Universität Fribourg Université de Fribourg Suisse | Universität Freiburg Schweiz Course offerings

Theology (Canonical License)


A Canonical License is required for advancement to a doctorate by students wishing to teach at a papal or other ecclesiastical university, or at a seminary.

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Profile of the study programme

Fribourg profile
The Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg is the largest theological Faculty in Switzerland and integrated into a state university. Like the other Faculties, it is subject to state law; however, it is also recognised by the ecclesiastical authorities and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Conference of Bishops of Switzerland.

The content of a Canonical License course consists of lectures and classes, a thesis and ECTS credits in the license special subject and in other theological fields, which are agreed with the license supervisor. All departments must be taken into consideration: the Hebraic Bible and its cultural context (OT), the New Testament in its cultural and historical context, patristics and ancient church history, medieval and contemporary church history, philosophy, dogmatic theology, the theology of ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, theological ethics, practical theology and liturgical science.

Candidates doing the license are mentored by their thesis supervisor. He or she defines the license components in agreement with the candidate.

Candidates who already have a specialised master's degree in Theology must catch up the subjects they did not study for their master's degree in agreement with the study advisor for their license; this may prolong their studies to two years.

Learning outcomes and career openings
A Canonical License is required for advancement to a doctorate by candidates wishing to teach at a papal or other ecclesiastical university or at a priests' seminary. To be eligible to apply for a doctoral programme, candidates need a Canonical License; this gives them access to a doctorate recognised by the church.

Further information can be found at:
https://www3.unifr.ch/theo/fr/formation/programmes/licence-canonique.html (French)
https://www3.unifr.ch/theo/de/ausbildung/studiengaenge/lizentiat.html (German)

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

60 ECTS credits, 2 semesters


To be admitted to the Canonical License study programme, students must have obtained a Master of Theology or another diploma that is recognised as a canonical baccalaureate.

Students with a Master of Theology with a specialisation or Master of Arts in Theological Studies are eligible for the Canonical License study programme. However, they must catch up the missing course work and examinations from the Master of Theology. This may prolong the course of study by one semester.