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Basics How to gain admission into a Swiss university

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Being admitted as a foreigner into the Swiss higher education system requires excellent marks, language skills and, in some cases, work experience.

The exact requirements depend on what type of school and programme a student wishes to attend. Sometimes students can be asked to take an entrance exam to make sure they are capable of handling the workload. 

Undergraduate requirements

A student must also have achieved the highest possible secondary school diploma that allows general access to universities in his or her home country. See the section on diploma recognition below for more. Swiss universities may also want foreign students to take an admission exam, demonstrate a minimum grade average, acquire language certificates or show they were accepted at a recognised university at home.

Visit the Swiss Universities page for more on requirements for admissionexternal link.

Applied sciences programmes

A basic requirement for admission is for students to provide proof of at least one year of work experience in the field of study, as well as a secondary-school leaving certificate. Students may need to take an entrance exam, although students who have the highest secondary level diploma from their home country generally do not need to take such a test. 

Find a list of applied science universitiesexternal link here.

Postgraduate studies

Admission to a masters or doctorate programme as a student with an undergraduate degree from a foreign (non-Swiss) university requires, as a minimum, recognition of that foreign diploma. This is largely left to the individual universities to decide, so contact them directly for more information.

Diploma recognition

Swiss authorities recognise various accreditation from numerous schools worldwide. For specifics on certificates recognised by Swiss educational authorities visit the Swiss Universitiesexternal link page. 

University comparison series Getting in: University admissions in Switzerland, US and UK

Should you start planning your university admission strategy two years in advance?  The process can be complicated for international students.


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