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05 มิถุนายน 2555

Admission Requirements in Switzerland

Admission Requirements in Switzerland

Admission Requirements

Minimum student age is 18, with a good knowledge of the language of instruction (either German, French or Italian). Candidates should also possess a state-recognized Swiss matriculation certificate or foreign equivalent.

It is important for foreign students to remember that they will be asked to pay somewhat high fees than native students when they are accepted onto a course. They must therefore be able to prove that they are financially able to pay both the fees and their living costs, as it is no longer possible to obtain working permits, even for the holiday periods.

Language ability

A good knowledge of the language of instruction (German, French or Italian) is required.

In the meantime, universities are offering more and more study courses in English, in particular Master level studies

Foreign school or college certificates

To be admitted to a university, candidates must possess either a state-recognised Swiss maturity certificate or another foreign certificate recognised as equivalent by the university. The university in question decides whether to recognise the certificate and whether the holder is entitled to be admitted to studies.

The universities of Basle (BS), Berne (BE), Lucerne (LU), St Gall (SG), Zurich (ZH) and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) are located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

The universities of Geneva (GE), Lausanne (LA) and Neuchâtel (NE), as well as the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) are in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

The University of Fribourg (FR) is situated in a bilingual canton. Therefore the courses are offered in German and / or French.

Since the founding of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano in 1996 the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland has also had its own university.

The academic year is divided into two semesters: the lectures last in autumn semester from calendar week 38 to 51 and in spring semester from calendar week 8 to 22.

Since the 2001/02 winter semester, Swiss universities have been busy adjusting their curricula to comply with the Bologna Declaration. Under this new two-tiered system, the first grade awarded is the Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS credits or three years full-time study) and the second one the Master's degree (90 - 120 ECTS credits or 1 up to 1.5 years full-time study). A Bachelor's degree is the pre-requisite for admittance to studies at Master's level. A Master's degree and good grades are the pre-requisite for undertaking a doctorate.

Furthermore, the universities can confer Master's degrees in further education, the so-called Masters of Advanced Studies - MAS (a minimum of 60 ECTS credits or one year of full-time study). A MAS does not give access to doctoral studies.

Since implementation of the new two-tiered study system has not been completed yet, degrees according to the former system are still being awarded. The first grade awarded is the Lizentiat/Licence or Diploma with a total length of full-time studies of 4 to 5 years and 6 years for medical studies (no ECTS credits). However, experience shows that they usually last 1 or 2 years longer. The Lizentiat/Licence and Diploma correspond to a Masters' degree level in the United States; at most Swiss universities, they are the pre-requisite for undertaking a doctorate.

It is expected that by 2011 only grades according to the new two-tiered system will be awarded.

Central entrance examinations:

Candidates who either hold certificates which are only partly recognized for admission or who are asked by the university to take an entrance examination have to pass the examination in Fribourg. These examinations are held twice a year (June and September/October).

It is possible to follow a preparation course for this exam. This course is also held in Fribourg. To be admitted you have to have among other things sufficient language proficiency in either German or French and a provisional confirmation of admission of a Swiss university. The course lasts from October to the end of June and costs Sfr. 4'950.-.
Cours préparatoires de Fribourg (Preparatory courses)
Rue de Rome 1, CH-1700 Fribourg, tel. +41 (0)26 347 16 16, Fax +41 (0)26 347 16 17,
Email: info(at)vkhs.ch, Internet: http://www.vkhs.ch

How to Apply

Contact the university of your choice within the specified time. The pre-application procedure for some universities can be done online. For the application you will need at least:

  • the original or a certified copy of the secondary school leaving certificate
  • photo

Immigration formalities

When you have received confirmation of acceptance by a Swiss university, please contact the Swiss embassy in your country for information on entry formalities for Switzerland. You will have to show proof that you have adequate financial means to support yourself during your studies.

Residence permit

You will have to apply to the police department dealing with aliens after your arrival in Switzerland to obtain a residence permit. You will have to present the following documents:

  • a valid passport, if necessary with a visa
  • confirmation that you have been accepted by a Swiss university
  • a guarantee of sufficient financial means to support yourself during your studies (e.g. bank statement)
  • statement concerning your address in Switzerland

The residence permit will only be issued if your financial means are guaranteed. In addition, you will have to renew the residence permit annually. Foreign students are allowed to work up to 15 hours a week as long as the duration of the studies is not prolonged.

(Source: http://www.crus.ch/information-programme/study-in-switzerland.html?L=2 )