Top Universities For Phd Study In Switzerland
Switzerland sets a record for having the most PhD students. In 2017, there were 31,293 PhD students in Switzerland. By 2022, that number had doubled to 54,279. The QS-ranked PhD universities, full funding for PhDs in Switzerland, and variety of Swiss PhD programmes make pursuing a PhD in Switzerland a popular choice among international students.
Did you also know that Switzerland pays the highest compensation to PhD graduates? A typical wage range for doctoral assistants at EPFL is 52,700 CHF per year. All of this demonstrates that you made a sensible investment by choosing to pursue a Swiss PhD. Discover your possibilities for a PhD in Switzerland by reading on the blog.
Why Study PhD In Switzerland?
Before moving on, let's first comprehend why earning a PhD in Switzerland is a wise decision:
- QS-Rated PhD Universities: Switzerland is home to a number of QS-Rated PhD universities. Among them are the University of Basel (Rank 138), University of Zurich (Rank 70), and others.
- International students' preferred option: According to academic research, 50% of PhD students in Switzerland are from other countries. The number of PhD students in Switzerland has increased since 2017, as you also learned from the information above.
- Different PhD categories: There are two sorts of Swiss PhDs: general and structural. Focusing on a doctoral thesis is referred to as the general PhD, which may also include training and development. The structural PhD entails more coursework, formal education, and perhaps institutional collaboration.
- Numerous Scholarship Opportunities: With so many scholarship options available, pursuing a PhD in Switzerland is simple. These scholarships facilitate the payment of ongoing student fees while also aiding in the funding of PhD studies.
An Overview of Swiss PhD
Course Length: Depending on the area of study and the student's progress, a PhD programme is often completed in three to five years.
Top PhD specialisations: There are numerous top PhD specialisations, including food science, finance, management, law, physics, and economics. There are many different research possibilities and employment options available with these specialisations.
Top PhD programmes: In addition to the aforementioned areas of study, other highly sought-after PhD programmes are available in engineering, education, psychology, and a number of other disciplines. These courses offer in-depth research instruction and cutting-edge understanding in the fields in which they are studied.
PhD programme costs: Depending on the university and nation, PhD programme costs can change. The costs range from 8,000 CHF to 50,000 CHF on average per semester. It is significant to remember that fees for local and international students may vary.
Popular PhD universities include the University of Zurich, University of Geneva, and University of Bern, among others. Switzerland is renowned for having an excellent higher education system. These institutions are well known for their research and provide PhD students a friendly environment.
Universities offering PhD programmes: There are 43 universities in Switzerland that provide PhD programmes, giving potential students many alternatives.
There are currently 54,279 international students enrolled in PhD programmes in Switzerland, which attracts a sizable proportion of these individuals. The vibrant academic and cultural environment in Swiss institutions is enhanced by the broad population of international students.
PhD Academic Year: Spring and autumn are the normal academic years for PhD programmes. The spring semester, which often starts in February or March, or the autumn semester, typically commencing in September or October, are the two options for students to start their studies.
The PhD programme is sometimes referred to as belonging to the "3rd cycle" of higher education. It comes after the first cycle of bachelor's degrees and the second cycle of master's degrees. The PhD cycle emphasises the advancement of research and the creation of original scholarly work.
Top 5 Universities in Switzerland For PhD
International students can select from a variety of universities when pursuing a PhD in Switzerland. International students frequently pick these options, and the universities provide a variety of PhD programmes. The top 5 options are as follows:
- University of Lausanne
- University of Bern
- University of Zurich
- University of Geneva
- University of Basel
1. University of Lausanne
A renowned public research institution in Lausanne, Switzerland is called the institution of Lausanne (Université de Lausanne, UNIL). It was established in 1537 and is renowned for having rigorous academic standards and effective research initiatives.
The University of Lausanne can be summarised in the following manner:
- Rankings & Reputation: The University of Lausanne enjoys a strong reputation for academic achievement both domestically and abroad. It continuously holds one of Switzerland's top university rankings and enjoys widespread acclaim for the calibre of education and research it produces.
- A renowned public research institution in Lausanne, Switzerland is called the institution of Lausanne (Université de Lausanne, UNIL). It was established in 1537 and is renowned for having rigorous academic standards and effective research initiatives.
- Academic fields covered by the university's faculties include the humanities, life sciences, environmental sciences, geosciences, and medicine. Other academic disciplines covered by the university's faculties include business and economics, law, social and political sciences, and medicine. There are undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes offered by each faculty.
- The University of Lausanne actively participates in cutting-edge research in a variety of subjects. It encourages interdisciplinary partnerships and has developed research institutions and centres devoted to particular fields of study. The institution conducts research that advances knowledge in a variety of subjects, including biology, physics, social sciences, and others.
