How to Apply to an International University in Switzerland in 2018 How to apply to a university

Many Swiss universities received awards of international student satisfaction, confirming that studying in Switzerland could be one of the best choices you have ever make.

Switzerland has three widely spoken official languages (French, German and Italian), meaning you will have the opportunity to experience a complete European atmosphere and culture in one relatively small country and enrich your language skills as well.

swiss city view.jpg

Applying for studies in a university in Switzerland is really easy, you just have to remember some essential tips.

Apply to a Master in Switzerland

1. Choose the right degree subject in Switzerland

There are plenty of disciplines you can pick from to study in English in Switzerland. Here are just of few of the most popular options to consider:

2. Choose the right Swiss university

Here are some top German universities you should consider for your study abroad adventure:

Check out more universities with English-taught Masters in Switzerland.

3. Prepare to apply

  • Switzerland provides a variety of study options, many of them highly focused on research. Choose your degree after you collect all relevant information.
  • Check the exact entry requirements for each degree programme, as there are often specific admission criteria for Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine degrees.
  • Look for scholarship opportunities in Switzerland.
  • 4. Qualifications not recognised by most Swiss universities

    You should be aware that some qualifications are not recognised by most Swiss universities, such as:
    • Distance education certificates, night school certificates and certificates not attained in a school class
    • Certificates from vocational or part-time high schools and schools offering vocational training as well as general education

    If a credential or qualification is not recognised, you will have to pass the full Swiss (or cantonal) maturity examination. This is mainly the Swiss equivalent for international baccalaureate, based on a specific curriculum (seven key subject areas studied by all students), depending on each Swiss canton.

    zurich university Switzerland.png

    5. Where to apply

  • Complete the online application form from the website of the university.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Upload all the supporting documents before the deadline.
  • 6. Language requirements for Swiss university application

    Switzerland has three official languages (German, French and Italian) and the language of instruction depends on the university. In addition, most universities also offer a wide range of programmes taught in English. Most international students apply for either English, French or German taught degrees.

    Accepted evidence of proficiency for each language are:

    German: DSH, TestDaF, OSD, telc and others

    French: DELF or DALF

    English: IELTS, TOEFL

    Check out all IELTS locations and dates in Switzerland

    If you don’t hold a language certificate, you can take a language test at the university and they can decide if your level is sufficient for you to complete your studies. This option is not available within all universities, so first check with the institution.

    7. Required application documents

    • A signed printout of your application form
    • Two passport photos
    • Copy of identity document
    • Official academic transcript(s) from each university you attended
    • High school diploma or Bachelor's diploma
    • Language proficiency certificates (German/French/English)
    • CV
    • Evidence of payment of the application fee (100 – 150 CHF or 400 CHF for late applications)
    • Personal essay/Motivation letter

    8. Additional documents for students who apply to a doctoral programme

    • A letter from an instructor of the faculty who is approved to direct doctoral dissertations, and who agrees to overlook your research
    • If you are in your final year at secondary school and have not yet received your diploma, you may apply based on your grades over the year, but you have to send copies of your final exam results as soon as you have them
    • All certificates and transcripts that are not in English, French, German or Italian must be translated into English or French by a certified translator. Along with the translation, some universities will demand an official document from the school or university that you attended, with an explanation of the grading and assessment system.

    9. University application deadlines for Switzerland

    Deadline for application at Swiss universities is variable, depending on each university and sometimes it also depends on your qualifications or if you need to apply for a student visa. Students are usually advised to submit their application in the spring semester for studies beginning the following academic year.

    Regular application
    • Fall semester: 1 December – 30 April
    • Spring semester: 1 May – 30 November
    • If a visa for Switzerland is required, following deadlines are recommended:
    • Fall semester: 1 December – 28 February
    • Spring semester: 1 May – 30 September

    students in Switzerland.png

    In some cases, application for PhD candidates have different deadlines:

    • For the fall semester: until October 15
    • For the spring semester: until March 31

    Universities that will receive your application too late, will sign you up for the next semester.

    View 509 Masters in Switzerland

    10. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

    1. If you need a student visa, apply for one as soon as possible as it usually takes around a month to get a response from the embassy/consulate.

    2. All foreigners intending to study in Zurich require a residence permit, which you can obtain from the local migration office, within 14 days after your arrival to Switzerland.

    3. Make arrangements for the health insurance policy. EU students automatically qualify for basic medical care in Switzerland with a European Health Insurance Card. EU and non-EU students can either pay for a health insurance policy from their home country before they come to Switzerland or can purchase one as soon as possible after their arrival.

    Get free updates about top courses abroad

    Non-EU students must apply for the Switzerland visa

    Here is detailed information about the student visa application process for students coming from a non-Eu country:

    Apply with Studyportals

    Did you find this information useful? Ready to take the next step to your international studies? Now you can apply directly to a Master’s offered by one of our Application Partner.

    Select a Master's and apply

    The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

    Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.