Doctoral program in Global Health (PhD)

Admission requirements

Admission to the PhD program in Global Health is determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, based on the evaluation of the application by the Steering Committee.

Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they meet the following criteria before applying to the PhD program in Global Health:

  • Hold a Master's degree that is equivalent to at least 90 ECTS credits from a Swiss University or a recognized foreign university. In certain cases, degrees from Swiss High Schools (Haute Ecole Suisse) or other degrees accepted by the Dean of the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine may be considered.
  • Demonstrate significant professional work experience in the field of global health, preferably spanning several years. While meeting the academic criteria (i.e. master’s degree) is expected, significant professional work experience is highly valued.
  • Must be employed or have secured funding to cover all associated study costs, including tuition fees, research work, accommodation, and travel expenses. The program does not provide a scholarship or any other funding to its enrolled PhD students. Applicants should therefore ensure, and be able to demonstrate, that they are financially fully covered for the duration of the PhD.
  • Be fluent in English, as the language of instruction and communication in the program is English.
  • Obtain official recognition and support from the current employer to undertake the doctoral study alongside their professional commitments.
  • Ideally, have already published scientific articles as either a first author or co-author, demonstrating an ability to contribute to the field of research.

Online application 

The aplication deadline for the PhD program is annually on April 1st. To apply, each candidate is required to submit a comprehensive project proposal for their intended PhD study along with mandatory documents through the online application portal.

Mandatory Documents required for the application:   

  • Letter of Motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Project Proposal (4-6 pages). A strong project proposal should encompass several key elements. Firstly, it should provide a clear rationale for the study, outlining the significance and relevance of the chosen topic and the associated research questions. Secondly, it should present a well-defined research methodology that will be employed to investigate the research question. Thirdly, the proposal should outline the expected publications that will result from the study. Additionally, it should include a realistic timeframe and research plan for the completion of the study. Lastly, the proposal should address the financial aspect, indicating how the study will be financially supported. Prospective applicants are encouraged to include relevant details regarding the data gathering process, partnerships with research institutes and organizations, and any other pertinent information that strengthens the overall research plan.
  • Master's degree equivalent to at least 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). If the credits are not expressed in ECTS, provide a letter from your university indicating the equivalent ECTS credits.
  • Publications List: Having at least one publication as a first author will be highly regarded during the evaluation process.
  • Written letter of support from the employer, confirming employment and support for the doctoral study.
  • Evidence of financial stability        

Optional Documents: 

  • Support letter from an identified supervisor or co-supervisor, which can strengthen your application.
  • Transcripts of grades obtained in epidemiology or statistics (if applicable).

Once accepted into the program, it is essential for each student to complete the official enrollment process at the University of Geneva in order to secure their position. The official enrollment process is a required step for all accepted candidates and involves completing the necessary paperwork and fulfilling any additional requirements set by the university. This process ensures that students are officially registered as PhD candidates at the University of Geneva.