Admission Requirements for Higher Education in Switzerland

Admission Requirements for Higher Education in Switzerland varies depending on the level of study and the higher education institution.

Admission to Bachelor's Studies

The basic admission requirement for Bachelor’s study is a Swiss secondary high-school-leaving certificate, i.e. Matura, or a foreign secondary high-school-leaving certificate considered equivalent. Students who do not possess a fully recognized certificate are required to take a university entrance exam.

Admission to Master's Studies

The prerequisite for admittance to Master's studies is a successfully completed Bachelor's course of study. Each university has its own conditions or special requirements.

Admission to Doctoral/PhD Studies

Applicants must have a Master's degree or equivalent from a recognised or accredited university for gaining entry into a doctoral course. The terms and conditions vary among universities. Therefore, applicants should check the respective university website for admission details.

Language Requirements

All Swiss universities call for the language of instruction proficiency, i.e. French, German, English or Italian proficiency depending on which area you move to.

Admission Requirements at Different Higher Education Institutions

Tertiary Level A Institutions and Universities

Bachelor Level Admission Requirements

The cantonal universities and federal institutes of technology need a baccalaureate certificate or equivalent qualification, along with the proficiency in the language of study for admittance to Bachelor studies. The conditions of admittance vary with the Universities. Holders of a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate who have passed a supplementary exam, in conformity with the Passerelle Regulation are also accepted to universities.

Master's Level Admission Requirements

A Master's course at Universities require a Bachelor's degree. The Master's course can be studied at the same university as the Bachelor's study, or at a different one. The enrolling university can call the acquisition of additional knowledge and skills before admission.

Doctorate Level Admission Requirements

A Master's degree and fulfilment of certain other conditions such as work experience, etc. are   prerequisites for admittance to doctorate studies.

University of Applied Sciences

Bachelor's level Admission Requirements

The admittance conditions for Studies at Universities of Applied Sciences are set out in the Universities of Applied Sciences Act (Article 4 UASA) and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER's Regulation.

Admittance to the Bachelor course at universities of applied sciences is free of examination if the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate has been achieved in combination with vocational education and training in a profession related to the field of study. If the vocational education and training involved a non-related profession, at least one year's work experience is also required. Holders of Baccalaureate Certificates are admitted without examination if they can show evidence of at least a year's work experience in an occupational field related to the field of study. Graduation from an upper-secondary specialised school with an additional Specialised Baccalaureate can also apply for certain bachelor’s programs at universities of applied sciences, namely degree programs in health, social work, communications, design and art, music and theatre, and applied psychology.

The final call on admission to a degree program is the responsibility of the respective university of applied sciences.

Master's Level Admission Requirements

A Bachelor's degree in the same subject area or an equivalent tertiary level A qualification is the pre-requisite for admission to Master’s course. The universities of applied sciences can lay down additional requirements as well.

Tertiary Level B Institutions

College of Professional Education and Training (PET Colleges)

A graduation from upper-secondary education, i.e. Federal VET Diploma, baccalaureate certificate; work experience and aptitude tests are needed for admittance to colleges of professional education and training. The terms and conditions of admission for the various disciplines are specified in the appendix to the Ordinance on the Minimum Requirements for Recognition of PET College Education and Training Programs and Post-Diploma Program, issued by the EAER. On the Successful completion of diploma the title awarded is “dipl.” and “HF “is also added while the Post-diploma programs at colleges of professional education and training lead to a recognised diploma with the suffix” NDS HF being added to the name of the program.

Federal PET Diploma Examinations and Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations

Admission to the Federal and Advanced PET Diploma Examinations is given to those who have completed a three-year or four-year vocational education and training course of study and can present evidence of a number of years of professional experience. Those who pass Federal PET Diploma Examinations get a Federal PET Diploma with the suffix "with Federal PET Diploma" being added to the job title and those who pass Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations get a federally recognised Advanced Federal PET Diploma. Either the prefix "dipl." is appended to the respective job title or the suffix “with Advanced Federal PET Diploma” or else “Meister is added.
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