Besides the graduate schools, doctoral students at the University of Bern also have the option to take a structured doctorate as part of
- a doctoral program of the University of Bern
- a CUSO doctoral program (programs of the Conférence universitaire de Suisse occidentale (Association of Universities in Western Switzerland)
Doctoral programs are organized on an interuniversity basis and are particularly concerned with promoting academic exchanges involving doctoral students. As with the graduate schools, the doctorate in these programs involves certain mandatory curricular components in addition to drafting a dissertation. Unlike the graduate schools, doctoral programs tend not to relate to specific subjects at the University of Bern and are mostly less formalized.