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2009-2010 A.Y.
Master of Science


To be admitted to the graduation session students must earn all the credit points provided for in the program structure except for those credits of the thesis.

Students are awarded the degree after passing the Degree Final exam and after earning at least 120 credit points.

The thesis for all MSc programs is worth 20 credit points with the exception of the CLG-LS thesis which is worth 26 credit points.

The thesis preparation is divided into the following phases:

  • assignment;
  • graduation reservation
  • thesis submission;
  • admission to the graduation session;
  • thesis oral presentation and awarding of the graduation grade.


Last change 27/07/2009 12:33




In order to obtain the Master of Science degree, the final exam requires students to present and defend their written thesis before the Degree Board.

The thesis shapes the student's educational experience in a significant way. It is the result of research carried out under the supervision of the thesis advisor on a topic linked to the main subject area of the graduating student's curriculum. The topic of the thesis does not necessarily have to be associated with a course in the student's study plan. It can be based on work experience (internship) or a period of study in Italy or abroad.

The thesis must demonstrate the student's command of the basic methodologies of the subject areas he/she has studied. Students must also prepare an in-depth analysis of  a specific topic  addressing the theoretical, practical and empirical aspects in an original and critical way.

Students enrolled in Italian class groups can choose to write the thesis in Italian or in English. Students enrolled in English class groups must write the thesis in English.

For a student who acquired an advanced and specialized preparation writing the thesis generally corresponds to 4 month of full-time committment. The committment depends on the number of credit points of the thesis.

As a general guide the thesis is made of 50 pages (around 18.000 words). Thesis referring to the Department of Law and to the field of Economic History of the Department of Institutional Analysis and Public Management as a general guide are made of 150/200 pages (around 50.000/70.000 words).

Thesis is followed by an abstract which summarizes the thesis main topic.

It is possible to download the Guide for writing the MSc thesis  which has been written with the aim of give orientation to students in writing the thesis.

The guide is availanble in two versions:

For each MSc Program additional information could be provided for in, for the peculiarity of the courses of the Program. Any additional information will be given by each MSc Program Director and will come out when writing the thesis from the contact between Advisor and student.

We invite you to carefully check the correct procedures for the use of citations, in the above guides. 

The University pays particular attention to the originality of the students’ thesis.It must be the result of a personal contribution, must not be carried out with the aid of outside consulting firms, special attention must be paid to citations and must not contain texts taken from other sources.To this end the University has adopted ad hoc software in order to verify the originality of the work.

Should copying of work be discovered, the student will be referred to the disciplinary board and appropriate measures will be taken.

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The University offers assistance as follows:

  • each Department can provide assistance to students regarding the assignment of the thesis. Graduating students deal with the Thesis Service in the Advisor's Department of reference. 
  • At the Secretary's Office of the Graduate School/School of Law (via Roentgen Building, I floor Room E3-03/04 and E3-FM02) the Service offers guidance for the phase of the IT procedure of the thesis (inserting the assignment and the approval for the submission of the thesis).

The thesis is formally assigned by the thesis advisor, who will supervise the progress of the work.


The advisor may nominate a second advisor:

  • the thesis covers more than one field of study; the second advisor is chosen from a Department which is different from the advisor's, and collaborates in supervising the work.
  • In case of long term Visiting Professor.

Once the thesis has been assigned, the thesis advisor will nominate a discussant to act as the interlocutor during the presentation (defence) of the thesis. There is only one discussant. The discussant is chosen from among the professors who can assume the role of thesis discussant according to rank and qualifications, as defined by the University.

The Department of reference for the thesis is the same as that of the advisor.


A thesis can ve cancelled by the students through the function "Cancel Thesis Title".


Assignment procedures

Graduating students :

  • fill out the Punto Blu section "Thesis Title Submission" by specifying thesis title, thesis language and thesis advisor;
  • print out  2 copies of the "Thesis Title" form;
  • contact their Advisor who complete the form by specifying any second Advisor (referring to a different Department than the one of the Advisor) and discussant;
  • go to the Secretary's Office of the Graduate School/School of Law to hand in the two copies of the form filled out (in order to have it inserted in the IT procedure).

