Regular Participation in the PhD Program

Application Procedure

The admission to the doctoral programme is subject to the admission requirements of the doctoral regulation (PDF, 94 KB) and is open to those who are particularly qualified and motivated to do so. The Doctoral Commission BmEL RWF decides on the proper admission.

First you will find a supervisor for your dissertation project, who will also sign your confirmation for doctoral students. Together with your supervisor, you determine the second supervisor (application for appointment of the doctoral commission (PDF, 1497 KB)). You will then matriculate at the University of Zurich for a general doctorate (observe deadlines).

Please submit the following application documents electronically to (please note the general application deadlines). On the basis of the application documents submitted, the Doctoral Commission BmEL RWF will decide who will be invited to the selection interviews.

Application Documents

  • letter of application
  • Curriculum vitae with photo
  • Copies of all previous degrees and school-leaving certificates
  • Confirmation of Supervision (PDF, 243 KB) for Doctoral Students (PDF, 243 KB)
  • Proof of enrolment as a doctoral student or proof that the requirements for enrolment have been met (cf. PVO Paragraph 10ff.)
  • Application for the appointment of the Doctoral Commission (PDF, 1497 KB)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Exposé with a maximum length of five pages
  • Possible application for imputation (PDF, 1440 KB) pursuant to No. 10 para. 1 lit. i. DokO


The following considerations may serve as a guideline:

  • State of research: What findings are available so far and how should one's own contribution relate to these findings?
  • Problem: Which theoretical, practical, empirical, social, political problem is the starting point of the work?
  • Interest in knowledge: What motivates you to do this work?
  • Question: What is the research question to which the work should provide an answer?
  • Methodical approach: Which working steps and which approaches should lead to a solution?
  • Sources: Which sources exist and which should be dealt with?
  • Preliminary structure: How could the material be structured in a structure?

(from: Helga Knigge-Illner, Der Weg zum Doktortitel, 2009)