ZNZ PhD students have collected a minimum of 12 ECTS credits by the end of the thesis period from courses accredited by the ZNZ.

The mandatory courses "ZNZ PhD Retreat" plus the two "Introductory Courses in Neuroscience" (Exams I & II), entitle the students to 5 ECTS points. These are included in the 12 required ECTS points. In addition the students need 7 ECTS points.

From these total 12 ECTS points, max. 4 ECTS points can come from transferable skills (writing, time management, ethics etc.) courses. The rest must come from research related courses.

In addition to that, PhD students at the UZH Science Faculty are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours teaching. More details here

Mandatory Courses and Retreat (5 ECTS credits)

Elective Courses (min. 7 ECTS credits)

a) Research Related Courses

Neuroscience courses offered at UZH and ETH, methods (e.g. microscopy, spectrometry, imaging, statistics), research seminars, summer schools and workshops.

Research related courses

b) Transferable Skills Courses (max. 4 ECTS credits)

Scientific Writing, Ethics, German course for non-German speaking students, etc.

Transferable skills courses


At least one third one the credit points have to be achieved outside the area of the student's PhD topic but in the area of neuroscience.

No credit points are awarded for English courses as a good command of English is a prerequisite for participation in the program. Other language courses may be accredited if they are essential to the dissertation project.

Credit points will only be awarded for courses and workshops, but not for the attendance of conferences.