University of Zurich Admissions and Scholarships: A Complete Guide


University of Zurich Admissions and Scholarships: A Complete Guide

The University of Zurich (UZH) is one of Switzerland’s leading educational institutions, attracting students from around the globe with its high academic standards and diverse programs. If you’re considering applying to UZH, understanding the admissions process and available scholarships is crucial. This guide provides comprehensive information to help you navigate the journey to becoming a part of the UZH community.

Admissions Process

The admissions process at the University of Zurich varies depending on whether you are applying for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program. Here’s a step-by-step overview:

1. Choosing Your Program

Before you begin your application, it’s essential to choose the program that best suits your interests and career goals. UZH offers a wide range of programs across seven faculties, including Theology, Law, Business, Economics, Medicine, Arts and Social Sciences, and Science. Each faculty has its specific entry requirements and procedures.

2. Meeting the Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Programs: For undergraduate admissions, international students need to have a secondary school leaving certificate that is equivalent to the Swiss Matura. Additionally, proficiency in German is often required since many undergraduate programs are taught in German. The university accepts language proficiency certificates such as TestDaF or the Goethe Certificate.
  • Master’s Programs: For master’s programs, applicants must hold a recognized bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some programs may require specific prerequisites or a certain grade point average. English proficiency might be necessary for programs taught in English, evidenced by tests like TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Doctoral Programs: Admission to a doctoral program generally requires a master’s degree in a related field. Prospective doctoral students should also identify a faculty member who can supervise their research and submit a research proposal.
3. Application Process

The application process involves several steps:

  • Online Application: Applications are typically submitted through UZH’s online portal. You’ll need to create an account, fill in your personal and academic details, and upload required documents such as transcripts, certificates, and proof of language proficiency.
  • Application Fee: There is usually an application fee that needs to be paid online.
  • Deadlines: It’s crucial to pay attention to application deadlines, which vary depending on the program. Generally, applications for the fall semester are due in late February, and those for the spring semester in late September.
  • Additional Requirements: Some programs may require additional documents like a motivation letter, CV, or letters of recommendation.
4. Review and Admission Decision

After submission, your application will be reviewed by the admissions office and the relevant faculty. This process can take several weeks. Successful applicants will receive an offer of admission via email, which they must accept to confirm their place at the university.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Studying at UZH can be financially demanding, but there are several scholarships and financial aid options available to help students manage costs.

1. University of Zurich Scholarships
  • Excellence Scholarships: UZH offers the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Program (ESOP) for master’s students. This scholarship covers living expenses and tuition fees and is awarded based on academic merit. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding academic performance and submit a detailed application including a personal statement and letters of recommendation.
  • Faculty-Specific Scholarships: Some faculties at UZH offer their own scholarships. For example, the Faculty of Science provides scholarships for students who excel academically. It’s important to check the specific faculty websites for details.
2. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

The Swiss Government offers scholarships to international students from various countries. These scholarships support postgraduate researchers and include tuition fees, a monthly stipend, health insurance, and housing allowance. Interested applicants should contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country for more information.

3. External Scholarships

Several external organizations provide scholarships to students studying in Switzerland. These include:

  • Erasmus+: This European Union program offers funding for students participating in exchange programs within Europe.
  • DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service): Offers scholarships for German students and international students wishing to study in Germany or Swiss universities.
4. Financial Aid and Part-Time Work

In addition to scholarships, students can explore other financial aid options:

  • Student Loans: While less common in Switzerland, some banks and financial institutions offer student loans with favorable terms.
  • Part-Time Work: International students in Switzerland can work up to 15 hours per week during the semester and full-time during semester breaks. UZH has a job portal where students can find part-time job listings.
5. Budgeting and Cost of Living

It’s important to budget for living expenses, which in Zurich can be high. On average, students might need CHF 1,500 to CHF 2,000 per month to cover housing, food, insurance, and other expenses. Creating a detailed budget plan can help manage finances effectively.

Preparing for Your Studies

Once admitted and securing financial support, there are a few additional steps to prepare for your studies at UZH:

  • Visa and Residence Permit: Non-EU/EFTA students will need a student visa and residence permit. It’s essential to start this process early, as it can take several weeks.
  • Accommodation: Finding housing in Zurich can be competitive. UZH offers some student housing, but it’s also a good idea to look at private rentals and shared apartments.
  • Language Preparation: If your program requires German proficiency, consider taking language courses before arriving. UZH also offers German language courses for international students.


The University of Zurich offers a wealth of opportunities for students seeking a world-class education. By understanding the admissions process and exploring available scholarships, prospective students can take informed steps towards achieving their academic and career goals. With careful planning and preparation, you can embark on an enriching journey at one of Europe’s leading universities.

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