General Doctorate

The general doctorate includes submitting a doctoral thesis and attending two colloquia worth at least 12 ECTS credits.

The colloquia provide a space for academic discussion of the doctoral thesis. Each expert group ensures that the PhD candidates who are advised by one of their members or someone from their area of expertise is able to take part in a colloquium at least once a year. Colloquia may be conducted by multiple members of the expert committee or by one member alone.

Registration for a colloquium should be lodged with the relevant professorship. An overview of the colloquia available can be found at Web VVZ.


A single instructor is normally assigned for the general doctorate. The following may act as head instructors for PhD candidates

  • Professors,
  • Emeriti and
  • Privatdozenten (lecturers)

of the Faculty of Law. If the doctoral thesis is supervised by a privatdozent (lecturer), another faculty member will act as co-instructor.

An additional instructor may be called in at the PhD student's request and with the head instructor's consent. The request must be submitted to the Dean’s Office.

Doctoral Agreement

The instructor and the student will formulate a written agreement as an instrument to assist in defining the goals, process, time period, manner, and extent of the instruction and the further general framework of the doctorate. The doctoral agreement can be adjusted to changing circumstances.


Anyone complying with the admissions requirements according to the Doctoral Regulations is eligible to apply for the General Doctorate. Please apply online at the admissions office.


  1. Appointment of a head advisor who will assume the role of the doctoral thesis supervisor and completes the  doctoral candidate confirmation
  2. Application at the  Admissions Office of the University of Zurich