Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 331 / Year(s) Foreign:$ 331 / Year(s) Deadline: Mar 31, 2024
73 place StudyQA ranking:2016 Duration:4 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Doctoral Program in Neuroeconomics at the University of Zurich was launched in 2010. The Principle Investigators leading the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research make up the core faculty for this program, and contribute their expertise in biology, computational modeling, economics, neuroscience, and psychology to make this a truly interdisciplinary degree program.

We offer a set of courses taught (in English) by internationally renowned scholars and world-class research opportunities. There is no tuition, only a small administrative fee (CHF 150.00 per semester) applies. Applications are accepted year round and reviewed on a biannual basis. The application deadlines for being considered for the following term are March 31st and September 30th.

In the first year, students attend compulsory modules in Neuroeconomics as well as Experimental and Behavioral Economics where they become familiar with conceptual principles and state-of-the-art research methods. In the second year, students chose from a range of additional elective courses and seminars, while also continuing to refine their own research plans. These research plans are presented in the form of a written research proposal at the end of the second year.

An important feature of the Doctoral Program in Neuroeconomics is the close collaboration between graduate students and faculty advisors. The program has a strong scientific research focus, with the goal of enabling students to become independent researchers of the highest caliber.

During In the first two years of the PhD students attend compulsory modules in Neuroeconomics, Experimental and Behavioral Economics where they become familiar with conceptual principles and current research topics and methodologies. In addition to the compulsory modules, the core elective courses should be taken during the first two terms of study. By the end of the second year, students should have a clear design for their own research project proposal. This proposal is expected to serve as a basis for the original research that will become the PhD thesis.

A wide range of elective courses on research methods and seminars complete the training and can be taken at any time that is convenient during the PhD studies. Finally, weekly research seminars with guest speakers and lectures at other departments of the University of Zurich supplement the course offerings.

Compulsory modules (year 1)

Fall Spring
Neuroeconomics Seminar Neuroeconomics Seminar
Experimental and Behavioral Economics Seminar Experimental and Behavioral Economics Seminar
Methods and Models for fMRI data analysis Methods and Models for fMRI data analysis
Frontiers in Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics  

Core electives (years 1-2)

Fall Spring
Neuroscience for Social Scientists Decision Neuroscience
Decision Theory  
Scientific programming for neuroeconomic experiments  

Elective courses on research methods

Fall Spring
Scientific programming for neuroeconomic experiments Statistical Analysis of fMRI data
Translational Neuromodeling & Computational Neuroeconomics Translational Neuromodeling & Computational Neuroeconomics
Computational Neuroimaging Clinic Computational Neuroimaging Clinic
Non-invasive Brain Stimulation for Neuroeconomics  
  • a curriculum vitae
  • copies of university diplomas, transcripts of academic records and/or other academic documents (documents in English, German, or French require no translation; documents in Dutch, Flemish, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, or Spanish must be translated into English or German; documents in any other language must be translated into English or German and certified for official use)
  • an explanation of how exams are graded at the universities you attended
  • a key to the grades used on transcripts produced by the universities you attended
  • GRE General Test results (if available)
  • a Statement of Purpose concerning your plans for doctoral studies and career objectives. The statement should be written in English and should not exceed 1,500 words.
  • one copy (not in triplicate) of an advanced essay concerning a neuroeconomics topic (if available)
  • two letters of recommendation, either in sealed/signed envelopes in the application package or sent by the referees directly to us at the address below
  • evidence of proficiency in English (if no official evidence is available, you should ask at least one referee to elaborate on your ability to understand, communicate, and write in English)
  • if you have already received funding for your doctoral studies: a copy of the funding approval


Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. These figures should therefore be regarded as a guideline only (in CHF): 

Rent incl. heating 550
Additional expenses (telephone, internet) 200
Meals 400
Insurance 250
Travel 80
Clothing, laundry, personal items 70
Leisure, spending money 150
Teaching materials 50
Total 1,750

The expected minimum cost of living for students therefore comes to a total of CHF 1,750 per month. 

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