Rules for
COS Programs

The COS programs of the EPFL Extension School are governed by official rules as defined by the EPFL. When you enroll in one of our COS programs, you will receive a copy of those rules prior to the start of your program. You'll need to read and accept them before you can start the program.

The official rules are, by default, in French, and the version you receive and must accept is also in French. What you'll find below is a guide to the general rules as they apply to all our COS programs. This is not, however, an official or legal version of the rules that apply to your program.

If, after reviewing the official rules and the text below, you have any questions, please contact us.

Certificate of Open Studies:
Program Rules

1. Scope

The Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), through its Extension School arm, delivers a Certificate of Open Studies (COS).

2. Objectives

Each COS has a specific objective, as detailed in the official rules for each program. Please refer to the official versions for these objectives. Access the version for the Applied Data Science: Machine learning program here, the version for the Web Application Development program here, or the version for the Applied Data Science: Communication & Visualization here.

3. General Organization

3.1 COS programs are open to the public and offered online. Learners follow the program curriculum at their own pace.

3.2 COS programs consist of several "prerequisite" courses followed by a Capstone project. Successfully completing each of the courses allows the learner to begin the Capstone project. Successful completion of the Capstone project earns the learner the Certificate of Open Studies for the program.

3.3 The prerequisite courses are a series of sequential courses, each available online. The Capstone project allows the learner to demonstrate mastery of the course materials through completion of an individual project.

3.4 Successful completion of the COS program earns a learner 15 ECTS credits, granted as a block of credits. These credits cannot be earned separately.

3.5 The course curriculum is provided in annex to the rules.

3.6 Enrollment and course progression information are communicated to the learner online.

3.7 The COS program is taught entirely in English.

3.4 Participation in the program requires that the learner has the relevant computer hardware, software and internet bandwidth to follow the course, communicate with the school and participate in required video conferences/presentations.

4. Program Duration

4.1 The COS program requires a minimum enrollment period of three months and supports a maximum enrollment period of 18 months.

4.2 Active enrollment in the program can be paused on a month-to-month basis. The Terms of Use provide details about how a learner may pause their active enrollment. Pausing active enrollment does not extend the maximum duration of the total enrollment period. The monthly enrollment fees are reduced when a learner pauses their active enrollment.

4.3 The maximum length cannot be extended. Cancelling enrollment and/or quitting the program prevents the learner from completing the program.

5. Enrollment

5.1 Enrollment, monthly fees and payment procedures are detailed on the program website and in the Terms and Conditions.

5.2 Enrollment in a program requires that the learner provide valid payment details as well as official documentation of their identity.

5.3 Enrollment is definitive and enrollment fees are due as of the first day of the program. Effective that date, the learner has access to the content of the program for a period of one month. Learner enrollments are automatically renewed each month and learners are billed each month up to the maximum enrollment period of the program.

6. Grades and Grading

Prerequisite Courses

6.1 Each prerequisite course is graded on the basis of one or more course projects submitted online.

6.2 Course grades are "pass" or "fail".

6.3 In the case of a "fail" grade in a course, the learner may retake the course provided the enrollment period needed to do so is within the maximum enrollment period.

6.4 Learners will receive a course certificate for each course they successfully pass. They do not receive any ECTS credits.

6.5 In order to prevent fraudulent certification of competences, the EPFL reserves the right to require a learner to present the course project, at the learner's expense, in person at the EPFL Campus.

Capstone Project

6.6 The Capstone project is graded. As part of the grading process, the learner must defend their project, by videoconference, and must demonstrate their knowledge of the materials taught in the program.

6.7 The learner may submit drafts of the project for review prior to final submission. The project, in its final, submitted version, is graded either "pass" or "fail".

6.8 In the case of a "fail" grade for the Capstone project, the learner may choose a second Capstone project to develop and submit. The project must be materially different from the first project. The second Capstone project must be completed within the maximum enrollment period. A "fail" grade for the second Capstone project means the learner has definitively failed the COS program.

6.9 Learners will receive an official Certificate of Open Studies upon successful completion of the Course project.

6.10 In order to prevent fraudulent certification of competences, the EPFL reserves the right to require a learner to present the Capstone project, at the learner's expense, in person at the EPFL Campus.

7. Effective Date

Please refer to the official rules.

Last updated: April 29, 2020

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