Looking to study in Switzerland at one of the 11 universities which offer English Bacherlor’s and Master’s programmes? The university system in Switzerland provides expat-friendly courses, many of which are totally in English. See our list of all Swiss universities, with their history, specialisms and what they can offer to international students.
Universities in Switzerland
University of Bern
Founded in 1834, the University of Bern has been serving the Swiss capital for over 180 years. Rather than a cohesive campus, the university is the city, and the city is the university. The university has over 180 different departments and a student body of 18.000 students. It is famous for its high quality of teaching and providing NASA and the ESA with specialist equipment, even assisting the first landing on the moon.
University of Basel
The University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland, founded officially by the pope in 1460. Specialising in the arts, medicine and sciences, notable alumni include Erasmus, Leonhard Euler, Carl Gustav Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche. The university is now fully independent and often breaks into the Times top 100 list of universities in the world.
University of Fribourg
Founded after the disbanding of a former Jesuit college, the University of Fribourg sits at the heart of the old city. Home to 10.000 students, it is the only university in Switzerland that teaches in both German and French, with some English courses on offer as well. It has five faculties, including humanities, law, theology, science and social science.
University of Geneva
John Calvin, the famous religious thinker founded the University of Geneva in 1559, and since then the university has prided itself on its free thinking and diversity. More the 35 percent of students are non-Swiss. Spread across three campuses, the university maintains a healthy relationship with Genevese institutions, and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU).
University of Lausanne
Forming a vast campus on the shores of lake Geneva, the University of Lausanne imposes itself as one of the oldest and largest in Switzerland. The university has seven facilities and three additional schools, each providing high standards of teaching and warm student life.
University of Neuchâtel
The University of Neuchâtel has 4.000 students and offers high quality courses in French and English. The university was founded in 1866 after the previous school founded by the King of Prussia, Prince of Neuchâtel was disbanded. The university today prides itself on its finance, computer science, law and economics programmes.
University of St. Gallen
Specialising in business, economics, law and international affairs, the University of St. Gallen is well known for its English-speaking courses and large business department. Situated in a Swiss heritage site, the university is ranked as one of the top business and management schools in Europe by the Financial Times.
Università della Svizzera italiana
Situated in the picturesque Ticino region, the Università della Svizzera italiana was established to give higher education to Switzerland’s Italian speaking population. Now with campuses in Lugano, Mendrisio and Bellinzona, the universities offer a diverse range of subjects taught to the highest standard in Italian.
University of Zurich
Imposing itself on the city skyline, the University of Zurich is famed for its research output and diversity of courses. It features regularly in The Times Top 100 universities in the world and now has a student body of over 25.000. With over 5.000 academic and administrative staff, the university provides the tools and expertise required for any degree.
Specializing in natural sciences and engineering, EPFL prides itself on its research, ranking 14th best in the world in 2020. The institute is one of two universities that are government-run and specifically focused on research. Designed to be the sister university to ETH Zurich, the university attracts the top talent from their field, helping to develop fusion reactors and supercomputers.
Home to 22.000 students, ETH Zurich was founded in 1854 to nurture the best Swiss and expat talent. Attached to the University of Zurich, courses specialise in technology, science, and engineering. It is also the only university outside of the UK and USA to feature in The Times and QS Top 10 universities in the world. Alumni include 21 noble prize winners, who have received lectures from famous figures such as Albert Einstein over the years.