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Theology, Doctorate

  • Application Deadline
  • Unknown
University rank #101 (ARWU) Bern, Switzerland
The Faculty of Theology at the university offers doctoral degree programs leading to the title of "Doctor of Theology" and covering the following specific elements: • Old Catholic Theology • Protestant Theology • Jewish Studies • Religious Studies
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In the joint program various courses and seminars are offered, awarding ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) points, which are required in the PhD regulations at each Faculty. The offerings aim at deepening specialized, interdisciplinary, methodological and technical competence.

While degrees continue to be conferred by the individual Faculties, the Faculties strive for unity in graduation requirements. A committee formed from members of the three participating universities gives informal direction to and coordinates the doctoral program. The Faculties are responsible for policy implementation and for oversight of individual doctoral candidates at the respective institutes.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date We did our best, but couldn't find the next application deadline and start date information online.
  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    180 ECTS

    Some 180 ECTS credits are earned in total. 150 ECTS credits are achieved for the written dissertation. The curricular element worth 30 ECTS credits is earned in the form of courses offered jointly by the universities of Bern, Zurich and Basel.

  • Languages
    • English
    • German
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The doctoral program of theology includes the following elements:

  • An initial interview—ideally this takes place one year before beginning the program (especially if the candidate plans to apply for outside scholarships and grants)—;
  • Enrollment for the PhD program in theology at one of the participating universities (the University of Basel, the University of Bern or the University of Zurich);
  • Participation in courses and seminars (including seminars related to one's field of research) and, thereby, attainment of the number of ECTS points set by the program;
  • The acquisition of specific skills related to the dissertation (i.e. languages, presentation skills, academic writing);
  • Further funding in the context of the doctoral program;
  • The completion of a dissertation, mentored by at least two faculty members, that demonstrates competent independent research (dissertations may be submitted in English, German or French).

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Admission to study for a doctorate requires a person to have a university master's degree in either Old Catholic or Protestant theology or in Jewish studies or religious studies. It may also be possible to study for a doctorate if you have completed other kinds of university degree; the Doctoral Committee decides on a case-by-case basis what constitutes equivalence with regard to comparable forms of previous education and also makes a decision regarding any admission requirements which can be completed during a program of study. The precise admission requirements which must be completed prior to a program of study are set out in the regulations on doctorates.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    184 EUR/semester
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of .
  • EU/EEA

    184 EUR/semester
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

The fee for doctoral students is 200 CHF per semester. Additionally, a registration fee of 100 CHF is charged for the first or re-admission.

Living costs for Bern

  • 1655 - 2130 CHF/month
    Living Costs

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


Doc.CH in the humanities and social sciences (HSS)

The Doc.CH (HSS) instrument for the promotion of excellence from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is targeted at highly promising researchers who would like to write a dissertation on a topic of their own choosing within the humanities and social sciences in Switzerland.

Church grants from the Reformed Church of Bern-Jura-Solothurn

The Reformed Church of Bern-Jura-Solothurn is keen for as many students as possible to be able to study theology, regardless of their financial situation. At the forefront of this initiative is the promotion of education as a kind of "second chance".

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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