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Management, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
The aim of the PhD Program in Management from Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) is to enable students to excel as researchers in the international academic arena. The program is full time and it typically lasts between four and (a maximum of) five years.


In the first two years, students take a comprehensive set of doctoral courses taught by USI faculty members and invited lecturers who are recognized as leaders in their field of research. The list of compulsory courses is available in the Directives for the PhD in Management, article 9 (Link). Students enrolled in the PhD program also have an opportunity to attend elective courses from partner institutions in Switzerland and Europe, and to apply for funding from the Swiss National Foundation for a period abroad in their last years of their PhD studies to develop their dissertation. Prior students have taken this opportunity to visit leading universities worldwide such as New York University, University of Michigan and Stanford University, just to name a few.


The program's primary focus is on independent inquiry, research methodology, and publication of research results. Students work closely with their PhD advisor, other faculty members, and fellow students. An internationally recognized PhD faculty and the small class size guarantee that all students benefit from the attention and expertise of experienced, research-active scholars whose work has been published in leading generalist journal in the field of management and sociology such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal and American Sociological Review among others.

Conferral of the title of PhD depends on successful completion of academic courses as well as on successful defense of an original PhD thesis. PhD theses may focus on any of a wide range of management-related research topics. Potential candidates are invited to consult research published in the leading management journals, especially those authored by the faculty of the institute, and reflect on whether they have a genuine interest for the research questions covered in these articles and the methodology implemented to provide an answer. These topics may include organizational learning, decision making, organizational survival and adaptation, intra- and inter-organizational networks, organizational status and identity, authority and power structures, organizational change and innovation, and others.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated an outstanding academic performance, is genuinely passionate about research, and is highly perseverant. He or she is motivated to pursue an international academic career.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
    • Duration description
      4-5 years
  • Credits
    30 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Research Methods 
  • Econometrics
  • Theory Building
  • Social Networks and Organizations
  • Micro-organization Theory
  • Macro-organization Theory
  • Strategy
  • Advanced Topics in Management
  • Management and Organization Seminar

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

The doctoral programme addresses graduates of promising talent and keen to launch into a high-profile career. 

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.


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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