PhD in Political Science

phd students

Welcome to the doctoral program of the Department of Political Science. We provide you with all important information about your doctorate. If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate management of our doctoral programs.

Coordinator for the General Doctoral Program and the Structural Doctoral Program "Political Science" is Dr. Doreen Spörer-Wagner.

Coordinator for the Structured Doctoral Program "Democracy Studies" is Dr. Doreen Spörer-Wagner.

General or Structured Doctoral Program?

The Department of Political Science offers two different types of doctorate, the general and the structured doctorate. The application procedures for both types differ, please refer to the relevant pages for information on the doctorate program and the pages on doctoral studies on the website of the faculty of philosophy. If you have any questions, please contact the management of the doctoral programs.

General Doctoral Program

Regular General Doctorate Program in Political Science at the Department of Political Science.

Structured Doctoral Program

Choice between the two structured doctorate types Democracy Studies and Political Science.

Career Service PhD/PostDoc

Its of great importance for the IPZ to sustainably support doctoral students and post-docs in their further career planning. For this purpose, the department offers tailor-made courses, which can be seen in the curriculum of the respective semester. One focus is currently on didactic support and training, especially in the context of major teaching events. For personal questions and concerns, the program management is at your disposal. In addition, the UZH offers extensive support. In the teaser on the right are the most important links.

Peer-Group poliTics

"poliTics", with the participation of some members of the former Peer Group "PoliValent", brings together doctoral students and postdoctoral students from UZH and ETH. The goal is the intensive exchange of experiences and contents of the dissertation and research projects of the peers. Primarily, the group focuses on mutual support through solution-oriented peer support, on-demand and subject-related continuing education in academic writing, and the development of career prospects.

Contact: Matthias Enggist (

Methodology at the IPZ

The IPZ takes the methodical training of our students very seriously. It is the only department of Political Science in Switzerland with a chair dedicated exclusively to the methods. More information can be found here (German only).

The Department of Political Science in the international context

CHE ExcellenceRanking 2009: The Department of Political Science is excellence group


The Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) in Germany has completed a second round of the CHE Excellence Ranking, focusing on the academic disciplines of economics, political science, and psychology. On the basis of five indicators with either a research orientation (number of publications - including highly cited books and citations by international standard) or an international dimension (Erasmus-Mundus master's programmes, student mobility, and staff mobility), the Department of Political Science (IPZ) at the University of Zurich is an Excellence Group. The IPZ received stars for performing particularly well in some of the above indicators.

The University of Zurich is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU).


The League of European Research Universities (LERU) is a network of 21 leading research universities that are located throughout ten European countries. LERU is a respected voice in the European Higher Education Area and is committed to upholding sound conditions for research, especially basic research, and teaching. UZH has been a member of this prestigious network since 2006 and contributes to its numerous working groups in a variety of ways.