During Your Doctoral Studies

Duty to Inform

At the University of Zurich you’re subject to a duty to inform yourself: as a PhD student you’re obliged to obtain all the information you need in connection with your doctoral studies of your own accord.

Under the terms of §14 para. 1 of the ordinance on admission to studies at the University of Zurich dated 18 April 2011 (VZS), students and PhD candidates are obliged to consult their UZH e-mail account once a week; any information accessible from your UZH mailbox is deemed to have been issued (§14 para. 2 VZS).

Compulsory Matriculation

If you’re completing a doctorate at the University of Zurich, you must be enrolled during your entire doctoral studies. This compulsory matriculation requirement applies throughout, up to and including the semester in which your PhD thesis is published. 

If you started your project or job before actually matriculating for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, you must seek matriculation retrospectively for your actual starting semester.

Please send a short e-mail to graduiertenschule@phil.uzh.ch so that we can send you the required form.

Dates and Deadlines

You’ll find all the information you need on semester dates, deadlines for booking modules, etc., on the Dates and Deadlines page.

Doing a Doctorate under the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019)

Doctoral Agreement

If you’re doing your doctorate in accordance with the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the University of Zurich Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019), you, together with your supervisory committee, must draw up a doctoral agreement no later than 16 weeks after the Graduate School has approved your provisional confirmation of supervision. In this agreement you define the goals and interim goals of your doctoral studies and decide together which curricular offerings you’ll be using to earn the required 12 ECTS credits. All members of your supervisory committee must agree to the doctoral agreement. The agreement is a key component of your doctoral studies, having the character of a contract between PhD students and their supervisors.

Updating Your Doctoral Agreement

Your doctoral agreement must be updated once a year. This is an opportunity to discuss the progress on your thesis and the curricular coursework you have done over the course of the year, and to plan the coming year. 
Please note: only curricular coursework agreed in the doctoral agreement can be credited to your degree. All members of your supervisory committee must agree to the updated doctoral agreement.

Drawing Up Your Doctoral Agreement

You draw up and update your doctoral agreement via Online PhD Admin Services. For this you will need your personal UZH login details, which you’ll receive as soon as you’ve paid your semester fees. If you’re unable to meet the deadline for submitting your first doctoral agreement because you have not yet been given access to the online services for doctoral candidates, please send us a short e-mail so that we can extend your deadline: graduiertenschule@phil.uzh.ch
Once you’ve submitted your doctoral agreement, the Graduate School will review and approve it. You can likewise apply for changes in your supervisory committee via Online PhD Admin Services.

Curricular Coursework

In addition to writing your thesis, you must complete curricular coursework worth 12 ECTS credits. Please consult the subject-specific annex to the doctoral program regulation (German only) to find out whether there are special rules for your subject regarding the breakdown of these 12 ECTS credits into coursework relating specifically to your subject or to transferable skills. The curricular coursework you have to complete is agreed with your principal supervisor and set down in your doctoral agreement. 

What are the curricular coursework requirements?

The curricular coursework requirements are governed by the rules set down in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Framework Ordinance and the program regulation. You can meet the requirements in the form of curricular coursework earning ECTS credits or with a specified workload. This coursework may be credited provided that

  • the course entails a learning and education outcome, and
  • a workload is specified; in other words, that effort is required from and put in by you as the PhD candidate, and
  • performance is assessed and concrete feedback is thus given to you (§ 19 paras 1–3 of the doctoral program regulation)

Please note: Only curricular coursework agreed in the doctoral agreement can be credited to your degree.

Doing a Doctorate in Accordance with the Older Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PVO 2009)

Doctoral Agreement

If you’re doing your doctorate in accordance with the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of 8 July 2009 (PVO 2009), you must submit a doctoral agreement no later than 12 months after admission, and every time there is a change in your doctoral committee. This agreement, which you must draw up in consultation with your principal supervisor, defines the framework and objectives of your doctorate. All members of the doctoral committee must sign the agreement to confirm their agreement with it.

The approval of doctoral committee members from outside the faculty or the University is carried out on the basis of the doctoral agreement you submit; no separate application is necessary.

Doctoral Agreement under PVO 2009 (PDF, 311 KB) (German only)

Please scan your complete doctoral agreement signed by everyone involved and send it to the Graduate School by e-mail for approval: graduiertenschule@phil.uzh.ch

Curricular coursework

Individual doctorate: An individual doctorate requires you to complete curricular coursework worth 12 ECTS credits.

Doctoral programs (discontinued): Doctoral programs require you to complete curricular coursework worth 30 ECTS credits.

You’ll find the rules on curricular coursework in the relevant doctoral program regulation on the Legal Basis page.

 

Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree (PO 2006)

If you started a doctorate under PO 2006 before 1 August 2009, you can either transfer to the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019) with effect Fall Semester 2019, or obtain your doctorate by 31 July 2019 under PO 2006.

  • You’ll find information on the degree on the Degree (PO 2006) page.
  • You’ll find information on the transitional provisions in the regulations for obtaining a doctoral degree on the Legal Basis page.