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Department of Psychology The Life Course: Evolutionary and Ontogenetic Dynamics


Who can apply?

Potential candidates for the LIFE program in Zurich may apply if they have (or will have) a master's degree or equivalent in psychology, neuroscience, educational science, biology (evolutionary science), sociology, or related disciplines and if they intend to pursue a doctoral degree with a Zurich LIFE faculty member on a LIFE-relevant topic. A BA degree alone does not fulfill the requirements. Students will be expected to live and work in Zurich. Applicants' interests must fit in the general topics of the LIFE program.
(See Application and Research).

When can I apply?

Rolling admissions for LIFE in Zurich.

What should I do before I apply?

Before submitting any documents familiarize yourself with the application procedure (Application). Take a look at the Berlin, Michigan, Virginia, and Zurich faculty members' websites for more information on their work and projects (see Faculty). If you want more detailed information or advice about your application, contact the member of the Zurich faculty whose work is relevant to your interests and abilities.
In your letter of application, you should describe your research and career interests. On the online application form, identify one or two members of the Zurich faculty who could serve as your dissertation advisor(s).

What should I include in my application?

Your application should be in English. Please refer to the Application webpage for more details.

I am already working on my dissertation which may fit into the program. Can I apply?

Contact the potential LIFE dissertation mentor to find out whether this is feasible. Usually, this is not possible since dissertations are developed under supervision of a team of LIFE faculty members and need to reflect the conceptual framework of LIFE.

What language is used in the program?

The program language is English and the dissertation should be written in English. Please note, however, that at the University of Zurich courses are usually held in German.

What should the topic of my doctoral project be to fit into the program?

The doctoral projects deal with topics related to the study of systematic changes in human behavior over evolutionary and ontogenetic time. The general approach is aimed at advancing the behavioral and social science of human development. LIFE takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding human development in a changing world, connecting evolutionary, ontogenetic, historical, and institutional perspectives. The focus is on the evolution and interaction of individual and institutional development. See also Research. Also take a look at the Berlin, Michigan, Viriginia, and Zurich faculty members' websites for more information on their work and projects (see Faculty).

Can I do my master’s in this program? Are there any postdoc positions in this program?

This program is only for persons with a master's degree or diploma who want to pursue a doctoral degree in the fields specified. A BA degree does not fulfill the requirements of the LIFE program. There are no postdoc positions available.

What are the requirements when being admitted to the program?

Please see PhD Program.

Which university will be granting my doctoral degree?

Degrees may be received from the respective university.

Who can be my referee?

We request references from at least two scholars familiar with your academic work (one letter should be from your M.A. thesis research advisor) who can judge your potential as a PhD student. If your first language is not English, your referees should comment on your ability to read, write, and speak English. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and make sure they submit the relevant information before the deadline of application. For more information see Application.