If you want to get your Ph.D. in Switzerland, bear in mind that it is known for its top-ranking universities around the world. Switzerland is home to many state universities and institutes of technology that score high on quality and are often referred to as world leaders. Furthermore, the cantonal universities and institutes of technology are the only ones that award recognized Ph.D. titles, despite not being the only accredited universities in Switzerland.

Apart from the world-acclaimed fame, Swiss universities offer a variety of scholarships for international students, and the language of instruction for doctorate programs is mainly English. Additionally, there will be opportunities for academic jobs in Switzerland, and they tend to have high salaries.

We’ve already discussed what there is to know about getting a Ph.D. in Switzerland, so let’s dive into the programs. From mathematics to neuroscience, here are some of the best doctorate programs in Switzerland.

Food Science, Ph.D., ETH Zurich

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Source: twu.edu

The food science Ph.D. program at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich focuses on using food research for improving food nutrition needs for the consumer. Their goal is to provide proper nutrition to humanity on a global level. In addition, the program concentrates on the production and development of food, including the macroscopic and molecular structure of the food and the relationship between them. The program also studies how the food structure transforms under controlled biochemical or physical factors.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements Master’s degree or equivalent university degree.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 264 EUR/year
Credits 12 ECTS

*Degrees which do not qualify a student to apply for this program are degrees from universities of applied sciences, bachelor’s degree, and any kind of an MBA degree.

Social Psychology, Ph.D., University of Lausanne

The social psychology doctorate program at the University of Lausanne primarily focuses on stimulating thesis work. The syllabus contains interlaboratory meetings, dissertation work,  internal seminars, and modular courses. This way, students get to listen to thematic modules presented to them mainly by visiting professors, present their research together with established researchers and discuss their research with local teachers.

English Requirements IELTS/TOEFL
General Requirements CV; bachelor’s and master’s transcript of grades; statement of purpose; research proposal. 
Program Duration 3 years
Language of Instruction English, French
Schedule Full-time
Cost 148 EUR/year
Credits 120 ECTS

International Law, Ph.D., University of Geneva

While this international law program at the University of Geneva— which is one of the best law schools in Switzerland—offers an intellectually stimulating environment. It also requires students to have the ability to go on with independent research and have a strong commitment to the field. In addition, doctorate students will receive intellectual support in the form of supervision during their research. Some of the courses offered are Climate Change and International Law, International Trade Law, Law Without the State, Political Justice and Human Rights, etc.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements CV; a copy of diplomas; two academic reference letters; certified copy of the bachelor and master exam transcript (if available); a motivation letter that mentions specialization in econometrics.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction French, English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 880 EUR/year
Credits 60 ECTS

Mathematics, Ph.D., ETH Zurich

In the mathematics program at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, doctorate students get employed for up to six years, and they work as scientific assistants at the university. The research is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Students who chose to follow studies in this program can benefit from internationally honored professors, and gain access to the mathematics library, ETH library, and online access to most of the recent publications. Of the 12 credit units, graduates are required to have, four of them must come from outside their research area.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements Master’s degree or equivalent university degree.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 264 EUR/year
Credits 12 ECTS

*Degrees which do not qualify a student to apply for this program are degrees from universities of applied sciences, bachelor’s degree, and any kind of an MBA degree.

Biozentrum Fellowship Program, Ph.D., University of Basel

Students who are selected for the biozentrum fellowship program at the University of Basel, firstly start in a rotation program that lasts one to three weeks. This allows them to participate in the research group of their choice. The Biozentrum, which is a leading life science institute in the world, embraces a wide range of topics in their program. However, they are mainly focused on the organization of molecules that form living organisms and life. The program offers full and independent funding to their students for their Ph.D., along with additional travel funds.

