Doctorate in Management Science (Ph.D.)

The doctorate programme in management science aims to produce researchers capable of making a significant contribution to the study of political issues, international relations and management, and to the development of each discipline. The programme’s activities are focused on the different modes of understanding and conceptualizing transformations in the modern world, particularly the restructuring of political space (calling-into-question of sovereignties, porosity of borders, transformations of power and might), globalization, governance, participative democracy, the redefinition of identities and affiliations, the reconfiguration of government intervention and public policy, as well as the re-evaluation of policy as established in the field of theory, management of a research department, intellectual property, the luxury market, human resources, supply chain in a global economy, the structure of commodity markets, antitrust policy, emerging markets, etc. Training will centre on the deepening of theoretical knowledge and analytical skills, developing a critical perspective and integrating a work team. Ph.D. students will be given guidance by the professors and the research team within each department. The doctoral studies aim to produce researchers capable of: Producing innovative scientific works Contributing to shifts in thinking Ensuring the development and deepening of theoretical reflection and analysis methods. The thesis subject therefore needs to be an original research project that contributes to the discipline’s development.

Programme structure:

The doctoral programme comprises 180 credits:

  • 60 credits for the annual, mandatory common core
  • 10 credits for the pre-dissertation
  • 10 credits for the preliminary dissertation
  • 100 credits for the thesis and defence

In line with the qualifications and competencies of the professors teaching at UMEF, the following research fields are currently open:

  • Managing a research department
  • Intellectual Property
  • Luxury market
  • Human Resources
  • Supply chain in a global economy
  • Structure of commodity markets
  • Antitrust policy
  • Emerging markets
  • Political parties, electoral studies
  • Political thought and theory
  • Environmental management
  • Social movements
  • Governance and public policy
  • Participative democracy
  • International relations
  • Stakes of international relations
  • Globalisation and conflicts
  • International migration
  • Foreign policy and security
  • Contemporary challenges in conflicts and security
  • Asian security system
  • International interventions: political, military, humanitarian and economic
  • Humanitarian crises, finding solutions
  • Colonisation, decolonisation and neo-colonisation
  • Continuity in regional policy
  • New dimensions of international security: democratisation
  • Leadership and ethical crisis in leadership
  • Economic policy and development/Democracy and development
  • Development of policy and economics in emerging countries
  • Regional political security & economic challenges
  • Economic, social and cultural rights
  • Climate change and trade
  • Regional integration
  • Geopolitics
  • Geo-economics

Research subjects proposed by students outside of these fields will be examined by the Scientific Committee.

Duration of the Studies:

The duration of the studies varies from four years for full time to six years for those studying part time. Should a Ph.D. student demonstrate exceptional ability, for example by publishing high-standard articles in scientific magazines or a high-quality work during their studies, they may be accepted to defend their thesis at the end of their third year. The duration of the studies may not exceed 12 semesters, unless in the case of an exception granted by the Scientific Committee as accorded by the Rector of UMEF.

Key Points:

Organiser: School of Business

Duration of the programme: 3 Years

Faculty: International from 24 nationalities

Teaching methods: Research, Conferences, debates, case study, discussions and presentations

Teaching language: English or French

Degree earned: Doctorate in Management Science (Ph.D.)


 Campus: Château d’Aïre, Geneva – Switzerland  

Teaching Methodologies

While the teaching methodologies used by faculty inevitably vary from subject to subject, they comprise basic elements that have been listed as follows:

  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Debates
  • Case studies
  • Learning by teaching
  • Tutorials
  • Discussions
  • Presentations
  • Individual or group projects
  • Use of the computer laboratory.

In every case, the exchanges with the faculty are student-centred and the exchanges are always enriching for both. Our graduates practice critical thinking as one of the most important skills in a complex society.

Accreditations and Recognitions

Founded in April 1984 by Professor Marc François Maret, SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY (UMEF), formerly known as ISGC (Institut Supérieur de Gestion et Communication) is a private university.

UMEF has a long track record of training a large body of students who originated from all continents and who have had, since graduation, highly successful careers. Furthermore, UMEF has strongly supported its alumni to assist them in developing outstanding careers or to be highly successful actors in their chosen fields.

