Frequently Asked Questions

I am an international graduate student. Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship of G3S?

The start-up scholarships of G3S are meant to attract students from outside Basel and outside Switzerland to our program. Deadlines for submissions are usually in April and November. You do not have to apply for admission to one of our PhD-programs prior to your scholarship application. We only select graduate students for our scholarships who meet the requirements that are necessary to be admitted to the University of Basel as a PhD-student (see below).

Is my field of research suitable for G3S?

Please visit the homepage of the Department of Social Sciences for comprehensive information about the disciplines and members of the faculty who serve as supervisors for the PhD-students of G3S.

Does G3S award scholarships to PhD-students who intend to remain at institutions other than the University of Basel?

In order to receive a scholarship, students have to enroll at Basel University. Students have to be present in Basel in order to partake in the program of G3S and acquire the moderate amount of 18 ECTS-equivalent credit points (see below). The program of G3S is designed such that it is perfectly compatible with field research and research stays abroad.

What are the requirements to be admitted to G3S as a PhD-student?

The Graduate School of Social Sciences (G3S) is a program open to PhD-students in the Social Sciences at Basel University. Thus, admission to G3S is a mere formality after a PhD student is admitted to the University of Basel.

  • The membership of G3S is independent of being granted a G3S-scholarship. The scholarships are available only to a minority of the members of G3S.

The first step to gain admission to the university is to find a supervisor who would be willing to accept your project. It is customary in Switzerland that potential PhD-students approach faculty members directly with their CV and a draft of their dissertation project. Once a faculty member has agreed to supervise your project, the application process is merely an administrative process.

  • If you apply for a scholarship of G3S, the selection committee will match your application to potential supervisors. However, it is strongly advisable to approach potential supervisors personally nonetheless. The commitment of a supervisor will enhance the chances of your application.

Admission and enrollment are administered by Student Services. Find more detailed information about the process below. In order to be admitted as a PhD-student, a Master's degree in the field of the PhD-project (or a closely related field) is required. A "Master of Advanced Study" does not qualify a student for a PhD-program.

How do I become a member of G3S?

G3S is the new overarching structure for all doctoral programs in the social sciences at Basel University. However, especially for advanced graduate students in the Social Sciences who are close to finishing their dissertation, the possibility remains to get a PhD outside of G3S. Thus, there is no automatic membership in G3S for all graduate students in the department of social sciences. Admission to G3S is possible in two ways:

1.     I am an incoming PhD-student at Basel University.

       Welcome to the Department of Social Sciences! You have found a supervisor and negotiated your dissertation topic with her/him. Your next step would be to enroll at Student Services.  You can fill out the enrollment form online in German (Cookies must be enabled), or download the English version. Furthermore, your dissertation proposal and an informal “declaration of availability” for your dissertation project (i.e. whether you intend to work on your project full-time or part-time) are requested for enrollment. Finally, your supervisor has to submit the short “application form to the board of examiners”. Even though there are deadlines for submission (July 31st for the fall term and January 5th for the spring term) it is possible to apply for admission throughout the year. For further information, please consult also the FAQ-page for doctoral students at the Faculty of the Humanities.

       Within one semester upon enrollment, you formulate a “Doctoral Agreement [PDF (279 KB)]” with your advisor and the coordinator of G3S, part of which is an individual study plan for a curriculum of 18 credit points (“Kreditpunkte”, KP). At the beginning of each semester, G3S offers a workshop on how to devise these agreements.

       As soon as you submit the finalized Doctoral Agreement together with the short admission form of G3S to the coordinator, you may be granted G3S membership.

2.     I already am a PhD-student at Basel University

       All you need to do is fill out the admission form of G3S and submit it together with your Doctoral Agreement to the G3S coordinator. If necessary, G3S will contact you in order to redesign your individual study plan (as to account for the requirement of a curriculum of 18 credit points).

Is it advisable first to finalize the Doctoral Agreement and then to join G3S?

No, this is a special practice for PhD-students who have entered their doctorate program prior to the initiation of G3S.

As a member of a graduate program in the social sciences at Basel University (such as Graduiertenkolleg Gender Studies, IGS North-South, MUBIT etc.) , am I automatically a G3S-member?

Yes, you are. However, you still need to submit the G3S admission form and your Doctoral Agreement, as we cannot  issue a confirmation of your membership to the “Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät” otherwise.

Does the G3S demand student tuition?

Apart from the mandatory general tuition of Basel University (currently CHF 350 per semester), the G3S-membership comes at no additional costs.

Questions regarding the acquisition of 18 credit points

Do I get credit for my courses in my PhD-diploma?

Yes, of course. Coursework listed in the course offering of Basel University must be accounted for in the MOnA system. All other credits need to be confirmed by the advisor’s signature on your individual study plan.

Is it a mandatory part of the G3S-curriculum to give conference papers? May paper topics be outside the scope of the dissertation?

Practicing to present one’s scholarly work at conferences is an integral part of academic training, as are gathering teaching experience on the university level and preparing publications. Even though there is no requirement, it is advisable to give papers in order to establish your academic profile, the scope of which may go beyond your dissertation topic.

May extra credit points that were acquired during the MA-phase count for the PhD-program? Is it possible to get credit for papers etc. held prior to entering the PhD-program?

The requirement of 18 credit points is rather moderate and must thus be met during the time of membership in the PhD-program.

