Graduate Schools and Doctoral Studies at the MNF
((Version 9. Okt. 2013))

Graduate schools provide a framework in which students can complete their doctoral studies both quickly and efficiently while establishing an international network of contacts. The Faculty of Science (MNF) offers programs of international renown for doctoral students in the areas of life sciences, chemistry, geography, mathematics and physics.

In addition to a superior education, these graduate schools offer their graduates closed seminars on specific topics, 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.
  • Promotionsverordnung
  • Doktoratsordnung
  • Leaflets (Merkblätter)

Admission procedure

Important note:
If you originate from a foreign country, which is not a member of the European Union it is of utmost importance, that the following procedure is followed exactly as specified below. Otherwise you will not get a work permit and therefore would not be able to work in our fantastic scientifc and social environment.

What you have to do to become a PhD student in our faculty
What the administration offices at UZH will do for you
step 1: choose a research subject

You may (track 2) or may not (track 1) have contacted a research group leader of our faculty and have agreed on a thesis subject already. In both cases please apply for acceptance into one of our Graduate Schools:

The graduate schools are organized in PhD programs: see full list of all PhD program.

The procedure varies from school to school, but will always include a personal interview and requires a Master degree or equivalent in a field, which is useful for your future research work.

A professor of our faculty or ((Liste der Promotionsrechtler)) will become your thesis advisor. If you don't have your own stipend already, you will be offered a position and a salary, the details of which depend on the research field.

step 2: prepare for the official admission procedure and for your work and residence permit
The following steps are normally done while you are staying in your home country. You are not allowed to work in Switzerland without a residence and work permit.

In case you are already enrolled in a Swiss university and are about to receive a Masters degree, please make sure you stay enrolled. This allows you to stay in Switzerland. Please do not initiate your Exmatrikulation until your admission procedure as defined below has successfully completed.

In case you are not yet enrolled at the University of Zurich (UZH), please apply for admission at the Admissions Office (Zulassungsstelle) using the online application form. You need to choose the option "Structured Doctoral Program". Choose the earliest possible semester. (This form is in German only, but an English translation is available on the same web site. You may also ask a colleague for help.)

Note: If you are already a student of UZH, then just apply for a doctoral program in your next online semester enrollment, in this case you should not use the online form mentioned above. If you have a residence and work permit you can now continue directly with step 4 below.
In parallel to this, the Human Resources (HR) secretary of your research group will prepare the hiring documents (Anstellungsverfügung)
Allow for 1 to 3 months delay here

Your application will be checked iwith respect to your academic education in addition by the Dean's Office of the MNF (fachwissenschaftliche Zulassung) on scientific aspects and by the Admissions Office on formal aspects.

After this process ended successfully, the Admission Office issues a letter, which states, that you will be matriculated, once you will be in Zurich (Zulassungsbrief mit Immatrikulationszusicherung).

Then the HR secretary will ask the immigration office (and the federal administration) to issue a visum for you. The Zulassungsbrief mit Immatrikulationszusicherung is an essential ingredient to this.
step 3: get your visa and travel to Switzerland
Once the visum will be ready at the Swiss embassy in your home country, you will be informed. Now pick up the visum there.

Now your allowed to travel to Switzerland.

To be completed within 14 days:

When you arrive in Zurich please proceed with the following steps:

  • Immediately start the actual online matriculation process by visiting in person the Admission Office (Zulassungsstelle) of UZH at Rämistrasse 71, Office F 107, 8006 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 634 22 36, email: Take all your documents with you!
  • You will receive a bill from them.
  • If your semester has not started yet, ask the office of student affairs of the MNF for a retroactive immatriculation to the presently active semester.
  • After you have payed the bill you will receive all documents relevant for the studies at UZH, and a letter confirming your matriculation (Immatrikulationsbestätigung).
  • Once you received this letter take it to your local migration office (Kreisbüro or Gemeindeverwaltung) together with all other papers. You will receive your residence and work permit "B" from there.
The HR secretary of your research group may help you with these steps.
step 4: register at the MNF
Now please register at the office of student affairs of the MNF using their online form here.
You will be assigned a Promotionskomittee.
step 5: start your research
Finally you start doing real fascinating research within your research group.

A more deteilad graphical display on this process can be found here