Terms of admission to universities

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

Study at Bachelor level

The cantonal universities and Federal Institutes of Technology require a Baccalaureate certificate or an equivalent qualification, as well as proficiency in the language of study, as terms of admission to a Bachelor course. The respective university determines the specific terms of admission.

In Switzerland, all fields of study are freely accessible, apart from a few exceptions (medical degree programmes, chiropractic and, in some cases, sports sciences). For degree programmes with entrance exams, a decision is made each year as to whether to hold entrance exams, based on the number of applications. Due to the limited number of places in these programmes, foreign students are not admitted to them apart from in special cases.

Holders of a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate or a Specialised Baccalaureate who have passed a university aptitude test in accordance with the relevant regulation are also admitted to universities.

Various universities allow alternative admission procedures for those who do not fulfil the aforementioned terms of admission, whereby a certain age, professional experience, a written application and an additional aptitude test may be required.

Study at Master level

Those wishing to enrol in a Master course must first successfully complete a Bachelor course. The Master course can be taken at the same university as the Bachelor course, or at a different one. In principle, it is also possible to change the field of study. The enrolling university can demand the acquisition of additional knowledge and skills before admission. Transfer from a different type of tertiary level institution to a university requires certain conditions to be met and additional activities to be performed.


A Master's degree and the fulfilment of additional conditions are prerequisites for admission to a doctorate course. The respective university is responsible for admission. If the academic qualifications are sufficient, admission is also possible with a Master's degree from another type of tertiary level institution.

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Last update of this page: 26.07.2021