The doctoral degree will be issued jointly by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Human Sciences, after submission of the written thesis and successful defense of the thesis.
As a rule, the PhD thesis must be submitted no later than one year after completion of the experimental work.
The University regulations require enrollment until the successful completion of studies. If the thesis is submitted before January 31 or July 31 and the defense takes place before the start of the new semester, i.e. by week 7 or 37 respectively, enrollment in the following semester is no longer required.
It lies in the candidate's responsibility to schedule a date for the defense, in agreement with the thesis committee. Furthermore, enough time must be granted to the co-referee for the evaluation of the approved thesis and for writing the report.
Information for publications can be found here
Instructions for the preparation and submission of your PhD documents are detailed below.
*These deadlines apply to students enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine. If you are enrolled at the Faculty of Human Sciences (the faculty where your thesis advisor is employed), special deadlines apply. These deadlines are individual, as they depend on the meeting schedule of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Human Sciences. Please contact the GHS office as soon as you start planning your defense.
It is essential that you carefully follow the instructions below and on the Front Page template. In order to avoid mandatory corrections, it is highly recommended that you submit the Front Page of your thesis to GHS Administration for inspection in good time.
The thesis in A4 format must have been approved by the thesis advisor and must contain the following sections:
Layout: The cover page and deans’ signature page must be printed on one side only, while for the remaining pages of the thesis duplex (double-sided) print is preferred.
Each PhD thesis submitted to the GHS will be screened for improper citations and potential plagiarism by means of a specialized plagiarism-detection system. For guidelines on scientific integrity and prevention of plagiarism, please consult the links referring to Scientific Integrity in the box «Find out more» at the bottom of this website.
Check Art. 11 of the «Promotionsreglement (PDF, 426KB)» or «Promotionsreglement (English translation) (PDF, 208KB)» for more information.
The thesis is independently assessed by the thesis advisor and by the co-referee.
Both signed, electronic documents (PDF) should be sent at least 6 weeks* before the date of the planned thesis defense to: Dr. Tullia Padovani Schipper, with Cc to GHS Administration (please fill out form in english). If the defense date is in January, early February, August or September, the deadline for the assessments from the thesis advisor and co-referee is 8-9 weeks* prior to the defense date. The GHS secretariat will inform you about the exact deadline.
No later than 6 weeks* ** before the date of the thesis defense, the candidate should submit the following documents to the GHS office:
Berner Kantonalbank BEKB AG
Bundesplatz 8, 3001 Bern
IBAN: CH63 0079 0016 6042 9051 9
Universität Bern, Graduate School for Health Sciences GHS, 3012 Bern
Vermerk: GHS DK 35 992
*If the defense date is in January, early February, August or September, the deadline for submitting the application documents is 8-9 weeks prior to the defense date. The GHS secretariat will inform you about the exact deadline.
**These deadlines apply to students enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine. If you are enrolled at the Faculty of Human Sciences (the faculty where your thesis advisor is employed), special deadlines apply. These deadlines are individual, as they depend on the meeting schedule of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Human Sciences. Please contact the GHS office as soon as you start planning your defense.
On request, an electronic copy of the thesis (PDF) can be made available for inspection to the members of the GHS Steering Board, the GHS Expert Committee (FK) and the Faculty.
Additionally, the GHS provides the GHS representative with the PhD Degree Form, the submitted thesis, and with appropriate instructions concerning the format of the thesis defense.
The thesis defense is public and consists of a presentation of 40-45 min, followed by a discussion of 20-60 min.
(1) the thesis advisor,
(2) the co-referee, and
(3) a member of the GHS Expert Committee (FK), who is also charing the thesis defense.
The examiners agree immediately on the assessment of the thesis defense and communicate it to the candidate. It is recorded on the Thesis Defense Record (DOCX, 906KB) and submitted to the GHS office by the GHS representative.
The final assessment is summarized on the Graduation Record and is obtained as defined in the «Rules» of the GHS («Promotionsreglement (PDF, 426KB)»), Art. 16.
No later than 2 weeks after the thesis defense, you must submit the following to the GHS office:
You may submit one electronic copy in PDF format on CD/DVD directly to the University Library (UB) Bern—see the UB website for further information.
The PhD Degree is jointly awarded by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Human Sciences, upon the proposal of the Steering Board of the GHS. The PhD documents are only issued upon receipt of the three deposit copies and the electronic PDF copy of the final version of the PhD thesis.
You are entitled to bear the PhD title after having received the PhD Diploma and Diploma Supplement.
Once you have completed your studies or if you no longer want to continue studying, you have to have yourself removed from the student registry (this does not take place automatically). For this purpose, please use the electronic re-registration form. Detailed information can be found on the following link: https://www.unibe.ch/studies/organizational_matters/renewal_of_semester_registration/deregistration/index_eng.html
You may attend the Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty with which you were affiliated during your PhD. Information on date, time and venue will be made available by the GHS office.