- Multilingual Environment: The University of Lausanne exhibits the diversity of the multilingual environment that Switzerland is renowned for. Despite the fact that French is the principal language of instruction, several programmes are also available in English, and some faculties also offer courses in other languages. This linguistic diversity fosters a stimulating and welcoming academic environment.
- Student Life and Campus: With a variety of clubs, sports facilities, cultural events, and student associations, the university offers a vibrant and interesting student life. The main campus offers students a beautiful setting for study and socialising because it is close to Lake Geneva. Studying at UNIL is appealing due to the university's location in Lausanne, a vibrant city renowned for its creativity and high standard of living.
- Internationalisation: The University of Lausanne actively encourages cross-border cooperation and accepts a varied range of international students. It has partnered with a large number of universities and organisations throughout the world to allow students and researchers to participate in exchange programmes, team research initiatives, and academic collaborations.
2. University of Bern
Switzerland's capital city of Bern is home to the esteemed public research institution known as the institution of Bern (Universität Bern). It is one of the oldest universities in Switzerland and is well-known for its academic excellence and research achievements. It was established in 1834.
Key details regarding the University of Bern are provided below:
- Type: The University of Bern is a public research university that the Swiss government funds and supports. Being a public institution, it is dedicated to serving the community, fostering research, and offering high-quality education.
- The university is listed as the 162nd best in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022. Its high academic standing and productive research output are reflected in this ranking.
- The university is divided into eight faculties that represent a wide range of academic subjects. The humanities, law, business, medicine, science, social sciences, theology, and veterinary medicine are among these faculties. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes within each faculty.
- Innovation and research are two areas in which the University of Bern is actively involved. It is particularly well known for its work in the social sciences, biological sciences, climate science, and space sciences. In order to support cutting-edge research, the university has developed research centres and institutes and encourages multidisciplinary collaboration.
- Multilingual Environment: The University of Bern reflects the bilingual culture of Switzerland. Although German is the major language of instruction, several programmes are also available in English. This linguistic diversity fosters inclusivity in the classroom and gives international students the chance to continue their education.
- Campus life and student life are both quite active thanks to the university's many clubs, activities, and cultural events. The central location of the main campus offers students a beautiful environment for studying and socialising. With a mix of ancient and modern aspects, the city itself offers a rich historical and cultural experience.
- Internationalisation: The University of Bern is dedicated to it and has formed partnerships with academic and research institutions all around the world. It provides students with opportunity to extend their perspectives and acquire exposure to the rest of the world through exchange programmes, collaborative research initiatives, and international academic alliances.
3. University of Zurich
In Zurich, Switzerland, there is a renowned public research institution called the institution of Zurich (Universität Zürich, UZH). It is one of the biggest institutions in Switzerland and is well regarded internationally for its contributions to research and academic achievement.
Key details regarding the University of Zurich are provided below:
- Type: The University of Zurich is a public research university that the Swiss government funds and supports. It is committed to doing ground-breaking research, promoting innovation, and offering top-notch education.
- The university is listed as the 73rd best university in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022. This ranking emphasises its excellent academic standing and significant global effect in research.
- The institution is divided into seven faculties that represent a wide range of academic subjects. Theology, law, medicine, the arts, economics, science, and veterinary medicine are some of these faculties. Students can choose from a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes within each faculty.
- Innovation in research: The University of Zurich is renowned for its top-notch research. It carries out ground-breaking research in a variety of disciplines, including the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and finance. The institution supports interdisciplinary partnerships and has built research institutes and centres that encourage creativity and scientific advancement.
- Multilingual Environment: The University of Zurich provides a multilingual academic environment by offering programmes in both German and English. There are several graduate-level programmes and research possibilities available in English, even though the majority of undergraduate programmes are taught in German. This linguistic adaptability draws a wide range of international students.
- Campus life and student life are both very active thanks to the university's many clubs, activities, and cultural and sporting events. The primary campus is situated in the centre of Zurich, providing a vibrant and exciting environment for educational and social activities. Students have a wealth of options for internships, networking, and job prospects because Zurich itself is a hub for innovation, technology, and finance on a global scale.
- Internationalisation: The University of Zurich is dedicated to it and actively encourages cross-border partnerships. In order to provide students with the opportunity to take part in academic collaborations, research projects, and exchange programmes, it has formed agreements with famous universities and research organisations throughout the world. Additionally, the university draws a sizable number of international students, which strengthens its inclusive and diverse community.
4. University of Geneva
In Geneva, Switzerland, there is a renowned public research institution called the institution of Geneva (Université de Genève). It is one of the oldest universities in Switzerland and is well-known throughout the world for its academic brilliance and research accomplishments. It was founded in 1559.
