PhD - Doctoral Program

The following page gives an overview over the doctoral program in physics at the University of Zurich. Its aim is to provide you with all the important information about the graduate school as a framework, current research topics, as well as the application and admission procedure.

Graduate School

The graduate school (alt. doctoral program) provides a framework in which students can complete their doctoral studies both quickly and efficiently while establishing an international network of contacts. Our versatile program offers you a number of opportunities to obtain the required 12 ECTS credit points. These include closed seminars on specific topics, specialized lectures at our university, at the ETH or at another university, the participation in summer schools and workshops covering your field of research, opportunities to take part in international conventions and additional seminars with prestigious speakers. International networking and the acquisition of skills which extend beyond mere research work are also key aspects of the program. The language used in the program is English.

A PhD in physics at the University of Zurich usually takes 3—4 years. The salary will easily allow you to cover all the local living expenses including all the necessary social and health insurances.

A program description can be found here.

Current research topics

Here you can find an overview of the current research projects in our different research groups. If you are interested in doing a PhD in one of the research groups, please contact the group leaders directly by email to ask about potential open positions (read more in the section below "1st step").

Research at the Physics Institute.

Application and admission

The prerequisites for the admission to the doctoral program in physics consist of a Master's degree in Physics. Students who have successfully completed their Master's (or are about to do so) can apply for PhD positions in physics at the University of Zurich. All applicants undergo a rigorous selection procedure.


1st step: Application to the doctoral program in physics

If you are interested in obtaining a PhD at our institute, you can directly look for and apply to open positions here. You may also contact the group leaders of the individual research groups directly to ask about open PhD positions. Already at this stage you should submit to the group leader a CV, a statement of research interests and previous research experience, course grade transcripts and letters of reference (or addresses of references). The group leader will then take a decision and inform you about how to proceed further. In some cases she/he will invite you for an interview (with expenses covered). Since you are expected to participate in the education of younger students, a good knowledge of German and/or English is essential. If your candidacy is successful, your papers will be transferred to the faculty administration where it is decided whether or not any additional exams are required.


2nd step: Application at the Admissions Office of the UZH

Step two involves the official immatriculation at the University of Zurich.

For local students with a degree from the University of Zurich.

For students with a degree from a different University

After your immatriculation you will automatically be enrolled in the doctoral program in Physics.


IMPORTANT for international students

If you originate from a foreign country non-member of the European Union, you must exactly follow the procedure described here in order to obtain a work permit before the beginning of the PhD studies.