The doctorate is situated at the intersection between teaching and research. The core of the doctorate is to gain scientific competence by means of a personal and original contribution to research. The central objectives of the doctorate are acquiring subject-specific, methodical and transferable knowledge and skills as well as academic collaboration and network building.

The doctorate is structured by individual universities, taking account of institution- and discipline-specific conditions. Admission lies in the responsibility of the individual universities and is decided case-by-case on the basis of individual qualifications.

P-1 PhD programmes and development of third-cycle education (2017-2020)

swissuniversities is preparing a program within the framework of the federal project contributions in order to enhance the attractiveness and quality of doctoral education strengthening at the same time doctoral degrees as well as the doctoral candiates' career prospects.


The universities and the universities of applied sciences stated the following regarding the 3rd cycle and the doctorate: