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3rd cycle: Doctorate

Third cycle degrees are awarded to students who …

Knowledge and understanding:

… have demonstrated a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field;

Applying knowledge and understanding:

… have demonstrated the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity;

… have made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, some of which merits national or international refereed publication;

Making judgements:

… are capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas;

Communication skills:

… can communicate with their peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise;

Learning skills:

… can be expected to be able to promote, within academic and professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society.

(Dublin Descriptor / Joint Quality Initiative)

Admission Criteria

3rd cycle: Doctorate

Admission to the doctorate level lies within the responsibility of the respective university and is always applicant-specific based on the achieved qualifications.

The right to be admitted to the doctorate level does not exist.

The doctorate is designed on the basis of the university-level master degree. However, admission is possible with a master degree of another type of higher education institution, if the scientific qualification is judged to be sufficient.

The further education qualification Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) alone is not sufficient for admission to the doctorate level.


3rd cycle: Doctorate

For the doctorate level the number of credits is not defined. ECTS credits can be given for curricular elements.

In general the length of the doctorate is 3–5 years.


3rd cycle: Doctorate




Doktor der Medizin

Docteur en médecine-Dr. med. (awarded after 1 year of research after Master of Medicine/of Dental Medicine/of Veterinary Medicine/of Chiropractic Medicine)


Qualifications of the Swiss higher education institutions