To be admitted to the doctoral programme, the candidate must hold a Master of Law degree, or a degree deemed equivalent, with a minimum average grade of 4.75, and a grade of at least 5 for the Master’s dissertation. Occasionally, these criteria may be waived if the candidate can offer proof of supplementary qualifications or the professional experience required to complete the doctorate in question (art. 23 of the study regulations).

Enrolment at the Bureau des immatriculations (BIM)

To register with the University of Neuchâtel, candidates must enrol as doctoral students with the Bureau des immatriculations (BIM); this contributes to the University’s statistics on doctoral student numbers, and student numbers more widely, affecting the federal funding available. This step must be taken before the Council of Professors can approve the candidate’s thesis project. The relevant information and enrolment forms can be found under the heading “Admission” on the University of Neuchâtel’s website.


All those admitted to the University of Neuchâtel with a view to obtaining a doctorate are considered to be doctoral candidates. Doctoral candidates may work as assistants at the same time, in which case the University funds their research.

However, doctoral candidates may simply be registered as doctoral students, receiving no funding for the writing of the thesis.

Finally, they may be funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (abbreviated FNS in French), in principle spending all their time on the writing of the thesis.

The two main pathways to complete an FNS-funded doctorate are:

  • a project submitted by the candidate his/herself (Doc.CH);
  • a project submitted by a faculty professor (where the candidate contributes to an existing research project).

The application criteria are shown on the FNS website.