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Communication Sciences, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
The PhD programme in Communication Sciences is open to graduate students holding a Master degree in Communication Sciences or an equivalent degree in analogous disciplines. The programme includes advanced studies into the foundations of communication sciences, training in research methods, and individual research work under the supervision of a faculty member.


  • The Ph.D. is the highest academic degree awarded by USI. Its purpose is the training of new researchers in the field of communication sciences. To that end, doctoral students are expected to take Ph.D. level courses that will expand their knowledge on communication, research and ethical aspects. 
  • Doctoral student training is then completed by teaching related experiences and by attending academic events organized by the Faculty. The main objective of the Ph.D. is the formation of future academics, however knowledge and experience gained during the Ph.D. are also relevant for those who wish to work in companies, organizations, or as entrepreneurs in the communication field.
  • The program requires close collaboration between the student and their Thesis Director. Hence, access to the program necessitates a written declaration by one of the Faculty professors (full, associate, assistant, titular, or adjunct professor), that he/she would be willing to supervise you.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include: 

  • Philosophy of Science 
  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Research
  • Traditions of Communication Sciences 
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods 

For more information, please visit the programme website.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to the status of doctoral student, one must have:

  • a Master degree or of a Licentiate degree from a Swiss University


  • 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 (however this process is exceptional). Applicants from outside Switzerland must send a certificate from their previous University demonstrating the equivalence of their Master score thesis to the above mentioned score criteria.

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Lugano

  • 1516 - 2140 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Internal Ph.D. students do not pay tuition fees and are funded from any of the following sources:

  • Periodic announcements of vacant positions for doctoral students: 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.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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