Legal Basis

On the main Legal Basis page you’ll find the full legal texts of the regulations for obtaining the doctoral degree and the relevant doctoral program regulations (PO 2006, PVO 2009, and PromVO 2019).

PromVO 2019 Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the University of Zurich Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

In Fall Semester 2019 the new Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the University of Zurich Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019) enter into force. They build on and refine the 2009 regulations to give PhD candidates and their supervisors new options and possibilities:

  • The regulations differentiate between the supervisory committee and the doctoral committee. The two committees must have at least one different member.
  • The principal supervisor must be authorized by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to examine doctoral degrees. Co-supervisors can be chosen on a relatively flexible basis.
  • In certain cases the supervisory committee may also include professors who have not gained a habilitation.
  • Guest professors, instructors from universities of applied sciences or teacher education, and co-authors may not sit on a doctoral committee.
  • In certain cases members of the doctoral committee may take part in the PhD defense by video conference
  • The title can be conferred more quickly thanks to the publication of the thesis in UZH’s electronic repository (ZORA).
  • Thanks to the option of blocking publication on ZORA, it is still possible to subsequently publish with a publisher.

PromVO 2019 limits the maximum duration of doctoral studies to six years following admission. The clock is stopped if candidates take leave of absence or deregister.
You’ll find PromVO 2019 and the relevant doctoral program regulations on the Legal Basis page.

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

This degree program is closed to new enrollment. If you started a doctorate under PVO 2009 before 1 August 2019 you can either transfer to the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019) or obtain your doctorate by 31 July 2023 under PVO 2009. It is then not possible to change back to the old regulations.

You’ll find the PVO 2009 Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the relevant doctoral program regulations on the Legal Basis page.

Switching to the new PromVO 2019 regulations

Please talk to your principal supervisor to decide whether a switch would be a valid option for you. If you have any questions on switching, please contact the relevant PhD coordinator or e-mail the Graduate School Coordination Office: graduiertenschule@phil.uzh.ch.


If you want to switch to the PromVO 2019 regulations, you and your principal supervisor must complete a new Provisional confirmation of supervision (PDF, 244 KB); for this you’ll already need agreement from a second supervisor (co-supervisor) to supervise you. 
In the semester enrollment procedure, choose doctoral studies under PromVO 2019.

PO 2006 Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich

This degree program is closed to new enrollment. If you started a doctorate under PO 2006 before 1 August 2009 you can either obtain your doctorate by 31 July 2019 under PVO 2006 or transfer to the Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PromVO 2019). It is then not possible to change back to the old regulations.

You’ll find the PVO 2006 Regulations for Obtaining the Doctoral Degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the relevant doctoral program regulations on the Legal Basis page.