ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Master in Environmental Engineering

Program Overview

  • 2 years

    Duration

  • 730 CHF/Semester

    Tuition Fees

  • December/March

    Application Deadline

  • Full Time

    Pace

  • On-Campus

    Delivery Mode

  • English

    Language

This Master's degree combines ETH Zurich's exceptional expertise in Environmental Engineering. The program is designed for students interested in learning in a broad, interdisciplinary setting, focusing on communication, creativity, quantitative skills, and interest in societal impacts. The study program introduces future environmental engineers to natural, industrial, and social science basics, essential to understanding, designing, and managing these systems. Master’s program is made of modules from water resources management, urban water management, environmental technologies, resource management, and river and hydraulic engineering.

Career

This degree gives students a comprehensive understanding of Environmental Engineering and its disciplines through a practical study approach. Environmental engineers’ goal is to manage the vital resources (water, soil, and air) sustainably and restore them wherever necessary in this way producing well-founded technical solutions drawn from the engineering sciences in the following fields:

  • Environmental microfluidics
  • Hydrology and water resources management, groundwater
  • Urban water management
  • River and hydraulic engineering
  • Earth observation for environmental applications
  • Ecological systems design
  • Industrial ecology, air quality control

Environmental Engineers work in consulting and planning companies, offices, research institutes, and administration, development collaboration projects and, risk management in banks and insurance companies.

Key Facts

Autumn Semester

  • Application Deadline

    Nov 15, 2020 - Dec 15, 2020

    International/National Students who need a visa or are applying for one of the scholarships need to apply by this deadline.

  • Application Deadline

    March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021

    National

  • Start Date

    Sep 21, 2021

  • Credit 120 ECTS/4 semesters

Admission Requirements

Minimum required score:

100
120

Minimum required score:

7
9

Language Requirements

  • C1 Advanced (CAE) – Grade B (193 Min Score)
  • C2 Proficiency (CPE) – Grade C (200 Min Score)

Admission prerequisites for International students

Formal Prerequisites

Recognized universities are recognized and/or accredited as universities in their own countries by the respective state institution.

Your Bachelor’s degree is based upon academic accomplishments comprising at least three years of study (full-time equivalent) or 180 ECTS

Disciplinary prerequisites

Your background matches the profile of requirements for the desired Master’s degree program and you achieved good to very good performance in your previous studies.

Translations

Documents (e.g., certificates and transcripts) must be submitted in the original language they were originally issued.
For each document that is not issued in German, English, French or Italian, an official translation or, if issued by the university, an English version must also be submitted.


  • Online application form (eApply)
  • Chronological Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Your current (CV) must contain a full and continuous history (no biographical gaps) of your education and work experiences.
  • Matriculation certificate – A copy of your matriculation certificate (e.g., High School Diploma, Diploma of Secondary Education, Abitur, GCE, IB Diploma).
  • University(ies) attended – Official transcript(s) from each university attended
  • For programs still in progress – Enrolment confirmation by your home university stating the study’s duration, the degree program’s name, and the title of the expected degree (title in the original language).
  • For completed programs – A certified copy of your academic degree(s) (e.g., Bachelor Diploma).
  • Diploma Supplement/ HEAR report (Bologna countries) – If issued by your university: A certified copy of your diploma supplement(s)/HEAR report, usually issued in the European educational area and after degree completion.
  • Language certificate – Language certificate(s) according to the language of instruction of the specific Master’s degree program and the language requirements.
  • Passport – A copy of the passport
  • Declaration of consent – Please fill in the declaration of consent (PDF, 787 KB) and upload the signed document to your application account eApply during the application period.
  • Additional documents – Additional documents as required by the respective Master’s degree program.

Language of instruction English
English test Required by the application deadline: Level C1, see Language requirements
GRE General Test Required for students who have not obtained their Bachelor degree diploma in one of the EU/EFTA Member State countries
Letters of recommendation 2 recommendation letters.
Course content information (PDF, 1004 KB) Abstract of course contents of the complete study programme (including courses of which grades are not yet available) in English or German. Additional course descriptions besides those in the online form will not be considered.
Motivation letter The motivation letter gives relevant and interesting insights about yourself and why you chose to apply to the program.
Major/Specialisation 1 Specialisation.

For further information, check the PDF file and the official admission page. 

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

  • 730 CHF/Semester

Living costs for Zurich

  • Living Costs

Funding

Scholarships

For further details regarding scholarships, click here.

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.

Protip

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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