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Doctoral Program in Finance


The program is internationally oriented and aims at attracting the best students from Switzerland and abroad. Applicants need to have a Master of Science in Finance or Economics or a degree deemed to be equivalent by the local Admission Committee, composed of finance professors from the University of Zurich.

In the framework of our PhD Program, students choose their advisors after starting the program, in the first year of studies. The selection procedure for the PhD Program only starts in January. As the Swiss Government Excellency Scholarship does require either a letter of admission to a doctoral school or a letter of support by the advisor, we generally cannot accommodate requests by candidates for this scholarship.

For exceptions, please contact our PhD Program Coordinator Mrs Sarah Wikus, together with a copy of your application dossier (CV, academic transcripts, GMAT/GRE Test score, detailed research proposal, indication of potential advisors at our Department).

Who should Apply

Please have a look at our guidelines as to who should apply and, if you indeed satisfy our requirements, then follow the instructions below for the application process.

Application Procedure

You apply online via the SFI application platform. The link will be updated here in early fall 2024 for the 2025 application deadlines (15 January 2025 and 31 March 2025). (link zu The application deadlines are 15 January 2024 and 31 March 2024 for a start in the fall semester 2024. Please review the Swiss Finance Institute Website for detailed information on required documents, and the subsection “requirements” on this page for further details on characteristics of successful candidates.

We will hold interviews with selected candidates in early February and Mid-April. The exact dates will be announced here in due course.

The received applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. If your application has fulfilled the high standards, you will receive an email with further instructions. Applicants who did not fulfill the necessary requirements will be informed via email and have the chance to apply again next year.

Note: The official grade transcripts and university degrees may be in English, French, German, or Italian; otherwise, copies of the originals, along with a certified translation by the embassy or consulate of the originating country, must be provided. Letters of recommendation may be in English or German. All other documents must be in English. For non-native English speakers, you may submit your results of a standardized English test such as the TOEFL, though please keep in mind that this is neither necessary nor sufficient: As mentioned in the details of Who Should Apply, your English skills need to be excellent. This will be confirmed if you are invited for an interview.

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Application Schedule

There are two rounds of candidate selections with application deadlines of January 15th and March 31st. Interviews with selected candidates will take place in February and April. Due to the limited number of fully-funded positions, we encourage candidates to apply for the first round deadline (January 15th), even if you have not yet obtained your transcripts for respective fall term at this time.

The number of yearly admissions to the Doctoral Program in Finance at the University of Zurich will typically not exceed five students to keep the program small and guarantee personal interactions between students and faculty.

Visiting Doctoral Student

Our Department occasionally hosts visiting doctoral students. Those students are usually invited by a faculty member of our Department and provide their own funding.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

We are delighted that you are considering our Department for your PhD research. Unfortunately, the Swiss Government Excellency Scholarship scheme does not work with our application deadlines, and we cannot issue any letters of support or supervision to aspiring candidates. Instead, we would kindly ask you to submit your application to our fully funded PhD Program in our regular application cycle as described above. Suitable candidates might be approached by us to apply for the Swiss Government Excellency Scholarship after their application into our program. Thank you for your understanding!