Following are some pertinent details regarding the University of Geneva:
- Type: The University of Geneva is a publicly funded research institution that receives funding from Switzerland. It is dedicated to offering top-notch instruction, encouraging research, and developing intercultural communication.
- The university is listed as the 109th-best university in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022. This ranking emphasises its excellent academic standing and significant global effect in research.
- The institution is divided into nine faculties that represent a wide range of academic subjects. Science, medicine, humanities, social sciences, law, theology, psychology, and educational sciences are among these faculties, along with economics and management, translation, and interpreting. Students can choose from a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes within each faculty.
- The University of Geneva is renowned for its ground-breaking research in a variety of subjects. It carries out ground-breaking research in many different fields, including social sciences, international affairs, life sciences, particle physics, and many more. The university has developed research centres and institutions to enhance scientific growth, and it actively fosters interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Multilingual Environment: The university reflects Geneva's multicultural and global nature. Although French is the primary language of instruction, several programmes are also available in English. This language diversity draws students from many cultural and linguistic origins and fosters an inclusive academic atmosphere.
- Campus life and student life are both very active thanks to the university's many clubs, activities, and events for the arts and sports. Geneva, a cosmopolitan city well-known for its diplomatic and humanitarian organisations, is home to the main campus. Students benefit from a fascinating and varied study environment thanks to the city's multicultural diversity and international atmosphere.
- The University of Geneva has strong connections with universities and institutions all around the world and is highly internationalised. It provides opportunities for students to explore other academic systems and develop global exposure through exchange programmes, collaborative research projects, and academic partnerships. Additionally, the university draws a sizable number of international students, which promotes a broad and multicultural population.
5. University of Basel
In Basel, Switzerland, there is a renowned public research institution called the institution of Basel (Universität Basel). It is one of the oldest universities in Switzerland and is well known for its academic excellence, contributions to research, and solid worldwide reputation. It was founded in 1460.
Key details regarding the University of Basel are provided below:
- Type: The Swiss government funds and supports the public research institution known as the institution of Basel. It is committed to offering top-notch instruction, increasing knowledge through research, and encouraging innovation.
- The university is listed as the 86th-best university in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022. This score shows its excellent academic standing and significant impact on global research.
- The institution is divided into seven faculties that represent a wide range of academic subjects. Theology, law, medicine, humanities, natural sciences, psychology, business, and economics are some of these faculties. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes within each faculty.
- Innovation and cutting-edge research: The University of Basel is well known for its groundbreaking research. It carries out ground-breaking research in a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, physics, chemistry, and medicine. The university has built research centres and institutes to encourage creativity and scientific discovery, and it actively fosters multidisciplinary collaboration.
- Multilingual Environment: The university reflects Basel's multicultural and global nature. Although German is the major language of instruction, several programmes are also available in English. This language diversity draws students from many cultural and linguistic origins and fosters an inclusive academic atmosphere.
- Campus life and student life are both very active thanks to the university's many clubs, activities, and events for the arts and sports. The main campus is situated in the centre of Basel, a bustling, international city with an extensive cultural history. With a variety of cultural, artistic, and recreational opportunities, the city offers a dynamic setting for academic and social activity.
- Strong links with universities and research institutions throughout the world are maintained by the highly internationalised University of Basel. It provides opportunities for students to explore other academic systems and develop international exposure through exchange programmes, collaborative research projects, and academic partnerships. Additionally, the university draws a sizable number of international students, which promotes a broad and multicultural population.
Eligibility Criteria For Swiss PhD
There are requirements that must be met in order to pursue a PhD in Switzerland. There are two common procedures for this subject of study, though they vary depending on the university selected:
1. A Bachelor and Masters Degree
A three-year Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree or equivalent in the pertinent field of study are requirements for international students.
2. Language specifications
International students will take language tests like the IELTS or TOEFL based on the language of instruction for the PhD programme. For instance, you must get a C1 level in English to pass, etc.
Admission Process For PhD In Switzerland For Indian Students
Here is a summary of the application process for Switzerland's top PhD universities:
- Decide which PhD programme you want to enrol in. Select the PhD university that provides the same.
- Look for a supervisor and confirm the supervision in accordance with your choice of PhD programme.
- To find out about admission requirements, visit the official websites of the PhD institutions you've chosen.
- Pass any tests that are necessary, attach them to your application, and include any other pertinent paperwork.
- Pay the $100 to $400 application fee.
- Await confirmation, apply for a student visa after being accepted, and begin making financial arrangements.
Documents Required For A Swiss PhD
There are specific documents that must be included with your PhD application. Check the list:
All academic transcripts;
- A valid form of identification;
- Scorecards from all tests (ELP, GRE, GMAT, etc.);
- Signed statement of consent;
- Proof of payment;
- Proof that application fees have been paid;
- Information about domicile and previous educational history
Cost Of Studying PhD in Switzerland
You need to take into account two costs if you want to pursue a PhD in Switzerland. These elements are crucial since they will affect how you organise your finances while you are in the nation.