English Requirements IELTS/TOEFL
General Requirements A master’s degree; exceptional students can be admitted with a bachelor’s degree but will need to pass additional courses; two recommendation letters.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 640 EUR/year
Credits 18 ECTS

Architecture and Sciences of the City, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

architect at work

This program at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne is focused on theory and practice equally, allowing doctoral students to view the project as both a research challenge and an object of study. They offer a multidimensional program to all students, including in its curriculum, urban sciences along with architecture. Although it is primarily aimed at students of social sciences, it is also suitable for architects and engineers. The elementary cause of the program is an understanding of the contemporary urban world and social life.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements The official transcript of all grades and diplomas from higher education (certified English copy must be provided if the documents aren’t originally in French, German, English, or Italian); statement of objectives; a copy of an official identity document; an application form.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction French, English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 624 EUR/year
Credits 14 ECTS

Business Administration, Ph.D., University of Zurich

The goal of the business administration program at the University of Zurich is to help students gain a systematic understanding of the field and master skills and methods to help them in their research. Doctoral students should be able to apply their research to practical programs, in addition to the ability to present and discuss their research to an international scientific community. The program also focuses on equipping doctoral students with analytical and problem-solving skills on relevant issues. If you’ve already obtained your MBA credentials in Switzerland, this program is an excellent way to extend your education.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements The official transcript of all grades and diplomas from higher education (certified English copy must be provided if the documents aren’t originally in French, German, English, or Italian); statement of objectives; a copy of an official identity document; an application form.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction French, English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 624 EUR/year
Credits 14 ECTS

Finance, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

The first phase of this doctorate program at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne starts with a module of Ph.D. courses. The aim of this coursework is to equip doctorate students with a broad education on fundamental concepts of finance. The program accepts 10 to 15 students per year. After students have completed the first module, they are then asked to select a thesis topic and a thesis advisor from one of the participating universities.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements State-accredited master’s degree; the master’s degree diploma must be state-accredited; transferable credits have to be acquired at a state-accredited university.
Program Duration 3 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 284 EUR/year
Credits 18 ECTS

Computational Science and Engineering, Ph.D., ETH Zurich

This is a program that comes from the joint forces of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the University of Zurich and is focused on attracting talents in computer science to join. In addition, they put in effort in trying to improve the collaboration between the industry, the society, and the university. They offer interdisciplinary education for doctorate students through block courses and seminars, laboratory exchanges, retreats, journal clubs, and academia-industry modeling (AIM) weeks.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements An application file; the application will be evaluated based on the potential thesis and research interests.
Program Duration 4 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 684 EUR/year
Credits 20 ECTS

*Degrees which do not qualify a student to apply for this program are degrees from universities of applied sciences, bachelor’s degree, and any kind of an MBA degree.

Neuroscience, Ph. D., University of Lausanne

neuroscienceThe Neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Lausanne offers to help doctoral students through coursework within the field, seminars, journal clubs, and workshops. Students in this program are oftentimes encouraged to present their research at international and national neuroscience conferences. Their courses include biostatistics for non-statisticians, introduction to programming and algorithms, introduction to MATLAB, EEG in neurology and neuroscience. The graduates are then offered a variety of job opportunities, including teaching, research foundations, scientific editing, etc.

English Requirements IELTS/TOEFL
General Requirements CV; master and bachelor transcript of grades; statement of purpose; research proposal.
Program Duration 3 years
Language of Instruction French, English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 148 EUR/year
Credits 120 ECTS

Economics, Ph.D., University of Zurich

The Economics Ph.D. program at the University of Zurich is concentrated on preparing students to conceive and implement a research procedure with scientific integrity. Doctoral students should be able to conduct original research which will contribute to existing knowledge. The curriculum consists of core courses in microeconomic, macroeconomics, mathematics, and econometrics. Meanwhile, these core courses provide the foundation; a compulsory curriculum would require an independent research proposal.

English Requirements IELTS 7, TOEFL 100
General Requirements State-accredited master’s degree; the master’s degree diploma must be state-accredited; transferable credits have to be acquired at a state-accredited university.
Program Duration 3 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 284 EUR/year
Credits 93 ECTS

Physics, Ph.D., University of Bern

The physics program at the University of Bern contributes to teaching by combining four physics-related institutes. The physics institutes are in charge of guiding doctoral students through introductory physics classes in the first year. These classes are not merely for physics majors. They also include physics lectures for medical science students, biologists, veterinary students, etc. The research is delegated to these divisions of the physics institute Climate and Environmental Physics division (KUP), The Space Research and Planetology division (WP), and Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP).

English Requirements IELTS/TOEFL
General Requirements Application and admission; general information for admission at a doctoral level
Program Duration 3 years
Language of Instruction English
Schedule Full-time
Cost 368 EUR/year

Good luck with your studies!

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