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Graduate School of Economic Globalisation and Integration at the World Trade Institute, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #101 (ARWU) Bern, Switzerland
As a PhD candidate, you will benefit from a structured programme that is designed to offer you maximum support in writing your thesis. This includes continuous feedback and academic guidance from our extraordinary global faculty – composed of leading scholars and practitioners from the world’s most renowned universities, policy research institutions, law firms and international organisations.
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We take an interdisciplinary approach, continuously exploring the interconnections between economics, political science and law and how such linkages can be developed to enhance scientific theory and practice. In fact, this programme is targeted toward doctoral students who are interested in writing theses that cross the boundaries among the three disciplines.

When you enter the WTI, you become part of a unique community of scholars, thought leaders and policy shapers. You join a group of people from around the world who are making a difference. The doctoral programme is structured in such a way as to encourage you to contribute to the overall experience and to help make it a success not only for yourself, but also for your colleagues.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date

    Application deadline: 31. March (fall semester), 31. August (spring semester)

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description

      Graduate schools, doctoral programmes and doctoral studies last 3-5 years.

  • Credits
    24 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The more general lines of research at the WTI are:

  • Economics: International Trade Economics and Policy, International Migration, Climate Change, International Economics, International Macroeconomics and Finance
  • Law: International and European Economic Law, WTO Law, Intellectual Property Law, Competition Law and Media Law
  • Political Science: International Political Economy of Trade, International Organisations, International Economic Courts, Investment, Commodities

Doctoral seminarsHere you obtain peer feedback. This is also where your thesis supervisor will provide guidelines and direction.

Interdisciplinary seminar series Every month, one doctoral student has the opportunity to present a piece of selected literature relating to trade and investment.

Doctoral programme conference series To help you expand your professional network, the Programme Director will support you in organising a conference related to your specific PhD topic.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

In order to be admitted to the WTI Doctoral Programme, the PhD applicant must be accepted for supervision by an eligible professor and enrolled at the University of Bern.

Applicants must successfully complete two steps. First, they have to apply for supervision by submitting the application form.

Second, applicants accepted for supervision must enrol at the University of Bern and register with the Admissions Office of the University of Bern. Accordingly, they need to fulfil the formal requirements established in the regulations of their thesis supervisor’s faculty.

More Information:

Tuition Fee

  • International

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
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.


There are a number of ways to receive funding for your doctoral studies:

  • The Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) awards postgraduate scholarships to foreign scholars and researchers.
  • The SECO/WTI Academic Cooperation Project may fund your PhD studies if you are a native of one of their partner countries. This scholarship covers your entire tuition fee and includes a monthly living allowance for your time in Switzerland. The decision to fund you is made after you have been admitted to the doctoral programme. In the absence of eligible candidates from SECO partner countries, natives of SECO priority countries may be considered for this scholarship.

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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