UMEF operates campuses in three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia – and its contribution to the development of the citizens of these countries has been recognised with prizes and appreciations in several countries.

UMEF strictly applies the Bologna system, and it is accredited by IACBE, EduQua and ASIC. It is also a member of several other accreditation bodies.

Ph.D. Tuition fees:

CHF 1’500 one time only
CHF 14’500 (for the first year)
CHF 14’500 (for the second year)
CHF 14’500 (for the third year)

These fees include all teaching materials distributed in class but exclude textbooks, cases and other materials.

Payment method:

All fees will be paid in local currency at the Finance Department or directly transferred to the account of SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY. Students can pay annually, in semesters, quarterly or, at the request of the student and/or payer, bimonthly, but the student and/or the payer must ensure regular payment by a permanent order at their bank. Proof of such a permanent order must be submittedto the Finance Department.

Refundable fees:

For candidates who couldn’t acquire a student visa, the fees (except the registrationfee of 150.00 francs) will be refunded within 45 days. However, proof of rejection of their visa application must be provided.

For candidates who have received a visa but unable to attend the courses in Geneva, the fees will be refunded as per the contractual clause.

All candidates must fill in an application form and send the supporting documents. The application file must contain the following:

  • The completed application form
  • Supporting documentation (as listed in the application form).

The admission files are processed in the order they are received and examined individually by the Head of Admissions. When the file is completed, the Head of Admissions hands it to the Academic Vice-Rector for validation. Selected candidates will be requested to attend an interview as a part of the admissions process. The purpose of the interview is to enable an evaluation of the objectives and motivation of the candidates in the study branch they have selected as well as the identification of their potential. This oral evaluation will determine the acceptance or rejection of the candidate. It should be noted that UMEF is not obligated to justify their decision. For applicants from outside Switzerland, a Skype interview can be arranged.

The file can be sent via email or by post to:


185 – 187 Route d’Aïre, 1219 Aïre – Geneva, Switzerland
Tel : +41 (0) 22 732 07 12
Email : admission@umef-university.ch
Web: www.umef-university.ch

Conditions for admission into a Ph.D. programme:

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree or equivalent from an approved university/college
  • Copies of all transcripts
  • An application form for admission, duly completed and signed
  • Strong command of written and spoken English or French
  • A Curriculum Vitae, duly signed and dated
  • A copy of your identity card or passport
  • Four recent passport photos
  • Proof of financial resources*
  • A list of all your published works (optional)
  • Presentation of a research project (minimum 10 pages)
  • A 250–350-word motivation letter
  • An interview with the Vice-Rector of AcademicAffairs
  • A non-refundable registration fee of CHF 150

(*For international students)

Please note that only fully completed applications will be considered.

Our Faculty

UMEF is proud to count on a distinguished faculty that is active in academic research or consulting, which makes them capable of transferring cutting-edge ideas and practices to their students. UMEF is extremely rigorous in selecting its faculty, considering both their academic background, such as in which university they have taught and their practical experience. Candidates have to sit for an interview and provide a class demonstration of their pedagogical skills if required.

UMEF relies on both full-time and part-time faculty. All faculty are evaluated by students and peers, which enables management to evaluate student satisfaction. In turn, faculty members are also given the opportunity to evaluate both students and management.

The list below is a partial list of our faculty.

The campus is located in an old priory in Geneva that dates back to the 15th century. It is a classified monument, which was restored in 1917 and is constantly maintained in perfect order.

The campus covers an area of 18,400 sq. m. It is a magnificent environment with a view of the Rhône River and the iconic Salève Mountain. In this environment, students will be able to concentrate on their studies and be involved in the research.

The campus is easily accessible from the Geneva train station (Gare Cornavin), being only 3.4 km away and 10 minutes by car. A bus service (N° 7) from the Cornavin Train station also drops you off in front of the main door of the campus.

UMEF students enjoy the privilege of using this unique environment both during their studies and their free time. They are also free to invite their friends over.


Contact :

Château d’Aïre
Route d’Aïre 185-187
Aïre 1219 – Geneva – Switzerland
T : +41 (0) 22 732 07 12
E : admission@umef-university.ch
W: www.umef-university.ch