Last change 12/07/2010 18:44

Graduation reservation

Graduating students:

  • make the graduation reservation via Punto Blu, by selecting the "Graduation Reservation" option. Students must respect the deadlines and timelines indicated on the Graduation Calendar.

    Students do not need to have passed all the exams in the program structure in order to make the graduation reservation. In fact, it is advisable to make the graduation reservation before submitting the thesis.

    The "Graduation Reservation" option the following checks will be carried out:

    - that the thesis title has been submitted;
    - the student's administrative status;
    - the student's financial position (whether fees, tuition, etc. have been paid).

          - the students do not have any pending obligations with ISU

          - the students do not have any pending obligations with Library.


          Students' administrative status regards:

 - enrolment in the 2008-2009 a.y. for those students who intend to       graduate within the first session of 2010 (March)
- enrolment in the 2009-2010 a.y. for those students who intend to graduate from the second session of 2010 to the first session of 2011 (generally the first session is held in March).

Please note also that students who intend to graduate:

- in the second session of 2010, (May) upon payment of the first installment of university fees and tuition;
- from the third session of 2010, (July) upon payment of all university fees and tuition;

  • Once checks have been made students can view:

- their thesis title

- the educational activities in the study plan to be completed;

- the grade point average.

  • specifies the delivery address where copies of the thesis should be sent and the defence language of the thesis.

Via the yoU@B student diary,after having made the graduation reservation students must fill out the following forms:

- the placement form which goes into a "CV Book" that will be sent to Bocconi contacts for recruitment purposes. These contacts include companies, public and private organizations as well as professional studios.
- the evaluation of university experience questionnaire. This questionnaire makes up part of a national survey and is designed to discover the perceptions of students who are about to graduate with reference to their overall university experience.

Last change 04/05/2010 12:35

Submitting the thesis

Graduating students, after interacting with their Advisor for writing the thesis:

access the Punto Blu function "Thesis Title - Information Completion" and enter their abstracts (the abstract summarizes the thesis topic in a fixed number of predefined lines, around 250 words) and authorizes or not the thesis consultation.

-  download and print the approval form in 2 copies through the function "Print Approval". This form includes:

- thesis title;
- thesis advisor;
- thesis advisor's Department of reference;
- abstract;

- authorization/non-authorization to the thesis consultation

-  fill out and sign the declaration of conformity (the declaration asserts that the CD ROM's contents conform to what has been written by the student and approved by the thesis advisor);

-  submit the thesis approal form to the thesis advisor.
The thesis advisor will check the accuracy of the abstract, make any corrections to the thesis title and sign the form.
-  hand in the signed approval form in duplicate to the Secretary's Office of the Graduate School/School of Law.

-  Submit the CD ROM of the thesis according to the format specifications indicated in  the following paragraph and , in a pdf file to:

- To the "Centro Stampa" (monday-friday 8.30am-12.45am, 2pm-4pm the days before the opening days of the "Thesis Submission" assistance point);
- To the "Thesis Submission" assistance point (Via Roentgen  Building, I floor area E4 Room SR02) only during the week before the deadline for submitting the thesis;

collect and sign the authorization form for printing and distribution;

collect a copy of the receipt for thesis submission.

The thesis can be handed in by third parties upon presentation of their ID (passport or other document), delegating paper  and copy of the graduating student ID document(passport or other document),

The University is responsible for the printing and binding of the required number of thesis copies.

Students accepted for graduation will be issued two copies of their binded theses about 10 days before the thesis defence. The thesis will be sent to the address which the student provided when making the graduation reservation or to the Centro Stampa.

If student request to be sent the thesis to the address they provided when making the graduation reservation he will receive a message in his yoU@B student Diary indicating the tracking numeber to be able to check on the website www.tnt.itthe delivery status of his thesis.

Last change 02/04/2010 18:24

Format specification for the submission of the thesis

Instructions for the submission of the MSC Thesis:

1.The Thesis must be handed in, in electronic format on CD-ROM and not protected from password (reading, modification, print and so on).

