The following information is especially designed for (international) doctoral students and researchers. You will find information here on obtaining a doctoral degree at the University of Lucerne as well as guidelines for the implementation of a joint doctoral degree.
Obtaining a Doctoral Degree at the University of Lucerne
Doctorate Subjects [en]
Registration as a doctoral student
Students with an appropriate educational background can apply for registration as a doctoral student. Information on the conditions of admission for the doctoral studies (rubric Study). For additional information concerning the application procedure, please consult the Students Administration Office. For questions regarding your study programme please contact the corresponding department of your faculty.
Doctoral students can also participate in the mobility programmes of the University of Lucerne, though some limitations do apply. For further information please refer to the academic advisory service of your department or faculty (rubric Study).
The Swiss Government provides university grants for foreign postgraduate students. Information on the offers and registration requirements are provided by the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students, ESKAS.
The University of Lucerne does not offer accommodation for its doctoral students. Information on housing in Lucerne and a broad offer of flats and rooms is provided by the Verein Studentisches Wohnen Luzern (StuWo Luzern).
Funding and Grants
There exist different possibilities of funding and grants for doctoral students who plan a stay abroad or would like to come to the University of Lucerne.
The following list should not to be considered as exhaustive but is a good starting point:
Research Promotion Unit of the University of Lucerne
Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students
Swiss National Science Foundation SNF
Janggen-Pöhn-Stiftung (in German)
Eidgenössische Stiftungsaufsicht (in German)
Swissfoundations (in German)
German Academic Exchange Service DAAD
Joint Doctoral Degree
A joint doctoral degree enables students to carry out their doctoral degree under the supervision of two professors at two different universities in two different countries.
Joint Doctoral Degree Guidelines
The following guidelines apply for the implementation of a joint doctoral degree at the University of Lucerne: Guidelines for the Implementation of a Joint Doctoral Degree
It is a prerequisite that for each doctoral candidate the two partner institutions involved must close an agreement on the implementation of a joint doctoral degree. The agreement must be signed by the Rectors/Presidents, Deans, and supervisors of both universities as well as by the doctoral candidate. The cooperation agreement must be signed no later than one year after the enrolment of the doctoral candidate at his/her home university. There exists no entitlement for a joint doctoral degree with the participation of the University of Lucerne.
The International Relations Office of the University of Lucerne provides a standard joint doctoral degree agreement, which respects the existing regulations of the University of Lucerne.
The language in which the doctoral thesis will be written as well as the language in which the thesis will be defended has to be defined by both universities and is to be written in the cooperation agreement.
Doctoral candidates must pay tuition fees at their home university; the host university will waive tuition fees during the joint doctoral degree. If the University of Lucerne is not the home university, incoming doctoral candidates must enroll at the student administration office of the University of Lucerne, one month before their intended stay and pay a non-recurring enrolment fee. Doctoral candidates are to ensure that they adhere to the following enrolment deadlines: Fall Semester: 31st August, Spring Semester: 31st January
Joint doctoral candidates must fulfill doctoral degree admission requirements at their home university as well as at their host university. Admission to the joint doctoral degree at the partner institution must take place before the closing of the cooperation agreement.
Joint doctoral candidates must spend at least one semester at the second/host institution. The University of Lucerne does however recommend that doctoral candidates complete two thirds of their dissertation at their home university and one third at the partner university. After completion of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate has to file for recognition of his/her research stays to his/her supervisor at the University of Lucerne. The supervisor will provide the International Relations Office with a copy of the signed recognition.
The doctoral candidate receives a diploma from both partner institutions. Each partner institution issues a diploma for the same doctoral thesis. It must be stated on the diploma that the obtained degree is a joint doctoral degree. The diploma does not entitle the candidate to two doctoral degrees.
Possible costs regarding the doctoral exam (e.g. travel expenses for the supervisors) are to be paid by each supervisor's home institution. At the University of Lucerne those costs are at the expense of the corresponding department or faculty.
The State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) grants scholarships for joint doctoral degrees with European universities. The administration of these scholarships is managed by swissuniversities.
Applications for the swissuniversities scholarships need to be completed by March 1st, at the latest. All documents (hard copies) have to be submitted to the International Relations Office of the University of Lucerne by this deadline.
Outlined below you will find the recommended process for establishing a joint doctoral degree:
1. Doctoral candidates first obtain the consent of the two thesis supervisors (home and host university).
2. Candidates must then apply for admission to the doctoral programme at their home university and await confirmation from the admissions department and the relevant faculty.
3. Contact the International Relations Office of the University of Lucerne (Catrin Scheiber, T: +41 41 229 50 71; catrin.scheiber), who can advise you regarding the cooperation agreement and the next steps to take. @ unilu.ch
4. Apply for admission at the partner university.
5. Complete the agreement and prepare the demanded enclosures before submitting your documents to the International Relations Office. Doctoral candidates who have earned their educational requirements outside Switzerland need to add a copy of the diploma authentication issued by the deanery of the appropriate faculty of the University of Lucerne. Amendments to the cooperation agreement can only be made after consultation with the International Relations Office. If necessary, the International Relations Office will contact the International Relations Office of the partner institution.
6. The doctoral candidate obtains the signatures from the thesis advisor and the signatories of the partner university. Enclosures 1 and 2 of the cooperation agreement – „Regulations regarding research stays and motivation of the choice of the partner institutions” and “Regulations regarding the composition of the board of examiners” – need to be signed by both supervisors as well as by the doctoral candidate. The International Relations Office of the University of Lucerne will obtain the Rector’s and the Dean’s signature. The agreement must be signed in seven copies.
7. After the signing, the copies are distributed among the signatories. The doctoral candidate is in charge of forwarding copies to the signatories of the partner universities. The International Relations Office provides copies for the Rector and the Dean of the University of Lucerne.