The "habilitation" is an academic qualification which enables experienced academics to take on the role of “Privatdozent.” Upon achieving the habilitation, scholars are granted the authority to teach (venia legendi) at the faculty in question.

The process of habilitation establishes whether or not a person is capable of representing their field of study in both research and teaching at the university level. The basis for the decision is generally a written work (the Habilitationsschrift) and a trial lecture or the fulfillment of other suitable requirements in the field in question.

Because of the diverse nature of subjects at UZH faculties, the faculties themselves are responsible for drawing up their regulations on habilitations.

The habilitation is common mainly at German-speaking universities and is a requirement for a professorship in most fields. For professorial appointments, UZH requires a habilitation or equivalent academic qualifications.