The program is internationally oriented and aims at attracting the best students from Switzerland and abroad. Applicants need to have a Master of Science in Finance or Economics or a degree deemed to be equivalent by the Admission Committee.
The Admission Committee will carefully review every application. Please make use of the standard application form for the Swiss Finance Institute PhD Program in Finance including:
- A complete curriculum vitae
- A copy of official grade transcripts, detailed and complete, for your undergraduate, graduate studies and a transcript for on-going studies
- A copy of your university degrees
- A letter of motivation
- Two letters of reference
- An indication that you can follow the courses in English
Your application has to be in English. The certificates and the letters of reference can be in English. If your certificates are in another language, please include an official translation and explain the grading system. Concerning your knowledge of English, a standardised test like the TOEFL or a certificate from a recognised language school is appreciated. If English is your mother tongue or if you already studied successfully in an English-speaking environment, no such test or certificate is necessary. Note that you need to hold a degree from a recognized university (or receive the degree shortly) that entitles you to enroll in a PhD program in Finance.
Applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee, composed of finance professors from the Swiss Finance Institute. Admissions will be decided on a competitive basis. You will be informed about the result of your application within four weeks after closure of the application deadline (respectively the receipt of a late application). There are two rounds of candidate selections. Complete application files should be received by Janauary 31st and March 31st. Courses start in September.
The number of yearly admissions will typically not exceed twenty students over the three campuses so as to keep the program small and guarantee personal interactions between students and faculty. If you are admitted to the program, you will have to fill in special forms for the registration procedure at the University level.
Please send your application (as well as the two letters of reference) directly to the Swiss Finance Institute centre of your choice (Lausanne/Geneva, Lugano, Zurich). If you wish to apply at different centres simultaneously you should then submit one full application package to each campus separately:
How many students apply and how many are admitted to the program?
Approximately twenty students are admitted every year. The admission rate is close to 10%.
Is an MBA considered as being equivalent with required MSc in Finance or Economics?
Typically we do not consider an MBA as being equivalent with required MSc in Finance or Economics, except for an MBA degree with highly quantitative background from one of the World’s top universities.
Is GMAT required for the program?
GMAT is not required for the program, however any good GMAT or GRE score will be well noticed and will increase your chance of admission to our PhD program.
How about financial aid offered by the PhD program?
The students selected for the first phase receive a scholarship of 30’000 CHF per year (plus cost of living adjustment) which covers living expenses. Students admitted to the second phase will take a position as an assistant at the University.
Can I work during the PhD program?
Since the courses in first phase are very intensive and the students will receive financial aid we recommend to concentrate completely on the studies. During the second phase students typically become an integrated part of the NCCR FINRISK research project carried out at one of the various institutes involved and work within this project as a research or teaching assistant.
Do you have additional questions?
Please contact the Swiss Finance Institute PhD Program coordinator.