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

Applications for the following academic year open each year in September. Please use our online recruitment portal to submit your application. Only online applications submitted via the application portal will be taken into consideration.
Next submission deadline: 15 January, 2022. The application website will start accepting applications by August 2021.

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.

An application fee of 80 USD for application at the PhD Program in Zurich must be paid by using a credit card via PayPal (no PayPal account is required). Currently, there is no application fee waiver nor refund for applications that are not selected. Please use the following link on the SFI page to make the payment: Please note that we cannot evaluate applications submitted without proof of payment.

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.

Tips for scanning and submitting documents:

  • Do not password-protect the document or embed macros
  • Limit the file size to 10 MB
  • Configure the document to print full-size on 8.5-by-11-inch, letter-size paper

Application Schedule

There are two rounds of candidate selections with application deadlines of January 15th and March 31st. We will schedule interviews with selected candidates for the January deadline in early February. Interviews for the March deadline are planned mid- to late April. Courses start in September.
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 six students so as to keep the program small and guarantee personal interactions between students and faculty.

Visiting Doctoral Student

The admission for application as visiting doctoral student (up to one year) is competitive. Pre-selection of candidates is based on the submitted application file (including a short CV, letter of motivation, transcripts of previous degree and two references). Please indicate that you apply as visiting student. Please send the pdf file by email to the managing assistant of the Doctoral Program in Finance (currently Ms. Sarah Wikus): zurich[at]

The PhD admission committee will also carry out a phone interview with all pre-selected candidates before taking any final admission decision. Please note that visiting doctoral students must provide their own funding.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

To applicants to the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (SGES) considering applying tor admission into the doctoral programme in Finance at the University of Zurich:

Thank you very much for considering the Department of Banking and Finance at UZH for your doctoral studies. You may find the information below useful.

The Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics at UZH requires graduates from most non-OECD countries to provide Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results. Unless these are quite high, applicants will not be admitted into the UZH doctoral programme in Finance.

Therefore we require the GMAT or GRE results from our applicants before contacting a professor to ask for a letter supporting an applicant's application to a SGES.

Please do not consider this memo as intended to discourage you; rather, it is intended to try to make the process as efficient and as transparent as possible.