Postgraduate / Doctoral Studies/PhD in Switzerland

phd switzerland Doctorate or PhD. (dt-schweiz. Doktorat) in Switzerland is possible on the basis of a classical university. With regard to applied universities (dt. Fachhochschule) or pedagogical universities (dt. Pädagogische Hochschule), in Switzerland, special permission must be obtained in order to write a doctoral thesis with teachers from these institutions. In Switzerland, there are the following classical universities where you can enroll in doctoral studies or PhD.:



In order to enroll in doctoral studies (dt-schweiz. Doktorat) in Switzerland, you must have a master's degree in Switzerland or in another country that is recognized as equivalent to a Swiss master's degree. Recognition of your master's degree takes place within the framework of the Swiss university where you plan to study for a doctorate. After successfully completing your doctoral studies in Switzerland, you will receive the Titel Dr.

In order to enroll in doctoral studies in Switzerland, three points must be taken into account.

  • Firstly, there are not so many universities in Switzerland compared to, for example, Germany, so the number of opportunities for admission to doctoral studies in Switzerland is also limited for this reason.
  • Secondly, you need to find a supervisor for your doctoral work at a Swiss university, which is difficult to do, since the number of professors on the one hand is limited, and on the other hand, Swiss professors prefer to take students for doctoral studies who would first of all graduate from a university in Switzerland . Therefore, the opportunity to get to doctoral studies in Switzerland from another country is very limited. In order for you to be able to secure a postdoctoral position in Switzerland, you need to have an interesting topic for your research that you can suggest to your supervisor. You need to search the websites of Swiss universities for professors whose scientific interests coincide with yours. After you find a few professors, you must write to them, present them with your topic, or rather, a draft of your future doctoral dissertation. And most likely, one of them will agree to become a supervisor for your doctoral dissertation, and, perhaps, will offer you an interesting alternative.
  • Thirdly, after you agree with the professor on supervision, you should contact the university where he works and find out about the conditions for admission to doctoral studies at this university. At some universities in Switzerland, you will be asked to complete the academic difference from subjects that you did not study in your master's course at home. Therefore, it is best for you to choose the topic of your doctoral dissertation as close as possible to what you have already studied at home, in order to minimize the need to complete the academic difference.

Doctoral studies in Switzerland take place mainly in German and English, but there is also the possibility of enrolling in doctoral studies in French or Italian.

Usually, doctoral studies in Switzerland are free of charge in almost all universities and last for about 3 years for foreign students. At some Swiss universities, you may even be placed on the staff of junior university staff, and you will even receive a small salary.

As for the documents that you need to submit when applying to a Swiss university, you can find an approximate list of required documents here: (please note that the exact list of documents should always be clarified at a particular university, as it may differ from the one proposed)