Doctoral Studies

Ph.D. studies at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences lead, after a successful completion of a dissertation,  to the title Doctor rerum oeconomicarum, Dr. rer. Oec.

Admission is governed by the regulation on doctoral studies at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.

Supervision by a lecturer responsible for the student at the relevant faculty is an essential condition for admission to the doctoral program in Business Administration. Admission may be denied if the topic is not expected to lead to a research output, if there are reasonable doubts about the successful completion of the dissertation project, or if the topic does not correspond with the research focus of the lecturer in question.

A necessary prerequisite for admission is a Master's degree (or equivalent degree) from a recognized university. Additionally, the Master’s degree must be no more than ten years old. Furthermore, a minimum overall grade in the Master's program must be achieved. For students at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Bern, this minimum grade is 4.75 (under the Swiss grading system). Moreover, at least 60 ECTS credits must have been obtained in the field of Business Administration.

Graduates with a Master's degree in Business Administration from a university of applied sciences cannot start a doctoral program in Business Administration at the University of Bern directly. In addition to the admission requirements mentioned above, they must first obtain a Master's degree from a university. For further information, please contact the Academic Student Advice.

Students wishing to pursue a doctorate in Business Administration must obtain at least 24 ECTS credits during the doctoral program. As part of this, 4 ECTS credits must be acquired in the “Doctoral Seminar in Business Administration”. In addition, at least 12 ECTS credits must be obtained in courses that, at the discretion of the supervisor in question, fall within one or more of the areas of “Analytical Methods in Business Administration”, “Empirical Quantitative Methods in Business Administration”, and “Empirical Qualitative Methods in Business Administration”. The remaining ECTS credits are to be obtained from courses that are related to the dissertation on a theoretical or methodological level.

Proof of achievement in the Doctoral Seminar in Business Administration is given in form of a public lecture on the dissertation lasting a maximum of 30 minutes as well as a discussion lasting a maximum of 30 minutes. The members of the departmental committee present at the seminar will award individual grades. The grade in the Doctoral Seminar in Business Administration is calculated using the arithmetic mean of these individual grades. If the grade is not sufficient, the Doctoral Seminar in Business Administration can be retake once, at most. The organizational responsibility for conducting the Doctoral Seminar in Business Administration lies with the spokesperson of the Department of Business Administration.

When the admission requirements have been met, the student’s doctoral studies have been completed and the dissertation has been approved, the laureateship of Doctor rerum oeconomicarum is awarded.

Each semester, four dates are offered for the awarding of the doctoral degree. The application for the doctorate must be received by the Dean's Office at least 21 days prior to the date in question. The application form must be accompanied by two printed copies of the dissertation as well as the receipt for the doctoral fees paid (CHF 300.00), a copy of the student’s valid matriculation card and a complete transcript of records. In addition, the dissertation must be sent by email to the Dean's Office (in PDF format). Further information on how to register to receive the doctoral degree and the exact dates can be found on the faculty’s homepage.