2.The Thesis must be handed in a single file, PDF format and the name of the file will be TS, followed by the student ID number e.g., if the student ID number is 1234567, the name of the file is TS1234567.pdf. Students are requested to include a white sheet after the title page of the thesis, in order to obtain a correct formatting of the PDF document/file.

3.Students must attach a label to the CD-ROM cover, including, clearly printed and in BLOCK LETTERS: student ID, surname/family name and name and month of the graduation session.

Formatting specifications suggested:

  • Paper size: cm 29X21 (A4);
  • Right and left margin: 2.5 cm;
  • Lines per page : from 26 to 30 lines;
  • Recommended font: Arial/Tahoma/Verdana;
  • Front size (body): 12 points;
  • Pages numbered;
  • Title page carrying on it, in the following order:

- Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi

         - Faculty of Economics

- Master of Science      
         - Thesis' title
         - Advisor

         - Any second advisor
         - Discussant
         - Master of Science Thesis of: name, surname and student ID 
         - Academic Year

  • The thesis must start from the right page (odd), because it will be back-and-front printed .

It is not possible to include any personal detail (name, student ID...) in other sections of the thesis (headings or notes at the bottom of the page) other than the front page.

It is not possible to use the Università Bocconi seal on the cover sheet or within the Thesis.

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Graduation acceptance

After the period for submitting the thesis has closed, the Student Administration Centre will determine whether or not the student meets all the criteria to graduate.
In particular, the Student Administration Centre will check that:


  • the procedure contains the abstract and approval from the thesis advisor;
  • the thesis has been submitted;
  • all educational activities included in the study plan are registered (except for the credit points for the thesis);
  • there are no pending obligations with the ISU Office;
  • there are no outstanding obligations with the Library.


The thesis will be submitted to the Examining Board for assessment only if all the criteria to graduate are fulfilled.

Students will receive notification about acceptance to graduation via an online message sent to their yoU@B student Diaries. This message will also contain the student's GPA.

Last change 27/07/2009 17:50

Degree boards

The thesis is evaluated by the Degree Board, of which the thesis advisor is a member.

The Boards are appointed by the Rector or by one of his delegates, and are presided by a tenured Professor (1st or 2nd level), who can also take on the role of thesis advisor and a second advisor and/or discussant of one or more theses which are subject to assessment.
The Boards are made up of professors, researchers and professionals who are experts on the thesis topic and on the other educational activities which  are included in the Program Structure.
The Board consist of at least 5 members including:

  • the thesis advisor;
  • a second thesis advisor (only if appointed);
  • the discussant;
  • at least 3 other examiners (2 if a second advisor is present).

Last change 27/07/2009 17:51

Graduation and awarding of the graduation grade

Students enrolled in class groups taught in Italian can opt to present and defend the thesis in either Italian or English even if it would be better to defend the thesis in the same language chosen to write the thesis. However students enrolled in class groups taught in English must present and defend the thesis in English.

The graduation (thesis presentation) includes:

  • an oral presentation (approximately 20 minutes);
  • the defence, which includes answering questions and discussing issues raised by the members of the Degree Board. Those theses considered to be excellent will involve the participation of the discussant.

On completion of the presentation the candidate exits; the Board then determines the student's graduation grade.

The overall classification is expressed out of 110.
Students pass the final exam if they obtain a grade of at least 66.

The graduation grade takes into account all the educational activities included in the student's academic career. The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by the weighted mathematical average on the credit point values of all marks expressed out of 30 and converted into a mark out of 110. Up to 8 points may be added to this score based on evaluation of the thesis and the student's overall curriculum.
Please take note for the Master of Science in Giurisprudenza [Law]  the incremental score to be added to the GPA weighed on credit points converted into a mark out of 110 can be of maximum 6 credit points.

