Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most visited countries in Europe by international students which may not be unconnected with the country’s world-class universities that attract countless prospective students looking for quality higher education abroad.
There are Top Universities in Switzerland that provide fully funded scholarships for international students.
Switzerland stands out as one of the world’s top-notch education systems, boasting a remarkable 6th position in the global ranking. The educational system in Switzerland is internationally renowned for its high academic standards, excellent research outputs and student-centered teaching methods.
While some of these Swiss universities may require IELTS test scores for international students, many of them now admit international students and even allow them take up scholarship opportunities without the IELTS requirements.
General Admission Requirements for Swiss Universities
- Admission to a bachelor programme: the main requirement for admission to a bachelor’s study programme is an upper secondary school-leaving certificate considered to be equivalent to the Swiss Matura/Maturité/Maturità. Please note that additional requirements must be met and that admission to undergraduate programmes in the field of medicine is extremely restricted.
- Admission to a master’s programme: the main requirement is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in a specific field of study.
- Admission to a doctoral programme: the main requirement is a master’s degree from an accredited university in a relevant field of study.
- Language requirements: good knowledge of the language of instruction is the prerequisite for successful studies indeed. Check the university profiles for more information on the language of instruction of the different universities.
How to Study in Switzerland without IELTS
If you have already a good English language level, you can write a waiver letter, so you do not have to take the test or present the results. An IELTS waiver letter is a written communication where you ask the admission board to grant you an IELTS waiver. Waiver letter is required if you do not present IELTS scores.
To request a waiver, you must satisfy certain conditions that differ from school to school. Some of the common criteria include the following:
- If English is not your native language, but you have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, and others, where all courses were taken in that country and were taught in English.
- You do not need to request for IELTS waiver or present proof of IELTS if the language of instruction is not English. For instance in some of the Swiss universities, the language of instruction at the bachelor’s level is German.
Note generally that applicants from English-speaking countries or those who have completed their first degree or diploma in a university whose medium of instruction is English do not need to submit IELTS scores. They may be given unconditional offer of admission.
List of Top Universities in Switzerland to Apply Without IELTS
- ETH Zurich –Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
- EPFL, Lausanne
- University of Zurich, Zurich
- University of Bern, Bern
- University of Geneva, Geneva
- Universitat Basel, Basel
- University of Lausanne, Lausanne
- University of St. Gallen
- Swiss Federal Institute, Lausanne
- University of Fribourg
1# ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the top public universities in Zurich, Switzerland ranking at #7 in QS World University Rankings 2024. The university is one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology and is renowned for its cutting-edge research and innovation output.
The main language of communication or teaching at ETH Zurich during Bachelor’s degree studies is German. This means that students will not have to present IELTS test scores when applying for a bachelor’s programme at ETH Zurich.
However, students applying for masters or PhD studies may be required to submit IELTS test scores if the language of instruction in their previous degrees was English.
The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) one of the best universities in Switzerland is a public research university in Lausanne. EPFL, established in 1969 has placed itself as a public research university specializing in engineering and natural sciences.
The university is one of the prestigious universities in the world because of its high quality of education and research.
Admission decisions for both international and domestic students are based on the curriculum of the bachelor’s program, student’s grades, their statement of purpose, the reference letters, the academic reputation of your school and other elements.
Language requirements: Most of he program especially postgraduate (masters and PhD) are taught entirely in English. Therefore, excellent English language skills are required to follow the master’s program in computer science. English language certificates (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) are welcome but not compulsory.
3# University of Zurich (UZH)
The University of Zürich is a public research university located in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. It is the largest university in Switzerland. The university is home to students and staff from over 120 countries with diverse and inspiring learning, research and working environment.
Language requirements: Foreign-language applicants for a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or teaching diploma program must prove that they have a sufficient command of the main language of instruction of the study program in which they wish to enroll.
The main language of instruction for all Bachelor’s degree programs is German. The main language of instruction for most Master’s degree programs is German or English.
4# University of Bern, Bern
The University of Bern is closely associated with the Swiss capital city of Bern. Academic excellence has earned Bern an international reputation. The University offers top quality education as it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines and is ranked #126 in the QS World University Rankings.
It is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the capital city.
Language requirements: Students who are majoring or minoring in English and do not have a TOEFL or IELTS certificate can apply to he university by using ISEP’s Language Proficiency Report. At master’s level, the teaching language is German, English or one or more other languages. For some degree programs, you require a very good command of the English language. However, you may not be required to submit an IELTS test score.
The University is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland and is ranked at #128 in QS World University rankings 2024. It is the second largest university in Switzerland that offers inter-and multidisciplinary fields both in research and teaching with focus on life sciences, physics of elementary particles and astrophysics.
Language requirements: The language of instruction at the University of Geneva is French, even though more and more courses at the Master’s level and in continuing education are offered in English. This means that IELTS is not required as language proof before being offered admission to study in the University.