Admission requirements for studies at university in Switzerland

General requirements

Undergraduate studies (first cycle)

Each Swiss university or college is responsible for evaluating if your previous qualifications are valid for you to meet the minimum eligibility to apply for a first-cycle degree. However, if you have successfully completed upper secondary studies, you are in possession of a valid school leaving certificate and qualify for higher education studies in your home country, you usually qualify for higher education studies in Switzerland. In some cases, you are also required to take additional qualifying courses.

[View country-specific information about admission requirements for first cycle degrees in Switzerland]

[Find and compare bachelor's degrees in Switzerland]

Master's studies (second cycle)

If you are applying for a master's program at university in Switzerland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant bachelor's or equivalent degree diploma.

[Find and compare master's degrees in Switzerland]

Doctoral studies (third cycle)

In the event you are applying for doctoral studies at university in Switzerland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant diploma or master's degree.

Language requirements for studies at universities in Switzerland

Students are required to have a good level of knowledge of the language of instruction of the study program they will be taking. Since there are three official languages in Switzerland, the language of instruction varies depending on the university and college as described below.

In general most institutions require a minimum level of command of the language of instruction corresponding to the B1/B2 level according to the European language passport. Please, note that the German/French/Italian language requirement usually applies to studies at the first cycle (undergraduate).

German

The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where German in the usual language of instruction:

  • University of Basel
  • University of Bern
  • University of Lucerne
  • University of St.Gallen
  • University of Zurich
  • The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  • University of Fribourg

French

The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where French in the usual language of instruction:

  • University of Fribourg
  • University of Neuchâtel
  • University of Geneva
  • University of Lausanne
  • Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

Italian

The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where Italian in the usual language of instruction:

  • University of Lugano

English

There is an increasing number of master's and research programs designed for international students. In this case, English is usually the preferred language of instruction.

Medicine studies in Switzerland

Although foreign students are not allowed to apply for study programs related to medicine, dentistry, veterinary and chiropractic in Switzerland, there are some exceptions such as the ones as explained below:

  • Recognized refugees by Switzerland
  • Citizens of Liechtenstein
  • Foreign citizens who have been residing in Switzerland for a period of time of 5 or more years

[View who can apply for medicine related studies in Switzerland]

Source: Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities

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