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Department of Communication and Media Research


With a doctorate from IKMZ, you demonstrate your scientific expertise in the analysis of mediated (mass and self mass) communication. It clearly shows that you can carry out independent scientific work and generate insights into the media and information society. The writing of PhD thesis is the main component. In addition, you will complete modules worth 12 ECTS credits. Details are regulated by the doctoral regulations.

Students who have a degree that is recognized by the University of Zurich (Master or equivalent) can complete a dissertation at IKMZ. It is possible to write the thesis in English. Passive German language skills are, however, highly recommended.

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is the organizational and administrative umbrella for all PhD subjects offered by the University of Zurich Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Graduate School is there to promote junior scholars and support and advise PhD candidates and the faculty throughout a doctoral degree. It promotes young researchers and supports and advises the doctoral students or the faculty during the entire duration of a doctorate. Information on doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zurich can be found on the website of the Graduate School. Your first point of contact is the PhD Coordinator Social Sciences.

Courses offered

A wide range of courses is available to doctoral students. This includes regular colloquia at the IKMZ and methods courses specifically for doctoral students in the social sciences as well as various interdisciplinary events (interdisciplinary competencies, university didactics, language courses).

Each year, Democracy Studies additionally offers a limited number of places for outstanding doctoral students in the social sciences with an interest in democracy studies.

Democracy Studies course offer spring 24:
•    Democracy Studies Advanced Module (June 2024, registration via

Admission and Supervision

The prerequisite for acceptance of a doctoral project is a completed master's degree with an outstanding thesis in communication studies and media research.

A further prerequisite for admission is the binding consent of two lecturers with the right to confer a doctorate who meet the requirements for the composition of the supervisory committee.

All admissions information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Professors with the right to confer dissertations at IKMZ and their research areas


Prof. Dr. Mark Eisenegger (Public Sphere & Society)

Prof. Dr. Frank Esser (International & Comparative Media Research)

Prof. Dr. Thomas Friemel (Media Use & Effects)

Prof. Dr. Eszter Hargittai (Internet Use & Society)

Prof. Dr. Otfried Jarren (emeritus, no new supervisions accepted) (Media & Politics)

Prof. Dr. Michael Latzer (Media Change & Innovation)

Prof. Dr. Mike S. Schäfer (Science Communication)

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert (Media Economics & Management)

Prof. Dr. Daniel Süss (Media Socialization & Media Literacy)

Prof. Dr. Natascha Just (Media & Internet Governance)

Prof. Dr. Nadine Strauss (Strategic Communication & Media Management)

Weiterführende Informationen

Program Coordination

Dr. Doreen Spörer-Wagner
Doctoral Studies Coordinator Social Sciences


University of Zurich
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Graduate School
Affolternstrasse 56 / 8050 Zürich
Room AFL F 117
+41 44 634 52 12
Present: Tue, Wed
Available: Mon-Fri


Important documents (German)