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Doctoral Program in Public Administration

The University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) jointly offer a doctoral program in Public Administration. Doctoral students receive guidance and supervision from distinguished professors from both universities equally.

At a glance

Title: Doctoral Program in Public Administration

Type of Program: Cooperative Doctoral Program

Program Language: English

The program provides doctoral students in the general field of public administration with the necessary knowledge to develop their projects with regard to theory and methodology.

The program has the following cornerstones:

  •     Doctoral students attend compulsory doctoral seminars at UNIL (15 ECTS).
  •     Doctoral students regularly exchange their thoughts and ideas about the progress of their research and their findings in compulsory PhD colloquiums held at UNIL and the SML.
  •     The doctoral program includes a compulsory summer school held at ZHAW on selected aspects of public administration.

Who is the program for?

This doctoral program is aimed at highly motivated applicants who wish to do a doctorate in the field of public administration. They have either a Master's degree in public management from the SML (MSc in Business Administration with a Specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management or Health Economics and Healthcare Management), or they are employees of the SML and fulfill the necessary requirements for doing a PhD program.

What are the formal requirements for admission to the program?

 In addition to the admission requirements for doctoral studies at UNIL, the following additional requirements must be met:

  •     A Master's degree in Public Administration from the SML or employment in the Department of Public Sector at the SML
  •     A pronounced interest in the following research areas: public finance, local and regional governance, applied public economics, health economics, or government communication
  •     Binding confirmation from an SML professor that he or she is prepared to act as co-supervisor for the entire duration of the doctorate
  •     Presentation of a funding plan (e.g., an approved SNSF project)


SML employees may apply for time and financial support if they meet the following conditions:

  •     A Master's degree
  •     Several years of related practical experience
  •     As a rule, at least two years as an employee of SML



Are there any restrictions concerning places on the program?

The agreement between the SML and the University of Lausanne is for three to four doctoral students per academic year.

How does the selection process work?

  •     Internal call within the SML (in fall 2018)
  •     A personal interview with the head of the program will take place to confirm the applicant’s motivation and check whether he or she meets the admission requirements.
  •     The decision to admit an applicant lies with the head of the institute and the Dean of the SML.

Are there any special deadlines to be observed?

Applicants can join the program at any time. For the enrolment, the dates of the University of Lausanne apply. The SML offers its doctoral students financial and time support. Applications for support must be submitted by 30 June and 31 December, respectively. Details can be found on the SML Intranet page "Doktorandencockpit" (only with ZHAW login).