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The Department of Mathematics offers a broad spectrum of research areas for doctoral students ranging from pure mathematics, such as algebra, analysis, geometry, number theory or probability, to more applied mathematics, such as insurance mathematics, finance, mathematical physics, numerical analysis, operations research and statistics (Research).

Owing to its excellent international reputation, the Department of Mathematics provides the best possible start for a career in academic or industrial research. A doctoral degree generally takes from three to five years to complete.

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Research environment


Doctoral students work as scientific assistants and are employed for up to six years. They attend the Zurich Graduate School in Mathematics.

The benefits are:

Teaching activities


Passing on knowledge to future mathematicians, other scientists and engineers is a key part of doing doctoral studies at ETH Zurich.

The teaching workload depends on the doctoral student's salary level.

The teaching workload generally comprises:

  • teaching exercise classes
  • organizing exercises for a lecture
  • assisting in student seminars
  • interacting with the lecturer and/or teaching assistants (undergraduate students)
  • providing assistance for lectures ranging from basic mathematics for biologists to advanced lectures for mathematicians
  • coordinating and correcting exams

Additional courses

Further education

Research lives from acquiring knowledge about current theory and discussing it with experts.

Graduates must acquire 12 credit units, four of which are outside their research area (Details).

Courses and seminars:

Life in Zurich


There is always a life outside work and studies, and Zurich is the best place to live it.


  • largest city in Switzerland with a top ranking for quality of life
  • charming medieval old town very close to the ETH Zurich Main Building and the Department of Mathematics
  • fantastic for water activities, winter sports or hiking because of the lake and the Alps within close proximity
  • variety of cultural events and night life, very cosmopolitan  

The Graduate School and ETH Zurich provide:

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