Doctoral studies

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Doctoral students have both the right and the duty to continue their education. The primary objective of doctoral study is to increase your knowledge and skills in the field of your doctoral thesis project. However, it should also serve to broaden your education in associated and interdisciplinary fields and lead to your closer integration in the scientific community.

Recognition for doctoral studies is in the form of credits. One credit corresponds to a period of study of 25-30 working hours. Credits are only awarded for work that is verifiably your own.

A total of at least 12 credits is required, of which at least one third have to be acquired outside the field of research. Credits can be awarded for active participation in ETH Zurich committees and working groups. The department responsible for you decides on the awarding of credits. If you have any questions, please contact the relevant department.


  1. Despite certain similarities, these are not ECTS points, but specific separate credits for doctoral studies. These often do not correspond to the ECTS credit points given in the Course Catalogue. Each department regulates in its detailed requirements for individual doctoral study how many credits are awarded for how much work.
  2. 12 is the minimum number of credits, as prescribed in the Regulations for Doctoral Studies. The departments determine for themselves the exact number of credits that have to be accumulated. Please find out from the department in question how many credit points they require, or check the detailed requirements for individual doctoral study.


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