Doctoral study

Doctoral programs

Doctoral study is administered at doctoral schools in accordance with the decree of May 25, 2016. Students are generally expected to complete their doctoral research and thesis in three years, full-time. In some cases, students may take up to six years to complete their doctoral work.
Administrative enrollment must be renewed each year, after consultation with the doctoral school committee, until the thesis is defended.
If there is a clear motive, a gap year may be authorized during the doctoral program.
Students at the Doctoral School are attached to one of the research units and are under the control and responsibility of one or more thesis supervisors.


Doctoral students must regularly attend the doctoral training provided by the research units and the Doctoral School (seminars, study days, symposia, etc.) and present their progress to a Doctoral Candidate Monitoring Committee each year.


A doctorate is awarded after public defense of a thesis. Doctoral study is possible in the following disciplines:
Economy and Society
Epistemology, History of Science
African Studies
Human and Economic Geography
History, Societies, and Culture
Literatures and Cultures
Education Science
Science of Language: Linguistics and Language Teaching
Political Science and International Relations
Sociology, Ethnology, Anthropology
Translation Studies
Natural Language Processing

Prevention of plagiarism

Inalco’s senior management has elected to roll out COMPILATIO plagiarism detection software for use by all faculty members.

With this software, faculty members can analyze doctoral students’ work to quickly identify any passages that have been “copied and pasted” and their probable sources on the internet.

Enrolling for your first year

Enrolling for your first year

You must first:
  1. Choose one or more thesis supervisor(s)
  2. Write a research proposal
  3. Complete your application and submit it to Doctoral School 265 
Students are selected for admission by the Doctoral School Committee.

Applications to a doctoral program

Download the doctoral admissions form
Download the research proposal form
Download the USPC - INALCO doctorate charter

Applications to a doctoral program (co-tutelle)

Download the co-tutelle admissions form
Download the research proposal form
Download the USPC - INALCO doctorate charter

Applications for a doctoral fellowship

By default, any application for a doctoral fellowship is equivalent to a doctoral application—there is no need to complete two applications.

Download the doctoral fellowship application form
Download the research proposal form
Download the USPC - INALCO doctorate charter

Joint supervision and co-tutelle

Joint supervision

A doctoral student may have two thesis supervisors (one at Inalco, the other at another French or foreign institution) if the thesis subject requires the support of another discipline or specialty. In this case, a joint supervision agreement is established.


The decree of 25 May 2016 establishes the terms and conditions for implementing international co-tutelle of doctoral study. Co-tutelle may be put in place for French or foreign doctoral students in their first year of doctoral studies and requires a co-tutelle agreement.
The doctoral student enrolls simultaneously in both institutions (the student is exempt from tuition fees at one of the institutions). He or she studies for alternate periods in each country, conducts his or her research under two joint supervisors, one French and the other foreign, and is awarded a doctorate from each institution (dual degree) on the strength of a single thesis defended before a mixed examination committee. 
The co-tutelle procedure can only be initiated once the student has been admitted to a doctoral program and has enrolled at Inalco.
Co-tutelle with a foreign higher education institution (enrollment in two universities) reinforces the international dimension of doctoral schools, promotes doctoral student mobility in different scientific and cultural environments, and develops academic cooperation between French and foreign research units.

Thesis submission and defense

Electronic submission of theses became mandatory on June 1, 2013. This is a legal requirement for thesis submission and applies to all theses, including those that are to remain confidential.
The doctoral candidate must contact the doctoral program secretary to submit his or her thesis at least three months before the defense. The institution will have approved the composition of the examination committee beforehand.
At the end of the defense, the doctoral student will declare how the final version of his or her thesis is to be disseminated. Depending on his or her choice, the electronic version of the thesis may be made available online on the platforms Inalco had selected ( and

Useful resources

Examination committee proposal
Defense procedure (please read carefully)
Thesis printing form
Electronic thesis submission and dissemination
Inalco submission after defense
Registration form for defended thesis
Inalco cover page
Inalco co-tutelle cover page
Videoconference memo
Videoconference request form
Open office
List of third-party resources
Facile annex
Corrections statement

Contact informations

Direction de la recherche, de la valorisation et des études doctorales

    • Barbora CHAVEL
    • Secrétariat des doctorats
    • 33 (0)1 81 70 12 16
2 rue de Lille
75007 Paris