Prospective doctoral students
If you are planning to apply to study for a PhD in our department, the first step is to send in a proposal of your project. This should be sent to the professor whose fields of interest most closely overlap with your own. You can check the research expertise of the department’s professors here. If your research topic is very different from any of their research interests, it is recommended that you look elsewhere for PhD supervision – it is highly unlikely that anyone here would be in a position to supervise you.
Your proposal should contain:
- an abstract (500 words)
- an outline describing the theoretical and methodological basis of the proposed thesis (a minimum of 2500 words)
- bibliography (a minimum of 25)
- a copy of your MA dissertation
- a letter of recommendation from one of your professors
- applicants from outside Switzerland who do not come from a country in which English is a primary language need to submit one of the following English Language Test Certificates - IELTS 7.0 or Internet TOEFL 100.
Once the professor has examined your proposal, she or he will be in a position to inform you whether it is appropriate to formally apply for admission to the university. You will have to wait until a formal application is processed before we can give you a firm decision as to whether you will be admitted to study for the PhD in our department.
A guide for prospective PhD candidates at our Department can be found here:
I) Guide for prospective PhD candidates
Information about formal admission to the University of Bern can be found here:
Dean's Office, Admissions Office
General information about doctoral degrees at the University of Bern can be found here:
Once a new PhD student has been admitted, an agreement called a Promotionsvereinbarung should be completed by the student and their supervisor and has to be submitted to the Dean's Office within 3 months.