A Graduate Level Guide to Switzerland

Benefits of a Graduate Education from Switzerland

Switzerland often flies under the radar when it comes to its education system, but there is no denying that it is a lucrative country for international students wanting to pursue a higher education. Switzerland has a long tradition of prestigious academic institutions and boasts of some of the best universities in the world. It also offers a diverse culture and population, a high standard of living, unparalleled natural beauty and a stable economy, all of which are aspects that are attractive to international students. All these factors make Switzerland an option worth considering, for students wanting to complete a Master’s degree. 

Best Universities in Switzerland

Switzerland has a long and prestigious academic tradition and is home to many universities that are ranked highly on a global level. Students contemplating a postgraduate education in Switzerland must consider various criteria – such as its world ranking, the subjects it offers as well as research and career opportunities it offers – before choosing the most suitable university for themselves. Here are some of the most well known, highly ranked universities in Switzerland: 


  1. Swiss Federal Polytechnique School – Located in Zurich, this public university was established in 1855 and is considered one of the top universities for postgraduate study in Switzerland. The university offers various degrees in fields like architecture, technology, science, management, etc. but it is most renowned for its programmes in science and technology. 
  2. Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) – Another university specialising in scientific fields, EPFL is a public university located in Lausanne. It offers a variety of programmes in fields like natural sciences, engineering, communication, technology, etc. and is known to be a research-oriented institution. 
  3. University of Zurich – A publicly funded university in Zurich, this institution is one of the most sought-after places for international students in Switzerland. The University of Zurich also has a collection of some of the most diverse courses, in fields like economics, finance, law, medicine, etc. 
  4. University of Geneva – One of the best universities for Master’s, the University of Geneva is also a publicly funded university that is situated in Geneva. Known for its programmes in humanities and social sciences, some popular specialisations it offers are economics, European studies, political science, speech therapy, etc. 
  5. University of Bern – Situated in Hochschulstrasse, Bern, this university is known for developing research abilities in students. It offers a diverse range of programmes ranging from artificial intelligence to business administration to psychology. 

Requirements for Master’s Courses in Switzerland

Securing admission in Swiss universities can be challenging given their high standard of education and the academic rigour they demand from their students. The requirements for a Master’s course in Switzerland differ from university to university, especially depending on the subject and programme one is applying for. However there are some basic requirements that most students have to fulfil before being able to pursue a postgraduate education in Switzerland. 


The first and foremost requirement for any Master’s degree is a Bachelor’s degree. A student must have completed their undergraduate study in a relevant field and must have achieved grades that match university criteria. Furthermore, during admission for some programmes, Swiss universities also require students to take some examinations such as the GRE or the GMAT. Apart from that, having completed language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS can also be a requirement for some universities. Having a few years of work experience is always an advantage and can increase one’s chances of getting into a good Swiss university. 


Financial Aid

Even though it is small in size and population, Switzerland has a stable and thriving economy. This means that it can contribute a large amount of public finance to the development and maintenance of its universities. Since most Swiss universities are publicly funded, their tuition fees are relatively low, as compared to fees in other private European universities or even institutes in America. Fees in Switzerland can range from as little as 1000 Euros per year to about 7000 Euros per year, depending upon the university and programme chosen by the student. 

Apart from having relatively low tuition fees, Swiss universities also offer various scholarships that are specifically meant for international students. These scholarships are usually either need-based or merit-based and have different eligibility criterias depending on the institutes. The government also has a scholarship programme which offers handsome scholarships to foreign students from certain countries. All in all, Swiss universities are very welcoming towards international students and to that end, offer various types of financial aid.


Switzerland is a wonderful option for international students wishing to pursue a Master’s degree. With prestigious universities, scenic nature, a high standard of living and a stable economy, this country is a dream for aspiring students. Switzerland is home to various highly ranked universities like the Swiss Federal Polytechnique School , University of Zurich, University of Bern, etc. and is known for research and innovation in the fields of science and technology. Furthermore, most universities here are publicly funded, and therefore have low tuition fees. They also offer scholarships and other financial aid to international students. 

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