Admission procedure for doctoral studies for holders of a foreign university degree or a foreign university of applied sciences degree

Do not forget to read the information regarding the deadlines and the conditions which appear under the various headings of the Regulations concerning the registration conditions.


After reading the registration conditions, students apply online and send their documents to the Admissions Office within the specified deadline.

Content of the application for enrolment in a doctoral programme for candidates whit a foreign university degree


The Admissions Office processes the application and checks that formal conditions of admission to the chosen programme are satisfied.

Provided they meet the formal conditions, the applications for a doctoral programme are subsequently forwarded to the Faculty or School in question, which must give its approval.


The prospective PhD student must also send the two copies of the completed and signed PdD form (attestation de thèse) to his/her thesis director. The link to the form is provided in the online application and in the email acknowledging receipt sent immediately after the confirmation by the candidate (to be printed out by him/her).

The thesis director signs and forwards the form to the Doctoral School or the Dean’s Office, who stamps and signs the document before returning it to the Admissions Office by 15 October 2021 (autumn semester 2021/2022) or 28 February 2022 (spring semester 2022). It is therefore important for the candidate to forward the PhD form to the thesis director without delay.

If the application has been sent after the deadlines or the PhD form has been submitted to the Admissions Office after the deadlines, the registration will be postponed to the next semester (or, in case the late application is accepted, the prospective student will have to pay a surcharge of CHF 200.-).

It is therefore important that the candidate sends the “attestation de thèse” forms to his/her thesis director as soon as possible.

4 Accepted candidates receive a certificate of admission to registration by postal mail, accompanied by information about UNIL and instructions explaining how to confirm their registration; refused candidates also receive a written decision.

Each candidate will receive a written decision when his/her complete application (according to the requirements specified in the Directive en matière de conditions d’immatriculation) is received by the Admissions Office. Therefore, it is pointless to contact the Admissions Office in the meantime.

5 According to their nationality, foreign candidates must obtain a study visa before coming to Switzerland; they should go to their nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate to file their application, which must include in particular the certificate of admission to registration.

The Admissions Office cannot intervene in this procedure with the authorities (Embassy, Consulate, population Office). As these steps can take two to three months, students are advised to undertake them as soon as possible.

6 Candidates confirm their registration according to instructions received with the certificate of admission to registration (in particular they have to present their original secondary school and university diplomas, as well as the original transcripts). Candidates must follow the deadlines mentioned in these instructions, otherwise their application will be cancelled.

Note: if the diploma (or the certificate of graduation) cannot be submitted within the confirmation deadline specified by the Admissions Office, the enrolment has to be cancelled or postponed.
7 The invoice for course fees for the first semester is then sent out.

If regarding the instructions received the candidate resident abroad must go in person to the Admissions Office to confirm his registration, he will at this time receive the invoice and therefore cannot pay his fees before arriving in Switzerland. The fees can be paid at any Swiss post office by using the paying-in slip or by e-banking. For information, the Population Service of the Canton of Vaud does not require a proof of payment of the the course fees for the first semester within the procedure of granting the visa (see application form for a temporary resident permit for study purposes in the Canton of Vaud).


Following confirmation of registration, the candidates receive an email containing their UNIL email address and access codes to their computer account. The candidates commit to consulting their UNIL e-mail at least once every five days and using only their address for any electronic communication with the university administration.

9 Once candidates have paid their fees, they acquire the status of student; they can obtain a certificate of enrolment for the semester. The procedure will be indicated on the reverse of the for fees invoice.

To process certain applications, the Admissions Office must request additional information (from the Recognition Information Centre (Swiss ENIC), the candidate, the schools or universities he or she has attended, etc).

Several weeks may elapse therefore between dispatch of the application and the final decision on registration acceptance.
Candidates are therefore advised to submit their applications as soon as possible.

Note: it is essential to provide complete and correct information when applying at UNIL (online registration and sending of the documents) and when completing your application later on with complementary documents or information. Any omission or submitting of fake or falsified documents can lead to a refusal of admission or an exclusion from UNIL. The Rectorate may refuse registration when the actions of a candidate lead to the conclusion, with supporting evidence, that its registration could threaten the safety of the members of the University.



the French version of the registration conditions prevails

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