Under sections 9 (1) (b) and 17 (1) (k) of Act No. 111/1998 Sb., to regulate higher education institutions and to change and amend other laws (“the Higher Education Act”), as amended, and under Article 32 of the Constitution of Charles University, the Academic Senate of Charles University adopted this Rigorosum Examination Code as an internal regulation of the University:
This Code sets out the procedure for filing applications for a state rigorosum examination (“the State Rigorosum Examination), which is not part of a regular study programme, and provides details concerning the organisation of this examination at the faculties of Charles University (“the University”), its course and evaluation, a fee associated with the submission of an application and organisation of the examination (“the Fee”), and the payment of costs connected with the preparation for the State Rigorosum Examination.*
After the State Rigorosum Examination is passed, the following academic degrees are awarded:
in the field of law a “Doctor of Laws” (abbreviated to “JUDr.” preceding the name);
in the field of humanities, pedagogical, and social sciences a “Doctor of Philosophy”
(abbreviated to “PhDr.” preceding the name);
in the field of natural sciences a “Doctor of Natural Sciences” (abbreviated to “RNDr.” preceding the name);
in the field of pharmacy a “Doctor of Pharmacy” (abbreviated to “PharmDr.” preceding thename); and
in the field of theology a “Licenciate of Theology” (abbreviated to “ThLic.” preceding the name)
or a “Doctor of Theology” (abbreviated to “ThDr.” preceding the name).
The State Rigorosum Examination may be held if the University is entitled to award academic degrees under section 46 (5) of Act No. 111/1998 Sb., to regulate higher education institutions and to amend other laws, as amended (“the Higher Education Act”).
A graduate from a master’s programme of study may take the State Rigorosum Examination at any of the University faculties, provided that the completed master’s programme of study is comparable in terms of content with a master’s programme of study offered at the respective faculty.
An application for the State Rigorosum Examination may be submitted by an applicant who:
has completed a master’s programme of study and has been awarded the academic degree of “Master” under section 46 of the Higher Education Act; or
has been awarded the academic degree “Master” under section 21 (2) or 43 (2) of Act No. 172/1990 Sb., to regulate higher education, providing he has not been awarded the degree of “Doctor” under section 22 of the same Act, and providing he does not fall under the provision of section 99(4) of the Higher Education Act.
The possibility to sit for the State Rigorosum Examination does not apply to graduates of foreign programmes of study.
The application must be submitted on the prescribed form accompanied by authenticated copies of a higher education diploma and a certificate of state final examination, and/or documents under section 25 or section 43 (2) of Act No. 172/1990 Sb., on higher education (unless the applicant has asked the faculty to verify the fulfilment of a requirement of the completion of a master’s programme of study at a university and the award of the academic degree of “Master”), as well as other supplementary documentation the content, form, and other formalities of which, including the method of proving the payment of the Fee, are to be determined by the dean. The name and basic outline of the intended rigorosum thesis is part of the application.
A written application signed by the applicant is to be delivered to the relevant faculty. The elements of the application and the amount, method, and due date for payment of the Fee and costs under Art. 6 will be published by the faculty in the publicly accessible part of its website.
If the application form is not properly filled in, if the application fails to include the required attachments, or if the Fee under Art. 6 has not been paid, the faculty will invite the applicant to rectify the errors, and will set a reasonable time period therefor. If the errors are not rectified within this period, the application will not be considered. The fee will then be reimbursed to the applicant.
If the faculty cannot hold the State Rigorosum Examination in the field of study in which the applicant has been awarded the academic degree of “Master”, the faculty will return the application to such applicant along with an appropriate explanation.
Within sixty days of receipt of the application, the faculty will notify the applicant in writing whether the name and basic outline of the thesis have been approved, as well as of detailed information on the organisation of and requirements for the State Rigorosum Examination, and on the rules for the use of devices and information technologies necessary for the preparation for the Examination; the time period under paragraph 4 is not included in this time period.
The State Rigorosum Examination consists of two parts, namely an oral part and a thesis defence.
The content of the oral part of the Examination corresponds in its specialisation to the content of the state final examination or the state doctoral examination at the faculty. An applicant may take the State Rigorosum Examination only if the conditions set in Art. 2 have been met.
The rigorosum thesis proves the capability of independent activity in the field of research and development, or other independent creative activity. Paragraph 2 applies to the topic of the rigorosum thesis with necessary modifications.
