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Architecture and Sciences of the City, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #18 (QS) Lausanne, Switzerland
The Doctoral Program Architecture and Sciences of the City (EDAR) is part of Doctoral School of EPFL (EDOC). It brings together in one doctoral program the world of architecture and that of social sciences concerned with the inhabited space and combines basic and applied research in an interdisciplinary perspective.
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  • The EDAR programme is based on two fundamental principles: the strong and varied relationship between basic and applied research and interdisciplinarity.
  • The link between theory and practice enables students to treat the project – regardless of its subject (architecture, urbanism, spatial development) and its actors (from individual residents to the local community as a whole) – both as an object of study and as a research challenge. Today, reflexivity on action proves to be indissociable from action itself; if this is disregarded, the result is very likely to be inefficiency and failure. An approach to the great theoretical and epistemological questions is therefore of crucial necessity for everyone. This method is intended to enable students to master the dual complexity of intellectual construction and of situative action in one single movement. This is the challenge that the EDAR programme helps its doctoral students to take up.
  • Interdisciplinarity as conceived of in the EDAR programme is multidimensional. It is situated inside architecture (history, theory, projects) and in the urban sciences (geography, urban sociology, environmental economics, housing and networking, urbanism and spatial planning), but also between the two fields in that it is based on the role of a mediator between the problems of the city, of mobility, of space, and of inhabiting it. Finally, the openness of the EDAR programme to mathematics, the sciences of matter and life and the science of engineering is part of its essential choice. The programme also maintains particularly close relations with the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), which regards interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity as fundamental and is the origin of a large part of the faculty and doctoral students of EDAR.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    14 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
    • French
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Sciences of the City:

  • The research area of Sciences of the City is aimed at students of social sciences (Sociology, Geography, Economics, Political science, Anthropology, History), but also architects and engineers wishing to pursue a thesis on urbanization, urbanity, mobility and habitat.
  • It concerns primarily an understanding of the contemporary urban world in all its aspects as a fundamental dimension of inhabiting and even more generally, of social life. This requires a reflection on epistemological and theoretical tools that allow thinking of space of societies, fixed and mobile lifestyles and urbanization as long-term historical process.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

You will be asked to upload a pdf version of the following documents:

  • Official transcripts of diplomas and grades from all academic institutions of higher education you list in your application (after and not including high-school)
  • Certified translations of diplomas and grades into English if not originally in French, German, Italian or English
  • Statement of objectives
  • A copy of your passport or official identity document showing your name in full.
  • Once you have uploaded all these documents and confirmed all the details you have provided, you will be asked to complete and submit your application by validating it.

Tuition Fee

  • For students with a Master degree of a foreign university, CHF 150.00
  • For students with a Master degree of a Swiss university, CHF 50.00

Living costs for Lausanne

  • 1609 - 1980 CHF/month
    Living Costs

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


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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