Doctoral (PhD) Studies

Main content

The Computer Science Department’s goal is to educate students to become mature researchers and future leaders in the field of computer science. Doctoral students are part of a body of bright, talented and highly motivated scientists collaborating in research groups. Admission is highly competitive due to a large number of candidates and very few openings. The rewarding work experience is complemented by a competitive salary that comfortably covers the living expenses in Switzerland. Typically, the completion of a PhD degree takes 4-5 years.

Openings for PhD positions are posted on the webpages of individual faculty members and their groups. However, even if positions are not announced, our faculty always welcome applications from excellent PhD students. There are no deadlines for such applications. Applications via our online application system are always accepted and will be exposed to all computer science faculty members.

Who is eligible?

Applicants need a Master's degree with a strong background in computer science or a closely related field. Also, applicants need to be proficient both in written and spoken English.

Applicants with a 4-year or 5-year Bachelor who wish to pursue a PhD can opt for the fast-track doctoral studies. This requires application to our Master's program and provides financial support through stipends. More information on fast-track doctoral studies.

Language tests are not required. However, if you have documental proof, please include it in your application. Typically, personal interviews are conducted with candidates considered for admission.

GRE tests are not mandatory. However, if proof of results is available, please include them in your application.

How to apply?

Applications are always accepted in one of two ways:

Option 1: You can contact a professor in an area of your interest to find out whether he or she has openings and may be interested in supervising you as doctoral student.

List of professors and research groups:

Research Groups

Option 2: You can submit your application online to our central application system. This way, your application will automatically be available to and reviewed by our entire faculty.

The online application is exclusively electronic. Please provide following items:

  • Scans of diplomas of completed degrees
  • Scans of grade records for all attended universities
  • CV
  • Statement of objective (text only in English)
  • Contact information for three references providing recommendations

Note that all file uploads should be unprotected pdfs with a file size of at most 2 MB each.

Once your application is submitted, it will stay live for four months. In this period, you may be contacted by any interested faculty member. Otherwise, you will receive a notification at the end of this time period.

Proceed to the online application system (you will leave the ETH web domain)

For detailed information, please contact

Page URL:
© 2016 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich