Università della Svizzera italiana http://www.eco.usi.ch Home

PhD in Finance

The Finance PhD in Lugano is offered in cooperation between the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI). The goal of the program is to provide the foundations for conducting research and teaching in academic institutions. Our students also find placement in the finance industry, regulatory agencies, and international organizations.

To obtain the doctoral degree students must complete the required coursework and write a thesis. Mandatory courses are offered in the first year. At the end of the first year, students must pass a comprehensive exam. Elective courses on more advanced topics are offered in the second year in Lugano and in other SFI centers. During the second year, students start to work on their thesis under the supervision of local faculty. Also, they are employed as teaching and research assistants in the Institute of Finance. The typical duration of the program is four years, but students who graduate in five years are not unusual.

For more information, please read the memorandum which contains also a short FAQ section.


Admission information
For intake September 2019

Online Application


The program includes the following subjects each counting for 3 ECTS:


Course schedule


Admission procedure

See the SFI official website for complete application information


The following complete documentation is required:

  • CV and statement of purpose
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • 2 reference letters
  • Certification of proficiency in English

Strong preference in admission will be given to students who submit GRE scores.

The first deadline for sending applications is January 15th. The successful candidates should expect to be notified by February 15th. An extended, but final, deadline is on March 31st. The successful candidates should expect to be notified by April 30th.

Candidates applying by the first deadline have a higher likelihood of admission.

The program starts mid-September.



Visiting Students

Visiting students may attend doctoral courses for which they will be issued a certificate of attendance.


Program Director, Prof. Laurent Frésard

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Katia Muè
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via G. Buffi 13
CH-6900 Lugano
(t) +41 (0)58 666 4752
(f) +41 (0)58 666 4734
(e) katia.mue@usi.ch