Admission Criteria & Application

Application

You already understood the admission criteria and woud like to apply for a program? Then read about the detailed application procedure and access the online application portal from mid-January to the 30th of April:

OVERVIEW OF THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Admission criteria

The indications on this page do not constitute a legal basis. Legal texts are the only reference. The criteria are valid for the ongoing year.

The specific admission criteria for applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate (maturity, baccalaureate, Abitur, Advanced Levels, etc.) and for those having begun or completed a study program in a higher-education institution are detailed under the following headings:

Swiss high-school maturité certificate

All holders of a Swiss high-school maturité certificate recognized by the Confederation will be admitted at EPFL in 1st year in their Bachelor’s program of choice, under no other condition. Go to requested documents >

Swiss professional or specialized maturité

Holders of a Swiss professional maturité or a Swiss specialized maturité will not be admitted in 1st year directly. They are accepted in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales, within the places available.

N.B. All candidates fill in the same application form.

MORE ABOUT THE CMS

Upper secondary school certificates from a country that is a member of EU or EFTA

Applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate from a country that is a member of EU or EFTA (other than Switzerland) are accepted in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs provided that their title fulfils all of the following conditions:

  • the final grade average is 80% or more of the maximum grade
  • the completed certificate is a pre-University title granted on the basis of a general education
  • the completed certificate is in a scientific stream (should streams be offered by the country granting the certificate); – the following subjects are part of the certificate: 1) mathematics, 2) physics, 3) national language of the country granting the certificate, and 4) second modern language
  • at least three of the following subjects are part of the certificate and/or the transcripts of the upper secondary studies: 1) applied mathematics or computer science, 2) chemistry or biology, 3) general geography, 4) general history, and 5) third modern language.

Should admission not be automatic in the universities of the country granting the certificate, a document attesting admission to a University stream of study close to the fields taught at EPFL in a University in the country granting the certificate, valid for the coming academic year, is required as a supplement.

For more details regarding the application of these criteria, please check the page about your country of education (‘EPFL’ heading) in the ‘Countries’ section of the swissuniversities website.

EPFL considers that level B2 in French (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required to follow its Bachelor’s programs. Level C1 is highly recommended. Foreign applicants holding a school certificate from a non-francophone country will need to attest their level upon application.

Applicants who reside in Switzerland for a professional reason (because they work in Switzerland or because they live with parents who work in Switzerland) at the time of their application are accepted in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs with a final grade average 70% or more of the maximum grade. All other conditions remain unchanged and must be fulfilled.

Swiss applicants can be accepted, following the evaluation of their application and within the places available, in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales with a final grade average below 80% of the maximum grade, unless they reside in Switzerland for a professional reason (because they work in Switzerland to because they live with parents who work in Switzerland).

Upper secondary school certificates from a country that is not a member of EU nor EFTA

Applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate from a country that is not a member of EU nor EFTA can be accepted, following the evaluation of their application and within the places available, in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales, provided that their title fulfils all of the following conditions:

  • the final grade average is 80% or more of the maximum grade
  • the completed certificate is a pre-University title granted on the basis of a general education
  • the completed certificate is in a scientific stream (should streams be offered by the country granting the certificate); – the following subjects are part of the certificate: 1) mathematics, 2) physics, 3) national language of the country granting the certificate, and 4) second modern language
  • at least three of the following subjects are part of the certificate and/or the transcripts of the upper secondary studies: 1) applied mathematics or computer science, 2) chemistry or biology, 3) general geography, 4) general history, and 5) third modern language.

For more details regarding the application of these criteria, please check the heading for your country of education in the PDF document ‘Conditions to apply for admission to the Cours de mathématiques spéciales at EPFL’. Holders of an upper secondary school certificate from a country that is not a member of EU nor EFTA and does not appear in that document can only be accepted through the Entrance exam.

EPFL considers that level B2 in French (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required to follow its Bachelor’s programs. Level C1 is highly recommended. Foreign applicants holding a school certificate from a non-francophone country will need to attest their level upon application.

Swiss applicants can be accepted, following the evaluation of their application and within the places available, in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales with a final grade average below 80% of the maximum grade.

European Baccalaureate from EURSC.eu

Applicants holding a European Baccalaureate from EURSC.eu are subject to the same criteria as applicants holding an upper secondary school certificate from a country that is a member of EU or EFTA (other than Switzerland).

