Conditions of admission

 Each faculty in each institution issues its own regulations regarding the doctorate.

In all the regulations, a first condition for admission to doctoral studies is the possession of a Master’s degree or equivalent qualification.

Generally, this qualification must be obtained in the same scientific field as the thesis, although some faculties offer a certain amount of flexibility.

Regarding the equivalence of qualifications from another Swiss or foreign university, the general rule is to admit candidates who would be accepted by their original university. Some regulations stipulate additional conditions however.

Sometimes a second condition is stipulated, namely a minimum mark for all marks obtained or the successful completion of a dissertation (Master). This concerns essentially the University of Fribourg (except in sciences), the law faculties of the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel, and the Economics Faculty of the University of Lugano (USI).

A third condition generally laid down is the prior agreement of a thesis supervisor. This condition is less common in theology.

Other conditions may apply such as the preparation of a thesis project, letters of recommendation (e.g. EPFL),  a certain knowledge of languages, etc.

Unlike the universities, EPFL has a recruitment procedure that includes a doctoral committee.

Requirements other than those concerning the thesis itself can vary considerably. The obligation to attend a doctoral school, the acquisition of a certain number of credits or the submission of pre-doctoral research work is compulsory in certain faculties and at EPFL.

It is advisable to obtain all the necessary information concerning administrative procedures well in advance from faculty secretariats and/or study advisers.