The faculty will notify the applicant of the date of the State Rigorosum Examination within thirty days of the delivery of the rigorosum thesis to the faculty.
The State Rigorosum Examination is taken before a board of examiners (“the Board”); the course and announcement of results of the Examination are public. The time period within which the State Rigorosum Examination is to be taken after the applicant has submitted the rigorosum thesis for defence and the period within which the work is to be recognised or not recognised as a rigorosum thesis under Art. 8 are determined by a dean’s directive.
The names and surnames of applicants who have submitted their works for defence, the titles of rigorosum theses, and the dates of the State Rigorosum Examination are published in the publicly accessible part of the faculty website.
The chairperson and members of the Board are appointed by the dean from among Professors, Associate Professors, and other specialists. The appointment of other specialists must be approved by the Research Board of the faculty. Other members of the Board may be appointed by the Ministry. A record of the State Rigorosum Examination or its part will be taken and signed either by the chairperson or by an authorised member of the Board acting as proxy, and at least another member of the Board; the number of members of the Board present cannot be lower than three. The chairperson of the Board will appoint one external examiner who will prepare an external examiner’s report on the rigorosum thesis submitted.
The State Rigorosum Examination is assessed using the marking grades of “pass” or “fail”; the Board will award the grade “pass” where the applicant has passed the oral examination and successfully defended the rigorosum thesis.
The oral examination and defence of a rigorosum thesis may be re-taken only once. Should the Board decide that the applicant has failed to defend his rigorosum thesis, it will determine whether the thesis must be re-done or supplemented; the re-taking of the defence is possible no sooner than after three months have passed. If an external examiner’s review contains a doubt, or if a doubt is raised by a member of the Board during the defence of the thesis, that the submitted rigorosum thesis is a plagiarism, i.e., it is either fully or partly copied without citing a relevant source, the Board will give the applicant a chance to comment on that issue separately during the defence. If the Board resolves that the thesis is a plagiarism, the defence is graded as “fail”. In such a case, a re-take of the defence does not take place.
The State Rigorosum Examination may be taken within four years of the notification under Art. 3 (6) at the latest.
Should an applicant decide, after he has filed the application, that he will not take the State Rigorosum Examination, he may withdraw his application for the State Rigorosum Examination in writing.
Where the period under paragraph 10 has been missed, or where the application has been withdrawn under paragraph 11, the Fee and payment made under Art. 6 are non-recoverable.
A faculty may determine the details of the organisation of the State Rigorosum Examination in its internal regulation.
If justified or purposeful, it is possible to perform the State Rigorosum Examination remotely, either in part or in full, providing that it is possible to verify the identity of the applicant, to ensure compliance with the rules set for the State Rigorosum Examination, and to ensure that requirement that it be public is met. The details may be provided in the internal regulation of a faculty.
Partially remote examination means in particular the situation where:
the applicant is present remotely, the Board and the public are physically present;
the applicant is physically present, a part of the Board is present remotely, and a part of the Board and the public is physically present, or
the applicant is present remotely, the Board is physically present and the public is present remotely.
When the State Rigorosum Examination is passed, the University will issue a diploma stating the academic degree awarded, and supplement it with a certificate of the State Rigorosum Examination. The diploma and certificate are usually awarded during a graduation ceremony. The practice during the graduation ceremony is determined in the Matriculation and Graduation Code. The format of and data contained in the diploma and the certificate are determined by a Rector’s directive.
The amount of the Fee connected with the submission of an application for the State Rigorosum Examination and with the organisation of the Examination is determined by a dean’s directive.
The payment of costs connected with the use of facilities and information technologies necessary for the preparation for the State Rigorosum Examination are borne by the applicant, provided that he has accepted the services offered. The amount of the payment is determined by the dean.
The submission and evaluation of an application, assessment of a rigorosum thesis, and organisation of the State Rigorosum Examination are deemed as the performance of educational activities for the purposes of the payment of costs.
A rigorosum thesis intended for a defence will be submitted by the applicant in electronic form within a period determined by the dean, unless this is excluded by the nature of the thesis. A faculty internal regulation may prescribe that an applicant is obliged to submit the thesis also in hard-copy format.
The rigorosum thesis must contain an abstract. The applicant will separately submit the abstract of the rigorosum thesis in both the Czech and English languages, applying the procedure under paragraph 1. The abstract must be identical in terms of content with the abstract contained in the rigorosum thesis.
