You are about to hand in your dissertation and sign up for the oral exam. Congratulations: your scientific education is almost complete, you will be a PhD soon.

A little bit of administration remains to be done:

We wish you all the best for your graduation.

The registration date for the oral exam and the date for handing in the dissertation at the Dean's office are in May and November; for the exact dates please check the "Exam dates" below.

On the deadline, please hand in one sample of the dissertation each to your first and second supervisor and the Dean's office.

PLEASE NOTE: Starting in the spring semester 2024, only the electronic version of your dissertation must be handed in at the dean's office by e-mail or ( by filesharing-service. Please put your first and second supervisor cc, and ask them if they need a printed version. At the Dean's office, please hand also in electronic versions of (as one PDF if possible):

  • Registration for PhD exam
  • Dissertation declaration
  • short CV
  • an enrollment confirmation from the previous semester
  • exam fee transfer receipt

You do not have to be enrolled for the semester in which the oral exam takes place.

The Dean's office can grant a deadline extension, after you registered for the completion process. If you need an extension, please write an e-mail to the doctoral office, put down the new date, and put your supervisor cc.

Please note: this means your supervisors will have less time to write their reports. Please inform the supervisors that, however, both reports must reach the Dean's office at the latest at the destined deadline. If the deadline is not met, your oral exam will automatically switch to the following semester.

Exam fee

The exam fee is CHF 300.-

For another CHF 388.- you can get an extra big diploma in Latin (43x61cm, paper 100g/m² or strong paper 240g/m², 2 copies - preview).

You can pay the fee via e-banking, please add: "Exam fee dissertation (name, first name)".

Berner Kantonalbank
3001 Bern
PC: 30-106-9
Account No.: 42
Clearing-No: 790
IBAN: CH68 0079 0042 3117 1242 2

Philosophisch-historische Fakultät
Länggassstrasse 49
3012 Bern

If you choose external professors or assistant professors without habilitation, they need an exam authorization, filled out by your first supervisor. It must be handed in at the Dean's office at the registration for the oral exam at the very latest. HKB teachers with a PhD can examine GSAH students as second supervisors.

The timeslots for the defense are in the PDFs below "Exam dates". Before the sessions, the Dean's office sends a green grade sheet to the institutes, one for each defense. The supervisors fill it in after the Disputatio and send it back to the Dean's office which confirms the dissertation process is complete.

The candidates schedule the defense in cooperation with the first and second supervisor, the institutes organize an observer. To save time and travel expenses, the second supervisors can take part via live transmission. The first supervisor and observer guarantee the defense's immediacy, the minutes must also bear the second supervisors comments. We suggest to inform the PhD candidates so they can prepare to the special circumstances.

The written reports may be handed over to the candidates directly after the oral exam.

You can publish your dissertation in different ways. Only after publication may you use the title Dr. phil.; before that you must settle for the title Dr. des. You must publish the dissertation within two years. If you do not meet the deadline, submit an informal, substantiated request by email addressed to the dean before the deadline. Please include in the email the year of graduation and the title of your dissertation, and briefly explain why you need an extension of the publication deadline.

If your examiners require editorial changes prior to publication, please implement them and then obtain approval from the examiners. We expect to receive only papers that have been approved for publication.

Electronic publication

You can send an electronic version of your dissertation (PDF on CD-Rom) to the Central Library. You can find the process here, please note the following:

  • There must be a reference to the online-licence included in the PDF with the full text of the dissertation
  • Another PDF with a summary/abstract of the dissertation must be included on the CD-Rom
  • Include as well: filled out and signed “consent form” for the publication of the dissertation on the server of the University’s library.

Please note:

  • The submission of the obligatory copies is not required.
  • After an electronic publication it might be difficult to find a publisher who additionally publishes the dissertation in book form.

Publication of printed copies or CDs

You submit either 8 CD-Rom or 9 printed copies of the dissertation to the Rectorate / General Secretariat:

Universität Bern / Generalsekretariat
Hochschulstrasse 6 / CH-3012 Bern / Tel. +41 31 631 82 55

Please read the information sheet on obligatory copies carefully. Please do not forget the insert sheet.

Printed obligatory copies will be distributed as follows: Central Library of the Universities of Bern, Swiss National Library Bern, Universities of Zurich, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Lucerne and Ticino.

Publication of printed books in a publisher's shop

You submit a publishing contract to the Dean's Office.

After publication, it will take some weeks until the diploma is ready. Please provide the Dean's office with the address you want the diploma sent to (only within Switzerland and Liechtenstein) or with detailed information about the shipping process (at your expense, if shipped abroad).