Let's explore each of them individually:
Tuition Charges: The cost of a PhD in Switzerland is between 80 and 500 CHF per semester.
Price of Living: Switzerland has a monthly cost of living that ranges from 1,400 to 2,250 CHF. The majority of your regular monthly spending will be for lodging, transportation, health insurance, food, and other costs.
Scholarship Opportunities To Study PhD In Switzerland
Numerous scholarships are available in Switzerland to help assist foreign PhD candidates. The following are some scholarships available for PhD studies in Switzerland:
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships: The Swiss Confederation offers these scholarships to foreign students who are enrolled in doctorate or research programmes at Swiss universities. These scholarships pay for health insurance, monthly stipends, and tuition.
- Excellence Scholarship from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH): For Master's and PhD students, ETH Zurich, one of Switzerland's top technical colleges, offers the ETH Excellence Scholarship. This scholarship covers tuition costs and provides a monthly stipend.
- Grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF): The SNSF offers a number of grant programmes to assist doctorate researchers in Switzerland. These funds, which pay for living expenses, research costs, and travel expenses, are given out depending on the calibre and originality of the study proposal.
- Scholarships offered by specific universities: Many Swiss universities have their own financial aid programmes for international students, including PhD candidates. These awards may be given based on academic achievement, potential for future research, or other requirements established by the university.
- International Scholarships from Swiss Universities: A few Swiss universities provide financial aid to PhD candidates who are studying abroad. These financial aid packages could cover both living costs and tuition.
- Research fellowships and grants are available to doctorate researchers from a number of Swiss academic institutions and organisations. Examples include the Human Frontier Science Programme (HFSP) grants for interdisciplinary research in the biological sciences and the Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme, which sponsors doctoral research programmes throughout Europe.
Career Opportunities After PhD In Switzerland
A PhD can lead to a variety of employment prospects in academia and beyond in Switzerland. Following completion of a PhD in Switzerland, the following professional options and routes are possible:
- Academic Research and Teaching: Many PhD holders decide to work in academia as professors and researchers. In order to advance their research and obtain teaching experience, individuals can apply for postdoctoral employment at universities, research institutions, or governmental organisations.
- Faculty Positions: With a PhD, you may hope to gain a job teaching at a Swiss university or other higher education facility. These jobs entail conducting research, managing student projects, and instructing undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
- Research and Development (R&D): Switzerland has a robust environment for innovation and research, with many sectors that rely heavily on it. Graduates from PhD programmes might explore employment prospects in R&D divisions of businesses in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, engineering, finance, and technology.
- Industry and consulting: PhD holders' strong research and analytical abilities are valued in many businesses. PhD holders can work in industries that value their knowledge and problem-solving skills, including data science, market research, management consulting, and technology.
- Startups & entrepreneurship: Switzerland has a thriving startup ecosystem and provides a welcoming atmosphere for business endeavours. PhD holders with original concepts and research-based skills can found their own businesses, launch tech startups, or participate in already-existing startup projects.
- Government and the public sector: PhD holders have job options in these fields as well as in federal and international organisations. They can offer their skills in research analysis, consultancy, public administration, and policy creation.
Non-Profit and NGO Sector: PhD holders who work for non-profit institutions, think tanks, or NGOs can also have a significant impact. These groups frequently focus on advocacy, policy, and research projects in a variety of areas, including the social sciences, the environment, health care, and human rights.
Science Journalism and Communication: Some PhD holders decide to work in science journalism and communication. Through media outlets, publishing firms, or science communication platforms, they can serve as science writers, editors, or communicators to communicate complicated research findings to larger audiences.
1. Do Indian students need to take the GRE to apply for a PhD in Switzerland?
The GRE is necessary for PhD Study in Switzerland, thus yes. GRE Quantitative: 165 and GRE Analytical: 3.5
2. Can you pursue a PhD in English in Switzerland?
Yes, English is used to teach the majority of PhD programmes in Switzerland.
3. Are PhD candidates permitted to work in Switzerland?
Yes, PhD students are permitted to work up to 15 hours per week during the academic year and unrestricted hours during breaks.
4. Is it simple to obtain a Swiss PhD?
You need to have a strong academic record in your prior educational pursuits in order to be accepted into a PhD programme. The university will evaluate your application based on this.
5. Can international students earn their PhDs in Switzerland in a calendar year?
No, depending on the PhD programmes they choose in Switzerland, overseas students may need to spend three to five years finishing their PhD studies there.
What's Your Reaction?