Students are required to take a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 7 years to complete their research. During their studies at Tongji University, students are required to take no more than 2 academic years to complete all taught courses, and no less than 2 years to complete their dissertation research. Any PhD student with an excellent academic record, who has completed all course work and academic requirements in advance, and has fulfilled all graduation requirements, may have their dissertation defense and graduation brought forward upon approval from the school.

In the program, students are required to obtain a minimum of 26 credits, among which at least 4 credits are from common courses, 5 credits from core courses, 6 credits from elective courses (including a cross-disciplinary course with 2 credits), and 11 credits from compulsory courses. According to Tongji regulations, PhD students are required to complete all courses and obtain the requisite credits before midterm evaluations at the end of their second year.

All students are expected to complete their dissertation independently under the guidance of their advisors. Research is expected to be self-directed, with supervisory advice offered at progress meetings. The dissertation should demonstrate that the student has fulfilled all the requirements of the doctoral program.

The dissertation proposal is to be submitted no later than the third semester. Students are expected to adhere to their dissertation proposals, once approved. If any major revisions are required, a revised proposal must be submitted for approval.

The purpose of the Midterm Evaluation and the Symposium on Periodical Result of Dissertation is to review of the progressive outcomes of the dissertation.

The doctoral degree dissertation is double-blind peer reviewed. To go through the double-blind peer review, the student has to obtain approval from her/his supervisors in advance. Submission of materials for thhe double-blind review is normally expected 2-3 months before the formal dissertation defense, which will take place ordinarily during the summer session.

In order to qualify for a doctoral degree, candidates are expected to have maintained a substantial record of publishing research in peer review journals and presenting it at international conferences

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