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Graduate Campus

Are you thinking about pursuing a doctorate at UZH?

If so, first get in contact with a UZH professor who is willing and able to supervise your doctoral project. If you are interested in participating in a PhD program, you should first of all carefully read through the application procedures for the program in question.

Admission to doctoral studies

The doctorate is comprised of a PhD thesis as well as coursework. It serves as a qualification for an academic career or other demanding professions.

As a general rule, a Master's degree or an equivalent degree from an accredited university is the prerequisite for admission to the doctorate. Certain criteria regarding content as well as formal conditions (e.g. grade-point average, qualification phases) are also considered when processing applications.

Requirements for admission and procedures

The requirements for admission and the admission procedures are set out in the ordinance for obtaining a doctoral degree at the faculty in question. Some faculties also offer a fast-track doctoral program, a program for particularly talented students in which the Master's degree and PhD are integrated in a single program of study. The individual programs define their PhD programs' admission procedures – which, as a rule, are highly competitive.

Please note that PhD candidates must be matriculated at the University for the duration of their doctorate, i.e. until they have been conferred the final degree. The Student Administration Office can answer any questions about administrative formalities.

Application and admission to doctoral studies
Application period

Content and requirements

Writing a PhD thesis – independent and original academic work – forms the core part of the doctorate. The thesis can take the form of a monograph or consist of several publications on a single subject which have been published in scientific journals (a cumulative PhD thesis). You can find more information about the formal requirements in the doctoral program regulations for your subject area. As a general rule, however, the thesis should be of such scope and content that it can be completed within three years.

The required coursework serves to enhance subject-specific skills, but also goes toward developing transferable skills. All coursework will be recorded in your final transcript of records and Academic Record. Coursework requirements can be fulfilled by attending courses in your subject area, by visiting classes from the main pool of courses in transferable skills (transferable skills and university-level teaching), or, in some cases by attending courses at another institution. Alongside the required coursework (including transferable skills), it is highly recommended that PhD candidates develop their teaching skills.

Individual PhD and PhD programs

In many disciplines at UZH there are two types of doctoral programs offered: the individual doctorate and the structured doctoral programs. Moreover there are also interdisciplinary and inter-university schools or programs, partly financed by third-party funds. The subpage Doctoral Programs gives an overview of these programs. 

Procedures at UZH faculties

Because the various faculties at UZH are thematically and structurally so diverse, each faculty is in charge of designing its own PhD program.

Be sure to read about the specific requirements at the faculty in question.