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Graduate School of Business

Doctoral Programs and Tracks


The Graduate School of Business at the University of Zurich offers two doctoral programs, one in «Business Administration» and the one in «Management and Economics». They are comparable to international PhD programs. The Graduate School of Business at the University of Zurich comprises 26 professors offering PhD courses in four fields of study «Accounting, Auditing & Corporate Governance», «Marketing», «Managing Human Resources and Education», and «Management, Organization, and Strategy».


Talented students with an excellent Bachelor or Master degree who aim at an academic career or leading positions in the public and private sector are invited to apply for one of the doctoral programs at the Graduate School of Business.

Read more about the program structure and the fields of study:

Study Tracks

The Graduate School of Business offers two study tracks fitted to the academic background of applicants:

  • Track B for students with a Master's degree
  • Track C («Fast Track») for excellent students with a Bachelor's degree

Track B: Students with a Master's degree

Track B is considered for students with an excellent Master's degree (likewise a German diploma or a Swiss lic. oec.). Executive MBA programs are not eligible for our doctoral programs. The two semester course program consists of core courses such as Management Theory, Empirical Research Methods, Microeconomics and a number of electives and specialized courses. At the end of their course work, students write their research proposals and start working on their dissertation research under the supervision of a faculty member.




Track C: Excellent students with a Bachelor's degree

Any excellent student with a Bachelor's degree may apply for a «fast-track» program. Students start with Master courses and earn their Master's degrees after two semesters of coursework (60 ECTS) and a Master thesis; if permitted, they then go on with their doctoral course work and their dissertation. The fast track program may save excellent and ambitious students up to two semesters. One particular advantage is that their master thesis (30 ECTS) may serve as a research proposal if it is of outstanding quality. After their research proposals have been approved, students start with their dissertation under the supervision of a faculty member.







Fields of Study

The Structured PhD-Course Program of GSB-UZH consists of three parts:

General Program Requirements (18 ECTS)

Independent of the research area, all PhD students have to take the «General Program Requirements» to acquire a solid theoretical and methodological basis in business administration:

  • Business Administration for Research Students: Theory (9 ECTS)
  • Business Administration for Research Students: Empirical Methods (9 ECTS)

We expect entering students to have sufficient background to perform successfully in these courses. In case a student lacks these prerequisites, additional preparatory courses should be taken prior or during the first year doctoral courses. In addition, fields may designate acceptable substitute courses. Substitute courses are only valid for students' course requirements if officially announced on the GSB homepage before taking a possible substitute.

Field Course Requirements (15 ECTS)

In addition to the General Program Requirements PhD-students choose a field of specialization and are within this field free to choose from a variety of courses (18 ECTS). The GSB offers four attractive fields with structured PhD-course programs that guide students to become competitive on the international academic market.

Generic Competencies (3 ECTS)

Last but not least, students have to take 3 ECTS in courses on «Generic Competencies».


In addition to their PhD-title, students who finish the necessary 18 ECTS according to one of the field-specific study programs receive a formal confirmation issued by the department of business administration signaling their field-specific profile as a PhD-student.

The four fields of study offered by GSB are:

Weiterführende Informationen