Please see the program guidelines PDF at right for full explanations of procedures.


The PSC PhD Program in Plant Sciences requires completion of 12 ECTS (credit points) from courses organized or accredited by the PSC, including: PSC courses, Life Science Zurich Graduate School courses, courses from Swiss Plant Science Web PhD Programs, and university courses in the area of transferable skills. The following conditions apply:

  • 4 ECTS should be in the area of transferable skills.
  • One-time participation in the colloquium "Challenges in Plant Sciences" (2 ECTS) is mandatory, preferrably at the beginning of your PhD studies. Students having already participated in the colloquium during Master’s studies are exempt - these units may be replaced by other approved coursework.
  • Up to 3 ECTS may be awarded for organization of the PSC PhD Symposium in alternate years.
  • Presentation of PhD research at international conferences may be awarded up to 1 ECTS.
  • Other courses (national/international) may be accredited with prior agreement of your PhD supervisor.

Note: All students who started their PhD after February 2016 have to participate in the LSZGS introduction event Introductory Lecture to Good Scientific Practice and Scientific Integrity (2 hours, no ECTS). Within the event you will sign the declaration of “Good scientific practice” that becomes part of your DissGo documents. All PhD students that have or will participate in a course on “Research Integrity” or “Ethics” in their PhD program don’t need to visit the introduction. For all accredited training courses see the catalogue (PDF, 249 KB)

Requirements for Completion of the Plant Sciences PhD Program

All PhD students must follow the regulations of their home institution as well as the complementary regulations of the PSC PhD Program in Plant Sciences Guidelines.

The following table is a checklist of documents to be submitted during your PhD studies. Follow submission instructions on each document; please also provide a copy of each document to the PSC administrative office.

Course Registration

  • Courses are posted on the PSC course listing website at the beginning of June (for autumn term) or December (for spring term).
  • Online registration is possible as soon as courses are posted, up until 4 weeks prior to course start.
  • Course spaces are confirmed at the beginning of each semester. Approximately two weeks prior to the course, participants are informed of course logistics by email.

Course Fees

• For PSC PhD students enrolled in the following programs:

  • PSC PhD Program in Plant Sciences
  • PSC PhD Program in Science & Policy

These students get enrollment priority for all PSC courses. Most courses are free of charge.

(1) If places are available PhD students enrolled in other PhD programs of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School can join without any participation fee. However PhD students of PSC PhD Program in Plant Sciences and PhD Program in Science and Policy have priority.

(2) All other PhD students: CHF 300 for most transferable skill courses, summer schools, excursions. Exact course fees are announced in the course registration system. (login required).

Withdrawal from courses / Cancellation

Withdrawal from course registration is without penalty up to 4 weeks prior to course start. Thereafter, cancellation will incur a fee of CHF 60, due within 10 days of cancellation. Failure to attend a course without prior cancellation at least 4 working days before course start will result in a charge of CHF 150.  Cancellations should be arranged with the PSC coordination office at Incomplete attendance without documented justification will be fined CHF 60 per missed day.

PSC PhD Program Certification

The PSC issues a certification of completion after all requirements have been fulfilled and the Doctoral Degree Certificate of your home university has been awarded. Required submissions (in hard copy) to PSC:

  • A photocopy of course participation documents
  • A list of all completed courses (at least 12 ECTS), signed by the PhD supervising professor. (Example sheet for PhD students at ETH Zurich)
  • A copy of your Doctoral Degree Certificate

Certification generally takes 1 to 2 weeks.