Master Thesis

PwC awards a prize to the author of a thesis written at USI's Master in Finance on topics consistent with the areas of interest of PwC, and in particular, relating to “Digitalization in financial services.”
The prize comes in the form of a store voucher for CHF 1,500. Find out more.


The 120 ECTS path of the Master includes the delivery of a Master’s thesis in the fourth semester. The thesis itself is worth 30 ECTS.

A Master’s thesis provides the opportunity for a student to plan, structure, carry and interpret research in the field of Finance; the thesis should be of high quality, meaning that the student should deliver original work with potential for presentation at professional or scholarly meetings.

In the thesis, the student should: show good awareness of the current work on the topic; demonstrate proficiency in carrying analytical research; organize results in a coherent and critical manner; and deliver a properly structured and written description of her/his work. The candidate should finally be ready to discuss it in front of the thesis committee in an organized way and be ready to defend her/his conclusions and argue around them.

It is the student’s responsibility to propose a thesis topic, and ultimately to ensure timely completion of the thesis in compliance with the standards above. The thesis should be conducted and written under the supervision of a lecturer of the Master’s in Finance, which acts as main Thesis Supervisor. To approach a lecturer, the student may want to prepare a short (2-3 pages) proposal where (s)he outlines research question, approach, and main expected takeaways of the thesis.

The following are the critical administrative steps that take you to the thesis completion, once a Supervisor has been identified:

  • Agree on a title with the Supervisor and have the registration form signed by your Supervisor. In the form, also write down the name of the Second Reader of the thesis, to be decided with the Supervisor, then upload it on iCorsi.
  • When writing your thesis, please follow the style guidelines.
  • Upload the final draft approved by your supervisor for the plagiarism check following the relevant procedure that you find here.
  • Fill in and sign the document “declaration of Academic Honesty” and upload it here.
  • The University Library Lugano shall likewise issue a clearance statement ("Clearance statement request form"), duly signed. To obtain this document, please click here. Upload the document to ICorsi here.
  • Agree with your Supervisor and Second Reader when the discussion will take place and communicate date and time to the Master’s Assistant, who will email the formal call for thesis defence.
  • The discussion of the thesis can only take place if a student has already acquired the entire required number of 90 ECTS.
  • Deadlines for submission of the final version to the Supervisor: the submission of the complete and final thesis to the Supervisor must be made no later than
    • 1 February in order to complete the studies in Spring,
    • 1 September in order to complete the studies in Autumn.
  • Deadlines for completion of the studies and taking part in the Graduation Ceremony: the thesis’ defense must take place within the due dates to complete the studies, which are
    • 1 March
    • 1 October

For complete guidelines on the Master’s dissertations please refer to this page.