Is it permissible to acquire credits in courses of other disciplines or academic-writing courses and similar offerings outside the regular curriculum?

The content of the individual study plan is agreed upon by the graduate student, her/his advisor and G3S with the aim to design a reasonable curriculum for each individual PhD-project. There are only few limitations, e.g. the amount of soft-skill courses is limited (s. Merkblatt zur Doktoratsvereinbarung) and G3S asks you to distribute your coursework between its three columns (see below).

What do the three “columns” of the G3S-curriculum mean?

There are no “modules” in the curriculum of G3S (unlike in many European “Bologna” degree programs). The courses are supposed to complement prior academic education and should be chosen individually. The program of G3S is divided into three columns:

(1) The first column, “Methods and Theories of the Social Sciences” forms the core of the G3S-program and comprises the G3S Master Classes by internationally renowned guest scholars, the interdisciplinary colloquium and workshops in qualitative & quantitative methodology.

(2) In the second column, G3S names special topics for the duration of one to two years, thus enhancing  synergies between the participating programs. Four G3S seminars on these special topics (currently "secularization") are supplemented by interdisciplinary course offerings of the participating programs in order to form the "Interdisciplinary Program" of the second of the columns.

(3) Finally, the “Disciplinary Program” lists all regular courses of the participating disciplines open to PhD students of G3S.

In addition, soft-skill workshops (presentation technique, academic writing, funding acquisition, languages etc.) as well as teaching experience, conference organization, scientific papers, internships etc. may be credited.

Overall, 18 credit points (“Kreditpunkte”, KP) must be collected over the course of the PhD-program (which amounts to about one course per semester). In order to account for the varying levels of prior education in theory and methodology, a certain distribution of courses among the three columns is recommended:

column (1): 6-9 KP          column (2): 3-6 KP          column (3): 3-6 KP

Since each dissertation projects is different, the curriculum is designed individually by the doctoral candidate, her/his advisor and the G3S.

Table of the annual G3S course offerings

green: course offerings by G3S

grey: additional course offerings by the participating disciplines, open to G3S members

The courses currently offered can be found here. Courses are chosen individually by each G3S member for her/his study plan.

1st Column:

Methods and Theories of the Social Sciences

2nd Column:

Interdisciplinary Program

3rd Column:

Disciplinary Program

2 Workshops in Methodology (qualitative and/or quantitative)

(2x) 3 KP

4 Courses under the Heading of a Special Topic (currently "Secularization")

(4x) 3 KP

MUBIT: 1 Kolloquium (3 KP, 2 SWS, nur für Doktorierende der Islamwissenschaft), 2 Workshops (2 KP, entspricht 1 SWS, für alle Doktorierende)

IGS NORD SÜD: 6 Seminare (aufgeteilt zwischen PoWi, Soz., African Studies und Islamwissenschaft) (je 3 KP) für alle Doktorierende

SOZIOLOGIE: disziplinäre Kolloquien (Mäder, Bergman, Paul), ausgewählte Methodenveranstaltungen

AFRICAN STUDIES: Seminar: Qualitative Data Analysis in African Studies (HS)

Seminar: Quantitative Data Analysis in African Studies (FS),

V+K: Introduction to African Studies (HS, 3 SWS,  3KP)

Kolloquium African Studies (jedes Semester, 2 SWS, derzeit 2 KP, zukünftig 3 KP)

GENDER STUDIES: 1 Forschungskolloquium (3 KP/2 SWS): offen für alle Doktorierende // 2 Workshops (2 KP) für alle Doktorierende

KULTURANTHROPOLOGIE: Kolloquium (mit Workshop) 4 KP pro Jahr,  Internationale Doktorandentage für Doktorierende der KA, 4 KP

(wird jeweils im Turnus von einer der beteiligten 7 Unis ausgerichtet), Kolloquium "Perspektiven für Kulturanthropologie" für alle, 4 KP im Jahr

REL.WISS: 1 Kolloquium (4 KP, 2 SWS, für Doktorierende der RW); 1 Workshop Theorie und Methode (2 KP / 1 SWS, für alle Doktorierende

NACHHALTIGKEITSFORSCHUNG: Kolloq. "Sustainability Research" annually, 2 KP

ETHNOLOGIE: Research Group Visual Culture. Research Group Political Transformations. Research Group Medical Anthropology.

Preparatory Seminar for the Master Class

3 KP

MUBIT: 1 Seminar (3 KP, 2 SWS)

IGS NORD SÜD: 1 Forschungsseminar 3 KP, (für Doktorierende im Bereich Nord-Süd); 1 Graduate School (IGS North-South) 3 KP,(für Doktorierende im Bereich Nord-Süd; 1 Veranstaltung (2-3 KP) zur Vorbereitung der IGS North-South (neu ab 2013)

SOZIOLOGIE: 1 interdisziplinäres (Doktoranden-)Seminar

AFRICAN STUDIES: Seminar: Research Lab Interdisciplinary Studies (in Blöcken, 3 KP)

GENDER STUDIES:  1 Seminar (3 KP/ 2 SWS)

KULTUR-ANTHROPOLOGIE: 1 Seminar (3 KP) oder 1 Vorlesung oder Ringvorlesung (2 KP)

REL.WISS: ): 1 Seminar (3 KP, 2 SWS) / Jahr

Master Class

3 KP

Interdisciplinary Colloquium

3 KP