8. In order to apply for a Visa, I am asked for proof of the availability of funds for my stay.

This question is partly answered in the previous section. The availability of funds for each student's stay is an issue that each student must resolve, either by securing an employment contract or through scholarships, and it is also necessary to have these issues resolved prior to admission.


9. Scholarships? Maintenance?

Each student must achieve his or her own way of financing his or her stay, whether through part-time or full-time work, a scholarship, or family support.

We cannot provide any advise on possible scholarships, as the situations are too complex and varied. Each doctoral student has to look for and obtain the scholarships he or she can apply for according to his or her own profile, nationality, etc


10. Is it possible to do the doctorate part-time? So I have more years to complete the thesis...

Fine, but in order to enroll part-time in our Doctoral Program it is mandatory to present a work certificate.

On the other hand, please bear in mind that we have many more part-time than full-time applications, and the number of places is much smaller instead.


11. What is the duration of doctoral studies? Are there exceptions to the rule?

The duration, from the time of enrolment, is a maximum of 3 years for full-time students (5 years for part-time students).

The Academic Commission could eventually extend this period by one more year, and by another year, exceptionally and already unextendable.

During this period, sick leave (duly justified and presented to the Academic Committee) or pregnancy will not be computed.

Finally, the doctoral candidate may request temporary leave from the Doctoral Programme for a maximum period of one year, extendable by one more year.


12. Is it really possible to do a thesis in the three years of the deadline?

It's not easy indeed. A thesis requires a great deal of dedication. A few full-time students manage to complete their thesis in three years; some request one more extension and, exceptionally, one more, for justified reasons. It is better not to have this extension a priori, as it cannot be postponed and is not guaranteed.

On the other hand, it is possible and highly recommended to contact a doctor of the Doctoral Program and to begin research on a topic of the Doctoral Program during the year prior to the start of the doctoral program. This is equivalent to one more year but with some advantages:

  • The year of extension is achieved without requesting it, before the first official year.

  • There is no tuition for this course.

  • This way improves the chances of admission to the Doctoral Program, because the student can already claim their achievements on the merits of their CV.


13. I'm a graduate student at the Faculty of Statistical Studies and I'm very interested in starting my PhD next year. Is there anything I can do?

Yes, do your End of Master Work (TFM) with a professor from the Doctorate Programme who accepts you; make sure that the TFM i s aimed at research and try to achieve some result of the same in the form of a publication, presentation at a congress, etc. All these things are the best cover letter for your acceptance application to be effective.


14. I'm not a student at the Faculty of Statistical Studies, but I'm very interested in starting my PhD next year. Is there anything I can do?

Yes, an effective way is to contact a doctor in the Doctoral Program or the team of collaborators of that doctor (through their Research Projects or their Research Groups) and initiate research in a topic of the Doctoral Program, before applying for admission.

This does not guarantee your subsequent admission, but in your CV you will be able to claim the achievements you make, and this is the best endorsement that can be presented to convince you that you will be able to complete a thesis in the planned timeframe, and will therefore facilitate admission to the Doctorate Programme.


15. Last year I applied to the Doctoral Program and I didn't get it. Do I have a chance this year? I'm really interested, is there anything I can do?

If you have not been admitted, it is possible that you are on the waiting list, among the first, in which case you could be if the list is activated, or that you are far away. There are no exceptions to the operation of this list in its order, but it is also possible to begin research with a Doctor from the Doctoral Program, get a publication, and try again next year.


16. What is the co-guardianship regime?

Cotutela is understood to be the carrying out of an original research work elaborated by the doctoral candidate in any field of knowledge, directed by at least one researcher from each of the two participating Universities or Institutions. The Doctoral Thesis will finally be submitted to its defense in one of the two Universities or Higher Institutions, obtaining the Doctoral Title by both Universities.


17. What is the international PhD Mention?

The International PhD mention can be obtained when the doctoral candidate has completed a stay or two, with a joint duration of at least three months, and the thesis meets some additional requirements, as well as its defense.

For further information on this possibility, please click on the link:


18. What is a doctorate with an industrial mention?

The objective of industrial doctorates is the training of doctors in companies through the co-financing of employment contracts of research staff in training who participate in an industrial research project or experimental development to be developed in the company.


19. I have more doubts. Who can I turn to for advice?

The relevant information common to all UCM doctoral programmes is published on the following page, which hass already been mentioned:

Specific information about our Data Science Doctoral Program is published on the following website: It also offers this collection of frequently asked questions and specific answers.


If you have already consulted them and do not find the answer to your questions, we are at your disposal, either by telephone (+34 91 394 3957) or at the following email addresses:

    Mª Concepción Latorre

    Daniel Gómez