Admission to a Bachelor's Program

The University of Zurich offers numerous Bachelors’ degree and study programs. Depending on the faculty and subject area, within a specific degree program you may undertake only one study program (a single-major study program), or combine two study programs (one major and one minor study program). 

You must fulfill the admission requirements to be admitted to a Bachelor’s degree program. Once you have submitted a complete application dossier, it generally takes up to three months to check that you meet these requirements. 

If you are admitted, you can only start your chosen Bachelor’s program once you have met the relevant language requirements, and providing there are no obstacles to your admission.

Admission with a Swiss Matriculation Certificate

Providing there are no obstacles to admission, the following certificates entitle the holder to be admitted to all faculties:

  • federal or Swiss-recognized maturity certificate;
  • maturity certificate from the Federal or Swiss Baccalaureate Commission (Eidgenössische bzw. Schweizerische Maturitätskommission);
  • Bachelor’s degree diploma, Master’s degree diploma, licentiate, diploma or doctorate from a Swiss university, as defined in the Federal Act on the Funding and Coordination of the Swiss Higher Education Sector;
  • degree certificate of a regular degree program lasting at least three years at a university of applied sciences or university of teacher education, as defined in the Federal Act on the Funding and Coordination of the Swiss Higher Education Sector;
  • federal professional maturity certificate or Liechtenstein professional maturity certificate recognized by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), in combination with proof of passing supplementary examinations;
  • specialized maturity certificate recognized in all of Switzerland, in combination with proof of passing supplementary examinations.


Providing there are no obstacles to admission, the following certificates entitle the holder to be admitted to all faculties with the exception of the Faculty of Medicine and the Vetsuisse Faculty:

  • maturity certificate from the Zurich Cantonal Baccalaureate Commission (Zürcher Kantonale Maturitätskommission);
  • certificate of having passed the University of Zurich’s entrance examination;
  • specialized baccalaureate certificate in education (Lehramtsmaturitätszeugnis), and graduation certificate evidencing primary level teacher training at an “Unterseminar” college in the Canton of Zurich;
  • Swiss specialized baccalaureate in education (Schweizerische Lehramtsmaturität) and primary school teaching diploma (Primarlehrerpatent), if total education and training has lasted for at least 12.5 years (at least four of which at a secondary school);
  • teaching diploma for lower secondary level (Sekundarlehrerdiplom or Bezirkslehrerdiplom);
  • certificate of having passed the comprehensive entrance examination for a Federal Institute of Technology, providing it is no more than two years old.


Furthermore, providing there are no obstacles to admission, the commercial maturity certificate awarded by the Canton of Ticino (Attestato cantonale di maturità commerciale) entitles the holder to be admitted to the Faculty of Law and to the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics.

Admission with a Non-Swiss Matriculation Certificate

Non-Swiss Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificate
The following conditions must be fulfilled for the holder of a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate to be admitted to all faculties:

  • The sole educational objective of the upper secondary school was to prepare students to study at university level. In addition, the school-leaving certificate must represent the general higher education entrance qualification in its country of origin.
  • In terms of the educational content and duration of education, the school-leaving certificate must correspond to a Swiss maturity certificate (gymnasialer Maturitätsausweis). Details in this regard can be found in § 16 of the Admission Regulations.
  • Depending on the type of certificate, the University of Zurich may determine that the prospective student must have achieved a minimum overall grade.

A non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate gained in a signatory state to the Lisbon Recognition Convention that corresponds only partly to a Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate in terms of the educational content and duration of education, may still permit the holder admission to Bachelor’s study programs if they are also able to provide evidence that they have successfully completed at least two years of study (in accordance with the standard curriculum for full-time study). This academic achievement must have been earned at a state-accredited university in the relevant higher education area, pursuing a branch of study which is also offered at a Swiss university. Details in this regard can be found in § 17 of the Admission Regulations.
The University of Zurich does not recognize non-Swiss university entrance qualifications gained as the result of both general and vocational education and training, which may entitle the holder to practice a specific profession, even if they constitute a general higher education entrance qualification in their country of origin.

 

Complementary Examination set by the Swiss Higher Education Institutions (ECUS)
Anyone who holds a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate gained in a state which has not signed the Lisbon Recognition Convention must generally also pass the complementary examination set by the Swiss higher education institutions (ECUS) to be admitted to a Bachelor’s study program. 

The complementary examination is held only once a year, in August. Applications can therefore only be considered for the Fall Semester. Students may register for this examination only via the University of Zurich, and only in connection with a present application. 


Proof of Admission
If there is a selective admission procedure for individual study programs or the whole of university study in the state which issued the upper secondary school-leaving certificate (numerus clausus, or an entrance examination, etc.), it must be provided evidence that the school-leaving certificate would entitle its holder to admission to a Bachelor’s program in the corresponding branch of study at a state-accredited university in the country of origin of the school-leaving certificate (proof of admission).

