engineering-universities-in-switzerland

Although a relatively small country in the heart of Europe, Switzerland has lots to offer—especially for international students. Known for their higher education quality, Swiss universities are continuously striving for practice-based learning and hands-on training.

The engineering universities in Switzerland, which are simultaneously some of the most prestigious engineering institutions, offer advanced, top-notch programs. Said universities encourage international students to apply and are always on the lookout for talents in various engineering fields.

Master’s and Doctoral programs are offered in English, with some being bilingual (typically English and the cantonal language of instruction.) Bachelor’s programs, on the other hand, tend to require proficiency in the German or French language; however, some modules are sometimes offered in English.

If you are looking for the best schools to choose from, this list of engineering universities in Switzerland provides information on the engineering programs, their language of instruction, and international students’ admission requirements.

Disclaim: The following list of higher education institutions does not represent a ranking.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)

EPFL offers a wide range of training programs in different fields, broken down into interdisciplinary projects. Two of those schools are ENAC (School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering) and the School of Engineering. Their mission is to train the next generation of engineers, scientists, and architects through cutting-edge programs.

Engineering programs

Bachelor’s programs Master’s programs Doctoral programs
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Biotechnology & Bioengineering (EDBB)
Electrical and Electronic engineering Environmental Sciences and Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering (EDCE)
Microengineering Electrical and Electronic Engineering Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (EDCH)
Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering (EDEE)
Life Sciences Engineering Microengineering Energy (EDEY)
Civil Engineering Robotics Microsystems and Microelectronics (EDMI)
Environmental Sciences and Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Materials Science and Engineering (EDMX)
Mechanical Engineering Energy Science and Technology Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems (EDRS)
Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Computational Science and Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
Life Sciences Engineering
Financial Engineering

Admission requirements for international students

Admission criteria depend on the level of the program and the degree of choice.

Bachelor’s admission criteria

Applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate from a country that is a member of EU or EFTA (other than Switzerland) are accepted in the first year of the bachelor’s programs provided that their title fulfills all of the following conditions:

  • final grade average is 80% or more
  • the completed certificate is a pre-University title granted based on a general education
  • the completed certificate is in a scientific stream
  • at least three of the following subjects are part of the certificate: 1) applied mathematics or computer science, 2) chemistry or biology, 3) general geography, 4) general history or general philosophy, and 5) third modern language.

For more details regarding the application of these criteria, check the page about your country of education (‘EPFL’ heading) in the ‘Countries’ section at Swissuniversities.

Master’s admission criteria

Anyone holding a Bachelor’s degree from a university (or equivalent) in a field related to the EPFL curricula can apply for a master’s program. There are admission requirements that are specific to every Master’s program. Choose the page of the degree of choice for more information.

PhD admission criteria

Each program has its own requirements, eligibility criteria, and procedures that you need to consider. Additionally, all candidates must provide the contact details of 3 referees who can write a recommendation.

Language of instruction

From the first year at EPFL, students gradually follow certain courses in English; from the master’s level onwards, many courses are given in English. Some master’s programs are possible to complete entirely in English.

Speaking French is not a requirement to begin doctoral studies at EPFL; however, a language center on the EPFL campus offers the opportunity to learn French quickly, efficiently, and free of charge for new postgraduate candidates.

EPFL also offers an intensive French language course to all accepted candidates. It begins four weeks before the beginning of the semester.

engineering-universities-in-switzerland-in-english

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich prepares its students through focused study programs that meet the highest standard both in curricula and program methodology. As an institution, ETH Zurich constantly advances its curricula to ensure that students are offered the best possible education.

Engineering programs

Bachelor’s degree programs Consecutive Master’s degree Specialized Master’s degree
Civil Engineering Civil Engineering Biomedical Engineering
Environmental Engineering Environmental Engineering Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Geospatial Engineering Geospatial Engineering Energy Science and Technology
Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Micro and Nanosystems
Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Neural Systems and Computation
Computational Science and Engineering Process Engineering Nuclear Engineering
Computational Science and Engineering Quantum Engineering
Robotics, Systems, and Control

Admission requirements for international students

On the website of swissuniversities, you may find a collection of admission requirements according to countries and types of diplomas.

