You can apply for Ph.D. studies in International Affairs and Political Economy if you hold a Master's degree from a recognised university in a subject related to social sciences. A minimum average grade of 5.00 (not rounded) is required. This is equivalent to a minimum average grade of 2.00 (not rounded) in Germany and Austria. For more information about how we calculate grades, please consult our grade conversion table.
Depending on your previous university degree, additional programme-specific requirements may be imposed upon admission.
Admission to our Ph.D. programmes is not possible with degrees from a University of Applied Sciences (a tertiary education institution without the right to award doctorates) or with an MBA.
Your degree programme will be recognised if the following criteria are fulfilled:
More information on the recognition of universities and university degrees.
We would be happy to give you non-binding pre-clarification whether your previous education entitles you to apply for a Ph.D. programme. So that we can do this, please send scanned copies of all your grade transcripts and certificates together with a short CV by email to email@example.com
When you apply, you must prove that your proficiency in the English language, used as the language of instruction, is at level C1 (CEFR). The University of St.Gallen accepts the following as supporting documents for admission to this Ph.D. programme:
As soon as we have received your complete application, we will check whether all the formal criteria for admission to the Ph.D. programme are fulfilled. Once you have received a positive reply, you must find a professor who is willing to act as your doctoral supervisor. Please note that the Admissions and Ph.D. Offices will not put you in touch with professors.
As soon as you have found your prospective doctoral supervisor, he/she must submit the completed "Letter of recommendation" form to the Ph.D. Office. Please note that you, as the applicant, are responsible for the timely submission of the form. If we do not receive the letter of recommendation mentioned above by the end of the application period, admission to the Ph.D. programme will not be possible.
Admission to the Ph.D. Programme is based on Programme Committee’s evaluation of your submitted application documents (‘sur dossier’) after receipt of the letter of recommendation.
The degree programme can start either in the spring or the autumn semester. The application is made online. The application fee is CHF 250.
Autumn semester application period: 1 February - 30 April (*- 15 August)
Spring semester application period: 1 September – 30 November (* - 15 January)
*A longer registration period for assistants and applicants with an HSG Master's degree. If you have already finished a degree programme at HSG and if you have been exmatriculated for maximum two semesters, please apply using the
Please have the following information and documents ready to upload:
If any of the documents are not issued in German, French, Italian or English, you must also submit a certified translation of the document in German or English. Please observe our guidelines "Certified documents and translations".
Only one file can be uploaded per bullet point. You can use online tools such as online2pdf.com to create PDF files or to combine several pages into one PDF file. Make sure the files you send to us are legible so that we can process your application without delay.
Swiss citizens need their Swiss social insurance number (AHV number) for the application. If you do not know your insurance number, please order a duplicate of your insurance certificate from the Swiss Central Compensation Office in good time.
Questions about application / degree course:
+41 71 224 22 20
Questions about admission regulations / preliminary review:
University of St.Gallen
+41 71 224 39 31
Tue.-Thu. 10:00 am - 11:30 am