Switzerland is known for its education system. For this reason and many others, many international students choose this country to finish their studies. Besides its reputation for law, medical, culinary, and hospitality schools, Switzerland is also known for its music schools. Even though there aren’t many, it’s guaranteed they are some of the best. Do you want to know which schools we are talking about? Read on to find out.

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

1. Basel Academy of Music

Basel Academy of Music is an international institute for higher education and research. Founded in 1905, the Basel Academy of Music was the first conservatory in the German-speaking region of Switzerland. In 2018, the academy was integrated into the larger University of Applied Sciences and Art of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). Together with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and the Jazz Institute, they make up the FHNW Academy of Music. The FHNW Academy of Music offers two bachelor’s and four master’s programs, and each of them comes with a wide range of major subjects.

The Basel Academy of Music has been a leading center for musical education for around 150 years. New Music is central to teach and research at the Academy of Music. The research priorities of this academy are New and Contemporary Music, 19th Century Music, and Music Pedagogy.

Requirements Application Deadline Entrance Exam Application Fee Tuition Fee
Hold a high school qualification (Swiss Baccalaureate, Swiss Professional Baccalaureate or equivalent)

Be proficient in the German or English language

Submit the required registration documentation on time to be invited to take the entrance examination

15th February 23 March-3 April CHF 200 CHF 700 for Swiss citizens and students with a legal place of residence in Switzerland

CHF 1000 for students from EU-/EFTA-countries | 1250 CHF for students from third countries

Administration fee: CHF 250


2. Lucerne School of Music

The Lucerne School of Music is an institution that offers different and innovative opportunities for study, research, and continued education in the environment of the famous “music city.” Part of each education and continuing education music program are concerts, stages, and teaching practice. The Lucerne School of Music has partnerships with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Academy, the Lucerne Theatre, the Jazzkantine in Lucerne, the House of Folk Music, and many Jazz festivals and other regional music schools.

The Lucerne School of Music offers many programs at the Bachelor and Master level. You have the chance to choose between various programs offered.

Requirements Application Deadline Entrance Exam Application Fee Tuition Fee
A recognized baccalaureate qualification in the field of music and theatre

A recognized vocational baccalaureate

A recognized general baccalaureate

Proficiency in the German language (level B2 or above)

At the end of February All entrance exams are held on April CHF 200 CHF 390 (for two practical examinations)


3. Geneva School of Music

Haute Ecole de Musique Genève-Neuchâtel music institution covers various historical and stylistic music fields ranging from medieval and contemporary ones. The Geneva HEM came as a result of the professional merge of two older institutions—the Geneva Conservatory of Music and the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute, both established in the 19th century. Geneva HEM is a leading cultural institution in the French-speaking region. Additionally, this music school is also known internationally as a renowned artistic teaching community.

In 2009, Geneva HEM became part of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO), a French-language university home to 19,000 students. The Geneva branch of HES-SO directly supervises Geneva HEM. The school offers a wide range of studies covering almost all functions of music: playing, singing, reading, writing, improvising, and thinking. Additionally, Geneva HEM provides professional training in music education, music performance, music theory, and composition.


Requirements Application Deadline Entrance Exam Application  Fee Tuition Fee
Proficient in French, CEFR B1 level for Bachelor programs and CEFR A2 for Master programs

Have a maturité gymnasiale, maturité professionnelle or maturité spécialisée secondary-school qualification or one deemed equivalent

A practical examination in Geneva that consists of 2 tests: vocal and instrumental.

March 1st N/A CHF 150 CHF 500 per semester


4. Lausanne University of Music

The Lausanne’s University of Music, also known as HEMU (Haute École de Musique de Lausanne), is a reputable educational institution for its refined training, involvement with professional circles, and investment in the musical life. HEMU provides instruction in classical, popular, and jazz music. HEMU has historically been embedded within Lausanne’s Conservatory. Due to this, classical music has been taught in HEMU for 150 years.

HEMU’s programs in Bachelor and Master levels are internationally recognized and accredited by the Confederation. However, in 2009, HEMU became part of the faculty “Music and Performing Arts” of HES-SO (University of Applied Sciences and Arts-Western Switzerland).

Requirements Application Deadline Entrance Exam Application  Fee Tuition Fee
Hold a recognized high school diploma

Hold a recognized specialized diploma in the field of music, theatre, or dance

Hold a recognized professional diploma

Be proficient in the language

March 1st N/A CHF 150 CHF 500 per semester

5. Ali Akbar College of Music

Founded in 1985, Ali Akbar College of Music, based in Basel’s city, became one of the most prominent centers for the study of classical music of North India. This school’s range of activities are seminars, master classes, public recitals, and private and group instruction. These activities attract students from all over Europe. They are opened to all students—from beginning to advanced levels. Lessons are offered in the instruments of sitar, sarod, tabla, and lessons in vocal, theory, and history. Since its founding, Ali Akbar college has collaborated with Basel Academy of Music.

For more information on the classes, seminars and workshop dates, fees, and everything related, you need to contact the Ali Akbar School.

At one point or another, most of the Swiss music schools decided to collaborate with each other so that they can offer some of the best programs for interested students in the field of music. Despite this, you still have many school options to choose from. They are scattered all over different cantons. Maybe this can help you make your decision easier. We hope we have been of help in your artistic journey. Good luck!

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