EPFL – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

Bachelor in Civil Engineering

Program Overview

  • 3 years


  • 780 CHF/Semester

    Tuition Fees

  • April

    Application Deadline

  • Full Time


  • On-Campus

    Delivery Mode

  • French/English


Civil engineering throughout history has shaped creative engineers to provide infrastructures and systems of the highest quality. They don't only participate in the design, planning, and execution of infrastructures but also their maintenance and use. One of their jobs is to define the size of work, and they succeed thanks to statics, their expertise in the behavior of materials, their knowledge of geotechnology, hydraulics, or in the field of energy and transportation. With that in mind, this program will prepare the students to tackle challenges and develop state-of-the-art solutions.


The graduates of the Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Program will be challenged to design, build, maintain and manage complex infrastructure projects with a global approach, taking into account socio-economical and environmental interactions. Civil engineers work in multidisciplinary and often in multicultural teams. They are generalists with high competencies in various fields such as hydraulic schemes and energy, structures, transportation infrastructures and systems, management, geotechnics and tunneling, legal and economic aspects, and environmental issues.

Key Facts

Autumn Semester

  • Application Deadline

    April 30, 2021

    Part 1 of the required documents

  • Application Deadline

    July 15, 2021

    Part 2 of the required documents

  • Credit 180 ECTS/6 semesters

Admission Requirements

The C1 level in English is generally considered necessary to ensure your academic success. To enable you to check your language skills, EPFL asks you to take an assessment of your English level at the Language Centre during this autumn semester. This assessment is mandatory for all first-year Bachelor’s students.

Admission criteria

The indications on this page do not constitute a legal basis. Legal texts are the only reference. The criteria are valid for the ongoing year.

The specific admission criteria for applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate (maturity, baccalaureate, Abitur, Advanced Levels, etc.) and for those having begun or completed a study program in a higher-education institution are detailed under the following headings.

  • Swiss ‘maturité gymnasiale’
  • Swiss professional or specialized ‘maturité’
  • Upper secondary school certificates from a country that is a member of the EU or EFTA
  • Upper secondary school certificates from a country that is not a member of the EU nor EFTA
  • European Baccalaureate from EURSC.eu
  • International Advanced Levels and Cambridge Pre-U
  • International Baccalaureate from IBO.org
  • Bachelor’s degree from a Swiss HES/FHS
  • Other higher education in Switzerland or abroad
  • Restrictions and rules of non-admissibility

Documents required by April 30th (step 1)

All documents must be scanned to PDF (JPEG for the photo) and uploaded to the online form.

  1. Identity photo (portrait with the face and neck, filling the whole image)
  2. Identity document (passport or identity card, both sides)
  3. Intermediary grade sheets from the last two years of upper secondary education
  4. When applicable, transcripts from prior higher-education institutions
  5. When applicable, a Swiss residence permit and certificate for the applicant (and his or her parents if he or she resides in Switzerland with them)
  6. Language competence certificate in French (except for applicants with a Swiss or francophone education)

Documents required by July 15th (step 2)

All documents must be scanned to PDF and uploaded to the online form.

  1. Upper secondary school certificate (or higher-education diploma when applicable) if already available
  2. Transcripts of the upper secondary school certificate (or of the higher-education diploma when applicable)
  3. Last grade sheet from the upper secondary education
  4. When applicable, an end-of-matriculation certificate from prior higher-education institutions

Application fee

  • 50 CHF- for a holder of a Swiss certificate or diploma
  • 150 CHF- for holders of a foreign certificate or diploma.


The admission decision is only valid for the next beginning of an academic year. Applicants who choose not to matriculate and wish to be accepted the following year must apply again.

The document attesting the successful completion of the title granting admission to EPFL (most commonly the final transcripts) must be submitted no later than September 30th. Admission is otherwise canceled.

Double matriculation at EPFL and at another University is not allowed. Applicants accepted at EPFL after having begun studies at another university must provide, no later than September 30th, proof that they are no longer matriculated at that school. Admission is otherwise canceled.

For further information regarding admission requirements, visit the link below:

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

  • 780 CHF/Semester

Living costs for Lausanne

  • Living Costs


Support scholarships

EPFL social commission

These scholarships are awarded following a change in the potential grantee’s social, family, and/or economic situation.

Social commission scholarships
  1. Who can apply? – Students who are Swiss or have a C permit can apply starting their first year of studies. International students can apply starting their second year of studies.
  2. What are the eligibility criteria? These scholarships are awarded following a change in the potential grantee’s social, family, and/or economic situation.
  3. How long does the support last? – From 15.09.2020, for one or two semesters depending on the situation
  4. When do I need to apply? – For the fall semester: By 01.08.2020 / 30.09.2020 / 31.10.2020. For the spring semester: By 15.12.2020 / 28.02.2021 / 31.03.2021
  5. When will my scholarship begin? – For the fall semester: without retroactive effect. Payments will be done from the month of the application.
    For the spring semester: Deadline 15.12.2020 : 15.02.2021, Deadline 28.02.2021 : 15.02.2021, Deadline 31.03.2021 : 01.03.2021
  6. When will I receive the money? – For the fall semester: Deadline 01.08.2020: mid-Sept. Deadline 30.09.2020: mid-October, Deadline 31.10.2020: mid-Nov.
    For the spring semester: Deadline 15.12.2020: mid-February, Deadline 28.02.2021: end of March, Deadline 31.03.2021: mid-May
  7. What form should I use? Scholarship application form
Renewal social commission scholarships
Other scholarships
  • Giveka Foundation
  • Scholarships for study trips
  • Swiss Study Foundation
  • Bono Pro association
  • Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation
  • Charles-Edouard Guillaume Foundation
  • Heinrich J. Klein Foundation
  • Hasler Foundation
  • Heyning-Roelli Foundation
  • Geneva Private Foundation
  • Scholarships for Swiss students living abroad
  • Scholarships to study abroad

