Language Requirements for German/English

Applicants to a Bachelor's degree program or a Master's degree program as well as applicants to the teacher training program must supply proof of competence in the language of instruction if their first (or main) language is not the language of instruction in their chosen study programs. At the University of Zurich, the languages of instruction are German and/or English. Proof of language proficiency of level C1 or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) must be submitted. A list of recognized language certificates is available below.

For acceptance to the University as of Spring Semester 2018, the prevailing legal basis is the regulation on language requirements in the language of instruction dated 25 April 2017 (Reglement über die sprachlichen Anforderungen in der Unterrichtssprache, in German only).

Exemption to providing proof of language competence is granted to holders of a Swiss Matura or vocational school-leaving certificate with the “Passarelle”, holders of a Bachelor's degree from UZH, and holders of several certificates confirming other educational backgrounds (cf. regulation named above).

Recognized German Certificates

The following certificates for German are recognized by UZH and correspond to level C1 or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):

Neues Goethe-Zertifikat C1 (examination from September 2007)

Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom

Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung des Goethe-Institutes

Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom des Goethe-Institutes

Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom des Goethe-Institutes

Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber an Deutsche Universitäten, class 2 or 3

Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK), level II

Zertifikat telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule

TestDaF with an average grade of TDN 4 and at least TDN 3 in all sub-tests

Österreichisches Sprachdiplom, Oberstufe Deutsch, level C1

Österreichisches Sprachdiplom, Wirtschaftssprache Deutsch, level C2

Deutschprüfung UZH (conducted in the spring semester 2018 for the last time)

Recognized English Certificates / Degree or Study Programs in English

Students in the Master's degree programs and study programs offered in English (see list) must submit proof of competence in English:

  • Master of Law UZH Double Degree (General Studies), Master of Law UZH Double Degree (European and International Law), and Master of Law UZH Double Degree (International Business Law)
  • All Master’s study programs at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics with the exception of Business Administration
  • All Master’s study programs at the Faculty of Science
  • All Master’s study programs in English Linguistics and/or Literature

The following certificates for English are recognized by UZH and correspond to level C1 or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):

Certificate Necessary number of points
or title of certificate
IELTS Academic 7
TOEFL* - paper-based 600
TOEFL* - computer-based 250
TOEFL* - Internet-based 100
Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) CPE
Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) CAE


* TOEFL Score Reports are accepted only if sent to us by ETS (institution code: 0348).