Doctoral programs must ask how they can encourage risk taking and intellectual adventurousness while fostering the importance of precision and rigor. For rigor must not be permitted to dominate the personality of a future investigator so that the speculative and conjectural courage needed to do good science is destroyed. Programs must model, practice, and reward risk taking.
– Yehuda Elkana


The Faculty of Humanities of the University of Bern has established the interdisciplinary Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (GSAH) at the Walter Benjamin Kolleg, which it founded in spring 2015. The GSAH joins together four doctoral programs which had already previously existed, with an over-all total of 110 doctoral students from all disciplines of the Faculty. Twice a year the GSAH admits graduate students from disciplines in the Humanities, cultural studies, and social sciences to one of its four inter- and transdisciplinarily oriented doctoral programs (Global Studies, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Studies in Language and Society, Studies in the Arts). Once part of one of the programs, a member can get his or her desired degree in six to eight terms (20 ECTS).

Flyer Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (german)

Promotion and Networking

The GSAH promotes the exchange and networking with other peers both from inside and outside the University as well as within the international scientific community. It offers educational modules of outstanding quality, a wide range of counseling, administrative and financial support for the organization of or the participation in conferences, practical additional qualifications (soft skill classes) and professional workspaces at Unitobler. 

Doctoral Programs

The Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (GSAH) comprises four doctoral programs: Global Studies, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Studies in Language and Society and Studies in the Arts. All of these encourage a critical examination of issues, themes, concepts, theories and methods which transcend individual disciplines and as such serve to fully integrate the process of writing a doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Humanities into a highly innovative academic context. The aim is to provide an outstanding inter- and transdisciplinary education which centers on the writing of a qualitatively excellent doctoral thesis which qualifies graduates to conduct research-related work both in academic and non-academic environments. 

Doctoral Program Global Studies
Doctoral Program Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies
Doctoral Program Studies in Language and Society
Doctoral Program Studies in the Arts