For more information about the scholarships, please check the official website: https://www.epfl.ch/education/studies/en/financing-study/grants/

Living Cost

To find more information on the living cost, please check the PDF files down below:

  • Swiss nationals (resident in CH/abroad/dual nationality) and settlement permits (C) – [PDF File]
  • Foreigners[PDF File]

Getting a Student Visa

Since Switzerland is a part of the Schengen zone, a Schengen visa will win you the right to go to the country, but if you want to stay there as a student, you must take a few more steps. The procedures are different for EU/EFTA and non-EU/EFTA students.

After getting the acceptance letter, follows the process of setting an appointment with the Swiss embassy or consulate in your country. The procedure takes time, so make sure to set the appointment six months prior to your studying. The processing time for the short stay visas is around 10-15 days, and for long stay visas, eight to ten weeks.

For each document required, you have to provide the original along with three copies. The papers should be in English or in one of Switzerland’s national languages (German, French, Italian, or Romansh). If they are not in one of these languages, you will need a certified translation of those documents. 

Switzerland Student Visa Requirements

  • The completed and signed application forms for a long stay visa (D type) in one of the languages mentioned above. 
  • Passport – valid three months beyond the planned stay.
  • Four passport-size biometric photographs.
  • Letter of acceptance (certificate of enrollment) issued by a Swiss university.
  • Paid visa application fee. 
  • Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees (for the first year of your studies).
  • Proof of sufficient financial coverage: copies of bank statements or a letter from the bank provided by you or your supervisor. Funds are supposed to cover living costs in Switzerland for the duration of schooling (21,000 CHF or 19,200 EUR at the beginning of each year of your studies).
  • Scholarship/Loan proof (if available) from an institution that proves that the scholarship or loan will cover all expenses for the study.
  • CV.
  • Letter of motivation, which should also include your professional plans for the future.

Submitting the Switzerland student visa application

After filling the application and completing all required documents, you should submit them in person at the Swiss embassy/consulate at the designated time of your appointment. Along with submitting your documents, you are required to pay the Swiss student visa application fee. 

After receiving your Swiss Student Visa

You may enter Switzerland after you receive a student visa. Within the first two weeks of arrival, you have to register at the local Residents Registration Office of your canton as well as visit the cantonal migration office in order to obtain a residence permit form.

B permit (a biometric card) is the type of residence permit for student stay. Prior to that, you will receive an attestation that allows you to open a Swiss bank account. It will take up to 8 weeks for your B permit to be processed. 

Student Visa Validity

The student visa or the B permit obtained in Switzerland initially is valid for one year. After one year, you have the option to extend it. However, updated proof of income is required in order for your student visa to be extended.


If you’re a student who wants to study in Switzerland but are not quite sure what are the steps of the student visa application process,  you are advised to read the following resources on Everything You Need To Know about getting a visa for Switzerland.

Work Permit

Find out all you need to know about work permit regulations for working part-time (during studies) and full-time (after graduation) in Switzerland.

Work while studying in Switzerland

For many international students in Switzerland, working while studying is an ideal option. Still, that is not recommended by some universities since it can distract and affect your academic work. With job boards and other advisory services, other schools facilitate job searches to help students. During the school year, students’ working hours are limited, and there are a few requirements they need to fulfill.

How many hours are international students allowed to work per week?

International students can work up to 15 hours a week in part-time jobs. But during semester holidays students can work full-time.


When are students allowed to start working?

Students from outside the EU/EFTA countries may start working only 6 months after starting their degree program.

Is there a work permit required for students working part-time?

Citizens from EU-27/EFTA states do not require authorization for short-term employment up to three months or 90 days per the calendar year. For an extended time, they will have to earn a residence permit. Third-country nationals are obliged to submit numerous documents to prove their eligibility for a work permit in Switzerland.

What job can I get as a student in Switzerland?

During your years as a student, there are many part-time jobs that you can do. For most students, employment in retail, restaurants, and others are sought-after options. However, a lack of language skills (in German, French, or Italian) can limit your employment chances. 

Work after graduation in Switzerland

Upon your graduation, you have the right to look for a permanent job in Switzerland. Prior to that, a residency permit that allows you to search for a job should be obtained. The permit is only valid for 6 months, and it cannot be extended.

What requirements do students need to fulfill in order to receive a residency work permit?

In order to receive the residency work permit, you have to provide proof that you:

  • Have graduated. 
  • Are financially able to support your say.
  • Have secured housing.

Are students allowed to work during this 6 months period?

During this six month period, graduates can work up to 15 hours a week. These rules do not apply for EU/EFTA nationals as they benefit from the freedom of movement under bilateral agreements.

How difficult is for international students to find a permanent job after graduation in Switzerland?

A non-EU/EFTA can get a job in Switzerland only if there are no qualified individuals from within the Swiss labour market or from an EU/EFTA state that apply for the position. Employers are required to show that they made “big efforts” to find qualified applicants from EU/EFTA countries or nationals who already have a permit to work. Furthermore, employers must show why those with priority to get the job were not suitable candidates for the position.


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