Degree Programs & Courses Doctorate

Application and Admission

For admission at doctoral level, you must

  1. hold a master's degree or a licentiate from a Swiss university or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, or an equivalent university degree and
  2. you must also fulfill any other requirements set out by the relevant faculty or graduate school (e.g. specific average grades or a specific result in your master's degree, licentiate, diploma or state exams).

Further training qualifications (Master of Advanced Studies, Executive Master) and degrees from a university of applied sciences or a university of teacher education are not accepted for admission to doctoral studies.

Applying for doctoral studies

  1. Consult the specific requirements for your desired doctorate.
  2. Search for a supervisor at the University of Bern for your desired doctorate. If necessary, seek support from the administrators in the institute/department.
  3. Apply for the doctorate online through the Admissions Office. Please note the application deadlines.
  4. Fill in the confirmation of supervision that applies to your doctorate.

You can find information on the next application steps, including a list of documents to be submitted, on the relevant confirmation of supervision.


Procedures for students of the University of Bern: Change master → doctorate

Choose the option "Change of level to doctorate" on the electronic re-registration form, submit the form with or without any further changes, and submit the completed and signed confirmation of supervision to us within the specified deadline.

Procedure after taking a break from doctoral studies at the University of Bern

Would you like to resume your doctoral program in the same branch of study at the University of Bern after taking a break? Simply send us your completed and signed confirmation of supervision.

Parallel degree program during doctoral studies

During your doctoral studies, you can also attend courses in a minor subject for up to 15 ECTS credits, as long as this subject has a connection to your doctoral project, without having to pay anything on top of your doctoral fees. Use the self-service facility to enter your desired minor on the re-registration form when renewing your semester registration. If you would like to complete an entire bachelor's or master's degree program in parallel with your doctoral studies, you must register for this program in the normal way and pay the higher tuition fees.

If you would like to complete a MAS, DAS or CAS program in parallel with your doctoral studies, please contact the coordinator of the relevant further training program. If you are admitted onto the course, it will be classed as a parallel degree program and you continue to pay your doctoral fees.

The fees for the continuing education program will be charged by the program offering institute.

Mandatory entry in the student registry during a doctorate

As a PhD student, you must be registered at the university for the entire duration of your program. Providing you do not make use of either material or staff services from the University of Bern, you can be exempted from this mandatory entry. The Dean's Office of your particular faculty is responsible for the exemption.  If you will not be making use of either material or staff services from the university in the following semester, submit a confirmation to the Admissions Office from the relevant Dean's Office within the prescribed time (for the fall semester by August 31 and for the spring semester by January 31). You will not receive a certificate of registration during the exemption period.


Please note:

The exemption is valid for one semester.

If you do not register until you hand in your dissertation, the outstanding semester fees will be charged in retrospect.

Fees for doctoral students

Registration fee: CHF 100; not payable if you enroll in a doctoral program directly after completing a master's degree program at the University of Bern
Semester fee for doctoral students: CHF 200