With reference to the "GPA" it should be noted that:

  • in calculating the graduation grade a mark of 30 "cum laude" is expressed as 31;
  • marks for courses taken to meet Ministerial and Bocconi requirements are not taken into consideration;
  • a maximum of 2 additional exams (or equivalent educational activities) are taken into consideration (in cases where students have passed more than 2 additional exams, the 2 best results will be used);
  • for exams passed at other Italian or foreign universities with a mark that is not expressed out of thirty, the marks are converted to a mark out of thirty on the basis of a specific conversion table.

Points awarded for thesis evaluation and overall curriculum, for the MSc of Science Programs related to economics and management, regard:

  • the thesis: a maximum of 8 points (out of 110)
  • the overall curriculum: 1 point (out of 110) if "excellent"; this is awarded only if the thesis has earned from 0 to 7 points (out of 110).

The thesis is evaluated on contents, presentation and defence.

The contents of the thesis are evaluated on clarity and accuracy of the written work, as well as the student's ability to summarize. The points awarded are based on the complexity of the topics covered, thoroughness and depth of analysis, literature cited, methodology applied and the quality and accuracy of empirical analysis. Originality and degree of innovation are also important factors. In addition, the adequacy of the conclusions reached is also assessed.

The presentation is evaluated on the ability to express oneself clearly, plan and organize a well-structured presentation, apply critical reasoning and analytical skills, and respond appropriately to the questions and issues raised by the Board.

A high GPA does not guarantee a high thesis score. On the other hand, a comprehensive and original thesis can be awarded a high score regardless of the student's GPA.

The Board calculates the rounding of the graduation grade; if the decimal point is equal to or higher than 5 then the score is rounded up, whereas if the decimal point is lower than 5 it is rounded down.

For the  Master of Science programs related to  Economics and Management the Board can unanimously award "lode" (cum laude) to students who satisfy the following conditions:

  • thesis evaluation  and overall curriculum of at least 7 points;
  • graduation grade of at least 111.

 For the Master of Science in Giurisprudenza (Law) the Board can unanimously award "lode"(cum laude) to students who satisfy the following conditions:

  • the Degree Board evaluates the thesis as"excellent";
  • students have a curriculum that is considered excellent action.e. have passed at least 2 exams with a grade of at least 30 cum laude (some particular experiences abroad such like the participation in the Moot or Themis program can be compared);
  • graduation grade of at least 110.
  • Lack of any disciplinary sanction.

In the graduating student's presence, the Board will proclaim that the student has graduated and announce the graduation grade.

Last change 27/07/2009 17:55

Important reminders

  • The thesis presentation agenda (day, time, room and Examining Board ) can be checked in the yoU@B student diary It is also posted on the bulletin boards located on the ground floor of the University building at via Sarfatti 25. It is released around one week prior to the presentation.
  • After the presentation students can ask the Board to return the printed copy of the thesis. The Student Administration Centre will not return any copies.
  • In general, in the following days after the thesis defence, graduates can print graduation certifications at Punto Blu (they will need their Bocconi ID card) or request them at the Teaching Services and Organization Desk. Graduates who require a certification  with "marca da bollo" (pre-paid stamp duty) can make the request at the Teaching Services and Organization Desk. Please note that the official certification will only be issued if graduates bring along the correct "marca da bollo".
  • The degree diploma will be sent to the graduate's address which he/she provided when the graduation session was reserved.
  • As a general guide the pictures taken during the degree defence will be available on the yoU@B student Diary 15 days after the graduation session. It is also specified that such pictures are free.
  • If students cancel the graduation reservation they must repeat the procedure via Punto Blu, reserve a new session by the set deadline and go the Secretary's Office of the Graduate School/School of Law to ask to change the graduation session entered by them.
  • After reserving a graduation session students can no longer enrol in the new academic year unless they renounce the graduation reservation. Renouncement must be done in writing and handed in to the Teaching Services and Organization Desk (Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 4 pm). After re-enrolling in the new academic year and settling any pending financial obligations, students can make another graduation reservation.


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Graduation session

The graduation calendar can be consulted on the website in the section "Graduation sessions; calendars and ceremonies". It also contains the following information:


  • period for reserving the graduation session;
  • deadline for taking the last exam;
  • deadline for submission of the thesis and submission thesis point.

Last change 04/05/2010 12:36