A rigorosum thesis submitted by the applicant for defence is published for perusal by the public at least five working days before the defence is sat at the place determined by an internal regulation of the faculty at which the defence is being organised. This internal regulation also sets the period for which the rigorosum thesis is to be made accessible, and any other possible organisational-administrative issues.
Publication of rigorosum theses the defence of which has already taken place, including the external examiner’s review and the report on the defence and its result, is made through the electronic database of graduate theses.
The technical details of the publication of theses through the electronic database are determined by a Rector’s directive in accordance with Art. 10(3) of the Constitution of the University.
The University may defer the publication of a rigorosum thesis or its part for a period during which an obstacle to publication exists, however, for a period of no longer than three years. The information about the deferral of the publication along with the justification thereof must be published in the same place as the rigorosum theses are published. Upon the successful defence of a thesis to which the deferral of publication under sentence one applies, the University will, without undue delay, send a copy of such thesis to the Ministry for archiving.
If the internal regulation of the faculty under paragraph 1 prescribes that rigorosum theses are to also be submitted in a hard-copy format, a dean’s directive will determine the organisational-administrative formalities for the inspection of such theses. The dean’s directive further determines how the costs connected with making extracts from, or copies or facsimiles thereof are to be calculated, as well as how such extracts, copies, or facsimiles are to be made.
A person inspecting a rigorosum thesis must be advised of the fact that the information so acquired cannot be used for profit-making purposes, or presented as a study, scholarly, or other creative activity of a person other than the author.
The Board may recognise a diploma thesis defended under Act No. 172/1990 Sb., on higher education institutions, or under the Higher Education Act, which has met the requirements set out in Art. (3) as a rigorosum thesis under this Code.
The Board may recognise a dissertation thesis defended under section 22 (2) of Act No. 172/1990 Sb., on higher education institutions, or under the Higher Education Act, or a state rigorosum examination passed under section 22 (2) of Act No. 172/1990 Sb., on higher education institutions, or a state doctoral examination passed under the Higher Education Act, as a rigorosum thesis, or rather as an oral examination under this Code. Where a dissertation thesis under the first sentence has been defended in the course of a doctoral study programme commenced prior to 29 May 1998 as post-graduate study (section 98 (2) (c) of the Higher Education Act), it will be recognised as a rigorosum thesis under this Code; in such case, the payment of costs is not required. The provision contained in the second sentence applies also to the recognition of a state rigorosum examination or a state doctoral examination as an oral examination under this Code.
The Rigorosum Examination Code of Charles University, as amended, registered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on 17 June 1999 is hereby repealed.
The State Rigorosum Examination based on an application submitted prior to the coming into effect of this Code may be taken no later than within four years of the effective date hereof.
This Code was approved by the Academic Senate of the University on 25 November 2016.
This Code comes into force on the date of the registration by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.1
This Code becomes effective on the first day of the calendar month following the date of coming into force.
The amendments of the Rigorosum Examination Code of Charles University were approved under section 9 (1) (b) (iii) of Act No. 111/1998 Sb., to regulate higher education institutions and to change and amend other laws (“the Higher Education Institutions Act”), as amended, by the Academic Senate of Charles University in Prague on 25 January 2019.
The amendments of the Rigorosum Examination Code of Charles University come into force in compliance with section 36 (4) of the Higher Education Institutions Act on the date of registration by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The amendments to the Rigorosum Examination Code of Charles University, registered under Ref. No. MSMT-5719/2019 (Amendments No. 1) on 12 February 2019, become effective on the first day of the calendar month following the date of coming into force, the amendments registered under Ref. No. MSMT-38485/2020-1 (Amendments No. 2) on 30 September 2020 become effective on the day following the date of coming into force and the amendments registered under Ref. No. MSMT-XX (Amendments No. 3) on 2717 December 2020 become effective on the day following the date of coming into force.
Should the time limit under Article 4 (10) or the time limit under Article 9 (2) of the Rigorosum Examination Code of Charles University expire for an applicant between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021, the time limit is extended to 1 July 2021.
PhDr. Tomáš Nigrin, Ph.D.
Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc.
Chair of the Academic Senate
* Translator’s note: Words importing the masculine include the feminine, and unless the context otherwise requires, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.
S. 36 of the Higher Education Act. The registration was completed on 14 December 2016.