Bachelor’s admission criteria

There are three different kinds of admission to the first semester of a bachelor’s program:

  • Admission without entrance examination
  • Admission conditional upon passing a reduced entrance examination
  • Admission conditional upon passing a comprehensive entrance examination.

Specific admission requirements are not disclosed until the university receives the complete application.

Master’s admission criteria

ETH Master’s degrees have their defined criteria for admission, where you can find detailed information on the degree page. These are the formal prerequisites:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent first degree from a recognized university of applied sciences in Switzerland, Germany, or Austria
  • good to excellent previous study performance
  • the qualifying disciplines for each degree program
  • the knowledge and competency in each subject area which must be equivalent to courses  covered in an ETH Bachelor’s degree program
  • the required language skills (German and/or English)
  • performance-related requirements.

All students from Swiss or foreign universities must apply through the Admissions Office.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in all bachelor’s programs is German. However, some single courses may be held in English or French. Proficiency in German is one of the prerequisites for admission.

The language of instruction of many master’s degree programs is English. Some programs offer coursework in English and German. Depending on the degree, the program may be predominantly taught in German.

engineering-universities-in-switzerland-for-international-students

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

ZHAW is one of the leading engineering faculties in Switzerland with practice-oriented and scientifically based degree programs. As one of Switzerland’s renowned aerospace engineering universities, ZHAW guarantees superior-quality education, research, and development.

Engineering programs

Bachelor’s degree programs Master of Science programs
Aviation with specialization in:

  • Technical Engineering
  • Operational Engineering
Aviation
Electrical Engineering Business Engineering
Energy and Environmental Engineering Civil Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering
Systems Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics, Biomedical Engineering) Mechanical Engineering
Engineering and Management (Industrial Engineering, Data and Service Engineering, Business Mathematics) Medical Engineering
Transportation Systems with specialization in:

  • Engineering
Energy and Environment
Civil Engineering Mechatronics and Automation
Engineering and Management with specialization in:

  • Industrial Engineering
  • Data and Service Engineering
Photonics

*During the first year of study, students (of Aviation, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Engineering Management) can enroll for the international profile of the ZHAW School of Engineering. They attend specific English modules and are issued an internationally recognized level C1 English language certificate and complete a semester abroad or a foreign industrial placement.

Admission requirements for international students

Bachelor’s admission criteria

In addition to the application form, candidates with a foreign diploma must submit:

  • A notarized translation of the highest school diploma into German (or English as an exception) with the specification of the course subjects
  • The employer’s confirmation of a minimum one-year internship in the subject area of the selected study program
  • A copy of a recognized German certificate at level C1
  • An academic and professional CV.

Master’s admission criteria

  • Applicants from abroad must provide an excellent Bachelor’s degree (that is comparable to grades A or B in Switzerland) from a recognized university in a technical field of study
  • Two letters of recommendation from university lecturers
  • Good English language skills at level C1
  • Completion of the admission interview.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction at the ZHAW School of Engineering is German. A range of English-language modules are available for non-German-speaking exchange students.

If you are interested in studying at the ZHAW School of Engineering, but you are not proficient in the language of instruction, you can find preliminary courses.

ZHAW offers language courses at the Institute of Language Competence to help you get adjusted to the language of instruction of the study program. The ZHAW School of Engineering financially supports the course during your studies. Students pay a contribution fee of CHF 80 per course, and the remaining course costs are covered. The currently available courses are:

  • English courses
  • German as a Foreign Language

Upon enrollment in the course, you need to state that you are an SoE-student.

As seen through this list, there is an abundance of opportunities to study in the engineering universities in Switzerland. We hope you’ll be able to embark on your journey successfully. Good luck!

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