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Doctoral dinner and conferral of the PhD degree

The decision of whether to host a doctoral dinner rests with you. You are responsible for covering the costs of the event, but some of the expenses may be tax-deductible.

The doctoral dinner

You are free to decide how to organise the doctoral dinner, whether it be a large banquet with formal attire or a cold buffet immediately following the disputation, or no doctoral dinner at all. In any case, the meal must take place on the same day as the disputation. It is common practice, though not required, for the dress code at the dinner to be black tie or dark suit. The dinner is an official event, but it may include a more informal segment towards the end.


It is usual for the master of ceremonies, the third member of the adjudication committee and the supervisor to deliver speeches. According to tradition, the doctoral candidate will also give a speech, thanking the university, the committee, the academic community, family members, etc. The first speech is usually given by the candidate, the next speech is given by the chair of the defense. The next speeches are normally given by the head of the committee and the supervisor(s).

Seating arrangement

You are relatively free to choose the seating arrangement; however, the doctoral candidate with escort, the committee members, the supervisor, the master of ceremonies and the head of the department should be given prominent positions at the table.

Tax deduction

The doctoral candidate must cover the costs of the dinner. It is appropriate to invite the committee members, the supervisor(s), the master of ceremonies and the head of the department. Some may wish to invite a large number of guests, and, with the exception of those mentioned above, one may ask the guests to pay part of the costs.

In any case it is useful to know that the expenses are tax-deductible. "If you are working towards a PhD, you will be entitled to a deduction for your expenses in connection with printing and travel and your PhD dinner."

Deduction for PhD expenses

Note: This only applies to the academic dinner guests – you will not receive tax deductions for family members. Please remember to keep all receipts and a copy of the guest list, including the titles of the guests for whose costs you intend to claim a tax deduction. These must be attached to your income tax return.

Conferral and doctoral diploma

Four times a year the University of Oslo organises graduation ceremonies in which the degree is conferred on the last quarter’s new doctoral candidates, who are awarded their doctoral diplomas.

Graduation ceremony

Following the trial lecture(s) and the disputation the adjudication committee submits its approval of these to the Faculty. On the basis of this approval, the doctoral candidate is conferred the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) or Doctor Philosophiae (Dr.Philos.) by the University Board.

The University holds graduation ceremonies four times a year, in which the deans present the Faculties’ doctoral candidates and diplomas are awarded. The Department of Research Administration is responsible for making sure that the future doctoral degree holders receive invitations to the ceremony.

Read more about the graduation ceremony on the UiO’s web pages (in Norwegian) 

The doctoral diploma

The awarding of the doctoral diploma plays a central role in the graduation ceremony. Successful doctoral candidates receive two certificates:

  • a diploma in Latin (the de luxe version)
  • an annex to the diploma (called the ‘diploma annex’) for practical use

The diploma annex in A4 format is in Norwegian (English for foreign language speakers).

In case you are unable to be present at the graduation ceremony, the diploma will be sent to your residential address after the ceremony.

Preliminary documentation

Several months may pass between the doctoral degree examinations and the graduation ceremony, as the graduation ceremony is only held on a quarterly basis and requires time-consuming preparation. If you need documentation of your completed doctoral degree before the graduation ceremony, the officer in charge at the Faculty can provide a brief letter of certification. In this case you must contact the Faculty directly.

Contact us

Do you have questions about the doctoral degree conferral?

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Published Dec. 21, 2020 10:23 AM - Last modified Jan. 29, 2021 1:46 PM