• Application Deadline
  • 48 months
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A broad variety of topics to choose fromThesis directors leaders in their field

Many thesis directors are leaders in their field of research, they will guide you on the path to research excellence.

Outstanding research infrastructure

Beyond hard work and creativity, the impact and success of a PhD in photonics often depends on the quality of the available infrastructure. Each laboratory has its own infrastructure dedicated to its specific research activities, while platforms such as

  • the Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology (CMI)
  • the Bioimaging and Optics Platform (BiOP)
  • and the Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME).

provide a research infrastructure second to none!

A truly international campus

With over 100 nationalities, the EPFL campus has been voted the most international university by Times Higher Education. English is used as working language and the entire photonics curriculum is provided in English.

Detailed Programme Facts

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

Programme Structure

Research in photonics is very strong at EPFL and includes a broad diversity of topics, ranging from

  • solid state physics and optoelectronics
  • to applied optics
  • nanophotonics
  • optofluidics
  • optomechanics
  • biophotonics
  • and photovoltaics.

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.

Tuition Fee

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