Education and certificates at universities

Key terms: Bologna Process / European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) / Coordination in the higher education sector / Mobility and exchange / Accreditation of institutions for higher education

Study at Bachelor level and Master level

In connection with the creation of a common European Higher Education Area, the two-tier Bologna study model with Bachelor's and Master's degrees was introduced at Swiss universities as of 2001. Ever since the autumn semester of 2007/2008, all new students at universities commence their studies within a Bachelor programme.

The Bachelor course requires 180 ECTS points. The standard duration of a full-time study course is three years. For the Master course, another one-and-a-half to two years of full-time study, i.e. 90 to 120 ECTS points, are necessary.

Names and abbreviations of the acquired titles:

Bachelor of Theology
Master of Theology
B Th
M Th
Bachelor of Engineering
Master of Engineering
B Eng
M Eng
Bachelor of Law
Master of Law
B Law
M Law
Bachelor of Medicine
Master of Medicine
B Med
M Med
Bachelor of Arts
Master of Arts
Bachelor of Dental Medicine
Master of Dental Medicine
B Dent Med
M Dent Med
Bachelor of Science
Master of Science
B Sc
M Sc
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
Master of Veterinary Medicine
B Vet Med
M Vet Med


A doctorate requires a comprehensive personal research project, provides preparation for research-oriented activity inside or outside the university domain and engenders the ability to assume demanding professional tasks and roles. Doctoral students write a dissertation. The title of doctor can only be awarded by a university. Upon achieving a doctorate, the title Dr. (…) is acquired; this corresponds to the abbreviation PhD.

Continuing education and training

The universities' mandate includes not only education, but also continuing education and training. Since the 1990s, each university has operated a continuing education and training service, which is responsible for providing continuing education and training courses and degree programmes. The continuing education and training degree programmes include MAS, DAS and CAS degree programmes. The universities award the corresponding degrees to the participants (Master of Advanced Studies, Diploma of Advanced Studies and Certificate of Advanced Studies).

Academic year

The academic year is split into two semesters. In the autumn semester, the courses begin in week 38 and end in week 51; in the spring semester, they begin in week 8 and end in week 22. Each semester lasts 14 weeks.

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Last update of this page: 27.07.2016