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.
Please note: In the case of many study programs, such as business and economics, informatics, psychology and political science, it is not possible to begin your studies in the Spring Semester. For many other study programs, a start in the Spring Semester is possible to only a limited extent.
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
Admission with a non-Swiss Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificate
The following must be fulfilled for the holder of a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate to be admitted to all faculties:
With regard to educational objective, upper secondary school must be designed as a course specifically geared to university studies but not providing subject-specific or vocational training. The upper secondary school-leaving certificate is considered as the general higher education entrance qualification in the higher education sector of the respective country.
The University of Zurich does not recognize non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificates obtained after general education that also provided subject-specific or vocational 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.
In terms of the educational content, the upper secondary school-leaving certificate must correspond to a Swiss maturity certificate (gymnasialer Maturitätsausweis). At least 90% of the education at upper secondary level consists of general education subjects; and in the last three school years of upper secondary school, at least six separately identified subjects according to the following list have been taken continuously:
1. First language: The respective first language (main language, not a foreign language);
2. Second language: A foreign language;
3. Mathematics: Mathematics;
4. Natural sciences: Biology, chemistry, or physics
5. Arts and social sciences: History, geography, or economics/law;
6. Additionally: Informatics; or philosophy; or a further subject from one of the following categories: 2, 4 or 5.
Details can be found in § 16 para. 2 of the Admission Regulations.
In terms of the duration of education, the upper secondary school-leaving certificate must correspond to a Swiss maturity certificate (gymnasialer Maturitätsausweis). Details can be found in § 16 para. 3 of the Admission Regulations.
Depending on the type of certificate, a minimum overall grade determined by the University of Zurich may also have to be achieved.
A non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate gained in a signatory state to the Lisbon Recognition Convention that only partially corresponds to a Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate in terms of educational content and duration may nevertheless allow admission to a Bachelor’s program, provided that proof of at least two successfully completed years of study (in accordance with the standard curriculum for full-time study) is also presented. This academic achievement must have been earned at a state-accredited university in the relevant higher education sector, pursuing a branch of study which is also offered at a Swiss university. Details can be found in § 17 of the Admission Regulations.
Complementary Examination set by the Swiss Higher Education Institutions (ECUS)
Holders of a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate from a country that has not signed the Lisbon Recognition Convention must, as a rule, also pass the complementary examination of the Swiss higher education institutions (ECUS) in order to be admitted to a Bachelor’s program.
The complementary examination is only held once a year in August. Corresponding applications are therefore only possible for the Fall Semester. Registration for this examination can only be made via the University of Zurich as part of an existing application.
Proof of Admission
If a non-Swiss upper secondary school-leaving certificate entitles the holder to access to university studies but not automatically to admission to all university studies in the relevant state education system, it must be proven that a Bachelor’s program in the relevant branch of study could be taken up at a state-accredited university in the higher education sector of the relevant country.
The proof of admission must apply to on-site study and, as a rule, must be issued for the semester for which a person is applying to the University of Zurich.
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). These are concretizations of the aforementioned requirements.
The published admission requirements are updated annually and apply exclusively to the year of study indicated 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's education system. 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 or education systems.
Please note that we are unable to conduct individual assessments of upper secondary school-leaving certificates in advance over the telephone 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 (at least Bachelor's degree) from a state-accredited non-Swiss university that is recognized by the University of Zurich as equivalent to the corresponding Swiss diploma.
Diploma (Bachelor's degree) 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.
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.
Foreign-language applicants who, according to the country-specific admission requirements, have to attend the Complementary Examination set by the Swiss Higher Education Institutions (ECUS), usually acquire the required language certificate as part of the ECUS examination. A waiver of the ECUS partial examination German is only possible if a recognized German language certificate is available at the time of registration for the ECUS examination (15 June). Registration for the ECUS examination can only be made via the University of Zurich.
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, and informatics, it is not possible to begin your studies in the Spring Semester. For many other study programs, a start in the Spring Semester 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.
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.
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.