Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

Computational Science, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English


The Computational Science programme at the Università Della Svizzera Italiana (USI) provides an innovative combination of methodological and applied competencies in both computational and data science, which endow students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to operate at the forefront of science and industry.

Computational Science is not to be confused with Computer Science, which deals with the science and engineering of computers. Computational Science represents a broader approach to interdisciplinary problems and projects, using computer simulations in model based approaches that represent the interaction between theory and experiment.

The Master in Computational Science (MCS) program is an exciting new approach to understanding complex systems in a broad range of knowledge areas including the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences, the life sciences, management science and medical science. 

By integrating computer simulation, mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, and data analysis, recent developments in computational science are making possible what was unthinkable only few years ago. Problems that are inaccessible to traditional experimental and empirical methods can now be addressed thanks to new techniques in algorithmic modeling and the increasing speed of modern supercomputers.

The MCS program combines courses from computer science, mathematics, statistics and data analysis to build application-oriented competences in simulation science and data science. Students enrolled in the MCS program acquire valuable and much sought-after analytical skills through direct involvement in modeling projects addressing a wide range of real-world problems spanning many interdisciplinary applications.

The program introduces students to the university's blend of innovative scientific research and real world applications, thus providing an excellent foundation for a career in industry and science. Students may emphasize numerical software, mathematical modeling, deterministic and probabilistic theory, computer simulation, or data science. Our graduates are ready to pursue professional careers in research, engineering, scientific computing, data science, data and business analytics, computational medicine, and information systems.

For the master's thesis, students can participate in ongoing research projects at the ICS,  the IDIDS, or the Faculty of Informatics. Topics include Numerical Analysis, High-Performance Computing, Geo-Science, Computational Engineering, Optimization, Computational (Bio-) Mechanics and Fluid-Mechanics, Computational Medicine, Drug-Design, Computational Finance, or Shape Analysis. 

Interested students will also be given the possibility to participate in ongoing research projects. Elective courses and the master thesis allow students to tailor their learning experience to their individual interests and professional objectives while creating innovative combinations of knowledge across multiple disciplines.

Career prospects

Career opportunities for computational scientists are continuously expanding and changing. The future is very promising for graduates with in-depth knowledge and understanding of mathematical modellling and computer systems. 

The advanced technical and problem-solving skills developed by our graduates are highly valued by employers. In addition, a successful completion of the MCS also provides preferential access to the PhD in Computational Science offered at the Università della Svizzera italiana.

The MCS program is managed by the Institute of Computational Science (ICS, Faculty of Informatics), a central node in a network of advanced research institutions. Besides strong international connections, this network includes other Swiss universities such as ETH, EPFL, Uni Basel, Uni Bern, and Uni Lausanne. 

In Ticino, other nodes of this network include the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA) focusing on machine learning, intelligent decision support systems and bio-inspired systems; the Interdisciplinary Institute of Data Science (IDIDS) focusing on complex network science, social science, and all aspects of working with data from retrieval through decision making; the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), home of one of the fastest supercomputers in the world; the Cardiocentro Ticino,a state-of-the art university clinic, highly specialised in Cardiology; and Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno(IRSOL), a research institute in Locarno devoted to solar physics. 

This network with global reach provides students with access to some of the most active and exciting career opportunities open today in the world of research and industry.

In Computational Science and the emerging field of Data Science, USI offers:

  • Competence. Largest and most important Institute for Computational Science in Switzerland, research in nearly all related disciplines of simulation and data sciences
  • Industrial collaborations.Industrial collaborations with established national and international companies
  • Practical experience.Student research projects in research groups and companies
  • Direct and individual support.National and international summer schools, mentoring, small classes, small tutorial groups, student advisory
  • Interdisciplinary skills.Teamwork, presentation techniques, management and personality training, access to university courses spanning multiple disciplines in other faculties, career services
  • Lugano as a versatile place of study.Many possibilities for cultural, sporting and leisure activities
  • Excellent career perspectives.Due to a shortage in skilled personnel in the field of information technology in simulation and data sciences

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Deterministic Methods 
  • High Performance Computing 
  • Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations 
  • Introduction to Partial Differential Equations 
  • Numerical Algorithms 
  • Introduction to Statistics 
  • Simulation & Data Science Seminar 
  • Software Atelier: Partial Differential Equations 
  • Software Tools in Computational Science 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: Applications will be accepted starting from mid-November.
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

The MCS is a highly-selective program designed for students with a strong background in mathematics, computer science, and applied statistics. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in the field of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Statistics, or related disciplines granted by an accredited university. 

Candidates with a Bachelor's degree of a recognised University of Applied Sciences may be admitted with 30-60 additional ECTS to be earned during or before the beginning of the programme, with Bachelor courses according to a study program defined by the scientific director. Admissions will be treated on a case by case basis.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    6800 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3400 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National Applies to you

    3400 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1700 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
Tuition fees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.

Living costs for Lugano

  • 1516 - 2140 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


The Foundation for the Lugano Faculties of the Università della Svizzera italiana will award a total of 60 one-off study grants of the amount of CHF 4'000 each. The merit-based grants are given to the students admitted to the first year of a USI Master programme starting in September.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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.