Ph.D in Communication Sciences

Eligibility for applying to the Ph.D Program in Communication Sciences
The following may be admitted to the status of doctoral student: holders of a Master degree or of a Licentiate degree (under the previous higher degrees system) from a Swiss University, or holders of a Swiss or foreign degree recognized as equivalent by the Graduate Studies Committee.
To be admitted to the status of doctoral student, the candidate must have obtained a final score in the Master program of no less than 8 (on a 10 point scale). It is also possible to ask for special consideration if the candidate does not meet the requirements listed.
Applicants from outside Switzerland have also to send a certificate from their host University demonstrating the equipollence of their Master score thesis to the above mentioned score criteria.

The Ph.D Program
The program requires close collaboration between the student and his/her Thesis Director right from the beginning. Hence, access to the program necessitates a written declaration by one of the Faculty professors (full, associate, titular, adjunct or assistant professor), that he/she would be willing to supervise. (The list of professors of the Faculty and their research interest can be found here).

Assistant Ph.D
Conventionally, a doctoral Ph.D student in Communication Sciences is enrolled as an "Assistant Ph.D" (or internal doctoral student) thanks a work contract or a scholarship. The Assistant Ph.D has research duties as well as teaching assistance responsibilities. To become "Assistant Ph.D" there are several paths:

  • Periodic announcements of vacant positions for doctoral students, that are here reported.
    Interested applicant should propose himself/herself for the position following the instructions given in the announcement.
  • Institutional or National funding opportunities, provided by either private or public sector within Switzerland, and here reported.
  • Sending a spontaneous application to a single professor, describing a research proposal (The list of professors of our Faculty and their research interest can be found here).

External Ph.D
It is also possible to enroll into the Ph.D program without the subscription of a work contract with the Faculty or of a scholarship (External doctoral student). This is the case of students willing to continue their working activities in parallel to Ph.D studies. The enrolment procedure is the same as for Assistant Ph.D. Tuition fee for External Ph.D students applies in biannual installments as specified in Regolamento per le ammissioni e le immatricolazioni all'Università della Svizzera italiana of the 14th of April 2000, at Article 16, (that can be downloaded here), and individuals need to procure their own funding.

Admission Process
Once the candidate has found a professor willing to became supervisor, the candidate has to submit the required documents (that can be found here) to the doctoral administration. These documents will be examined first by the Doctoral Committee and then, if adequate, ratified by the Faculty Council.

Additional information
The whole application process (composition of the Graduate Studies Committee, choice of the Thesis Director, doctoral courses, thesis, installment amount, etc.) is stated in our Ph.D study regulations (that can be downloaded here) and in our Ph.D study program.

Ph.D Program Coordinator is Prof. Suzanne Suggs.
For more information please contact Stefano Giacomelli (