Postgraduate education

Doctorate in medical science "MD-PhD"

Procedure to be followed

Finding a host group

  • Check out the web pages of the Faculty of medicine related to faculty departments and fundamental, clinical and dental research;
  • Contact the group leader or the head of department whose research thematic one is interested in and check whether it is possible to undertake a research project within their group.

Submitting an application file

The candidate who has found a host group and a thesis supervisor may then submit an application file to the scientific committee of the doctorate in medical science "MD-PhD". The committee will rule upon admission to the doctorate. The application file must contain:

  • a motivation letter with career plan (max 2 pages)
  • a CV + list of publications
  • a copy of the diploma of medicine
  • UE/AELE diploma : attestation of the Federal Commission MEBEKO assessing the equivalence with the Swiss diploma *
  • the title and description of the research project
  • a certificate written by the chosen thesis supervisor guaranteeing salary cover and research costs


Non UE/AELE diploma:

  • a motivation letter with career plan (max 2 pages)
  • a summary of the research project (max. 3 pages)
  • a CV + list of publications
  • a copy of the final examination of medicine
  • the full list of exams you passed during your MD program
  • the marks received
  • the number of teaching hours per each topic
  • A dated and signed letter (handwritten signature) indicating "I note that obtaining the MD-PhD title, which is an academic title only, will not give me official recognition of my foreign diploma and will not allow me to practice as an intern in a service of the University Hospitals of Geneva or any other Swiss medical institution or in liberal practice in Switzerland. For obtaining a federal diploma I will refer to the requirements applied by the MEBEKO Medical Professions Commission."
  • a certificate of registration in the MEBEKO medical professions register
  • a letter from the thesis director indicating:

-  that he accepts the candidate under his direction for the MD-PhD thesis

-  the title of the thesis

-  the composition of the thesis committee

- that a salary is guaranteed for the duration of the thesis



Registration within programme

When the candidate has been accepted within the doctorate in medical science programme:

  • He/she will receive a certificate from the scientific committee and will proceed to registering with the students' secretariat of the Faculty of medicine.
  • A thesis committee is constituted on the proposal of the thesis supervisor and must be approved by the scientific committee.

End of thesis

When the thesis is coming to a close:

  • The thesis committee assesses the personal work of the doctorate student within the framework of the research project, on the basis of the report provided by the thesis supervisor.
  • If this personal work is considered satisfactory, the doctorate student submits a thesis manuscript project to the thesis committee.
  • Two months at the earliest after submission of this project, an oral examination is conducted by the thesis committee.
  • If this examination is successful, the thesis supervisor submits the thesis manuscript to the scientific committee together with a report and a proposal as to the composition of the thesis jury.
  • The thesis jury receives the manuscript and provides a report.
  • If the report is satisfactory, a date for the defence of the thesis can be agreed upon between the scientific committee and the thesis jury.
  • Once the modifications requested by the jury have been brought to the manuscript, the candidate can undergo the public defence of thesis.

Awarding the diploma

  • Once all these conditions have been fulfilled, the scientific committee rules on the attribution of the diploma.
  • The title of the diploma is: "Doctorate in medical science of the Faculty of medicine ("MD-PhD").