The proof of admission must apply to on-site study and must generally be issued for the same semester for which the prospective student is applying to the University of Zurich.

In the case of a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate gained in a signatory state to the Lisbon Recognition Convention, the absence of proof of admission can be compensated for by passing the complementary examination set by the Swiss higher education institutions (ECUS). The complementary examination is held only once a year, in August. Applications can therefore only be considered for the Fall Semester. Students may register for this examination only via the University of Zurich, and only in connection with a present application. 


Country-Specific Admission Requirements
The swissuniversities website lists, for individual countries, the upper secondary school-leaving certificates and the specific prerequisites under which they permit admission to a Bachelor’s program at the University of Zurich (e.g. range of subjects, proof of admission, ECUS examination, minimum overall grade, evidence of the successful completion of at least two years of study). 

The published admission requirements are updated annually and apply exclusively to the year of study stated on the website. They refer only to upper secondary school-leaving certificates gained in accordance with the currently valid statutory provisions in the country in question. It is also assumed that the entire primary and secondary education has been completed in that country. Other admission requirements may apply in the case of older upper secondary school-leaving certificates, or if the primary and secondary education has been completed in different countries. 

On the swissuniversities website you can also find the admission requirements for the International Baccalaureate and the European Baccalaureate.

Please note that we are unable to conduct individual assessments of upper secondary school-leaving certificates in advance over the telephone, at the counter, or by e-mail, if you have not submitted an application with all of the required application documents.


Admission with a Non-Swiss Higher Education Degree
Apart from a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate, admission to all faculties may also be granted to holders of one of the following higher education degrees:

  • Diploma from a state-accredited non-Swiss university that is recognized by the University of Zurich as equivalent to the corresponding Swiss diploma.
  • Diploma from a non-Swiss university of applied sciences or university of teacher education in a signatory state to the Lisbon Recognition Convention that is recognized by the University of Zurich as equivalent to the corresponding Swiss diploma.

Language Requirements

The main language of instruction for all Bachelor’s study programs is German, although individual modules may be offered in English or in other languages.

Foreign-language applicants must prove that they have the necessary German skills of at least level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Evidence of the necessary German skills must be supplied prior to matriculation at the latest, in the form of a language certificate recognized by the University of Zurich, unless the applicant is exempted under the Regulations on Language Requirements from proving their language proficiency. It is advisable to submit the relevant language certificate with the application.

Obstacles to Admission

Admission to a Bachelor’s program is not possible if one of the following obstacles to admission, or other important grounds, apply:

  • Degree programs at the Faculty of Medicine and the Vetsuisse Faculty are subject to restrictions on admission. A prospective student cannot be admitted if there is no free place. Places are allocated by means of an aptitude test organized by swissuniversities. Please note the relevant application procedure.
  • Admission to a Bachelor’s study program is generally not possible if you have previously completed studies with equivalent academic content.
  • Anyone who has been definitively expelled or barred from one or more study programs at the University of Zurich or at another higher education institution is excluded from admission to the study program in question, and all study programs deemed similar by the faculty concerned, at all academic levels.

Important Information on Applying

  • In the case of many study programs, such as business and economics, informatics, and psychology, it is not possible to begin your studies in the Spring Semester. For many other study programs, a spring start is possible to only a limited extent. Therefore, before applying for the Spring Semester, please consult the relevant program regulations, or the advisory center concerned. All Bachelor’s degree and study programs can be started in the Fall Semester.
  • Before you apply, please find out about the application procedure and documents to be submitted and apply via the application portal. Please be sure to note the application deadlines
  • Please also note that as a rule, only one application per person per semester will be assessed. For this reason we would ask you to please decide on one Bachelor’s degree program, including a study program or programs, and submit only one application at a time (with the exception of applications for an alternative course of study when applying to study medicine). 
  • You will find information on the admission restrictions and the application procedure for a Bachelor’s program in medicine on our website under admission to study medicine.

Entrance Examination

Anyone who does not meet the admission requirements for a Bachelor’s program has the option to take the University of Zurich’s comprehensive entrance examination. The entrance examination is held only once a year. If the examination is passed, the prospective student may begin their studies in the Fall Semester only. 

Passing the entrance examination entitles the successful candidate to be admitted to all faculties at the University of Zurich, with the exception of the Faculty of Medicine and the Vetsuisse Faculty.

Transfer of Credits

If you have already begun your Bachelor’s program at another university and wish to continue your studies at the University of Zurich, once you have received the decision on admission, you can submit an application for the transfer of academic credits to the faculty concerned. 

If you have begun your Bachelor’s program in medicine at another university and wish to continue your studies at the University of Zurich, please note the relevant procedure. Please also note that the number of places is limited. Students are thus able to transfer to the University of Zurich, and also have their academic credits transferred, only in a small number of exceptional cases.