International Advanced Levels and Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants holding ‘International Advanced Levels’ (Cambridge International Advanced Levels from CIE.org.uk, Edexcel International Advanced Levels from Pearson.com, or Oxford International Advanced Levels from OxfordAQAExams.org.uk) without any state accreditation or Cambridge pre-U can only be accepted through the Entrance exam.

International Baccalaureate from IBO.org

Applicants holding an International Baccalaureate from IBO.org are accepted in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs provided that their title fulfils all of the following conditions:

  • the total number of points scored is 38 or more out of 42 (excluding bonus points)
  • the following subjects were followed at HL level: 1) mathematics, 2) physics, and 3) first modern language (this last subject may be replaced by a subject of the ‘language A’ type at SL level)
  • at least three of the following subjects were followed at SL (or HL) level: 1) applied mathematics or computer science, 2) chemistry or biology, 3) general geography, 4) general history, and 5) second modern language.

Applicants holding an International Baccalaureate from IBO.org can be accepted, following the evaluation of their application and within the places available, in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales with a total number of points scored between 32 and 37 out of 42 (excluding bonus points). All other conditions remain unchanged and must be fulfilled.

Swiss applicants holding an International Baccalaureate from IBO.org can be accepted, following the evaluation of their application and within the places available, in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales with a total number of points below 32 out of 42 (excluding bonus points).

EPFL considers that level B2 in French (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required to follow its Bachelor’s programs. Level C1 is highly recommended. Foreign applicants holding an International Baccalaureate from IBO.org will need to attest their level upon application.

Bachelor’s degree from a Swiss HES

Applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree (or other equivalent title) from a Swiss HES are accepted with no condition in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs, except in streams of study close to the field of the previously obtained degree.

Other higher education in Switzerland or abroad

Applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree (or other equivalent title) from a Swiss EPF, cantonal University or HEP are accepted with no condition in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs, except in streams of study close to the field of the previously obtained degree.

Applicants holding a Master’s degree (or other equivalent title) from a Swiss EPF or cantonal University are accepted with no condition in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs.

Applicants holding a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (or other equivalent title) from a foreign University, of a level equivalent to EPFL titles, can be accepted with no condition, following the evaluation of their application, in the first year of the Bachelor’s programs.

Applicants who have successfully completed at least one year in a University stream of study equivalent to those taught at EPFL can apply for admission, following the evaluation of their application, in the second year of a Bachelor’s program in a field close to the previously begun stream, provided that they also fulfil the requirements for admission to the first year or the CMS. Should they be accepted, these applicants will be accepted either in the first year or in the second year with or without restrictions, following the analysis of their application.

Applicants who are currently successful at ETHZ in a field offered in both Swiss EPFs are accepted without restrictions in the upper semester of the Bachelor’s program in the same field at EPFL.

Admission in the second or third year of a Bachelor’s program is granted for a specific field. Transfer to another field is in principle not allowed. Applicants accepted in the second or third year are additionally not eligible to study at another University during the third year of their Bachelor’s program (academic mobility).

EPFL considers that level B2 in French (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required to follow its Bachelor’s programs. Level C1 is highly recommended. Foreign applicants holding a school certificate or diploma from a non-francophone country will need to attest their level upon application.

Restrictions and rules of non-admissibility

Applicants who do not hold an upper secondary school certificate or who have not begun or completed a study program in a higher-education institution can only be accepted through the Entrance exam.

Individuals of age 25 or older or who have already begun or completed a study program in a higher-education institution or in a preparatory (or ‘foundation’) course cannot in principle be accepted in the Cours de mathématiques spéciales. They may however register for the Entrance exam.

Individuals who already hold a Bachelor’s degree (or other equivalent title) cannot be accepted in Bachelor’s streams close to the field of the previously completed program.

Individuals who have left a University stream of study close to the fields taught at EPFL, without having successfully completed it, will be rejected or accepted with restrictions following the analysis of their application.

Individuals who have left a University stream of study close to the fields taught at EPFL, after having definitely failed it or been excluded, cannot be accepted. An absence of success over a period of two years in the same stream is treated like a definitive failure.

Individuals who have left more than one University stream of study, regardless of the fields of study, without having successfully completed it or after having definitely failed it or been excluded, cannot be accepted.

Individuals who cannot be accepted after having left one or several University stream(s) of study, without having successfully completed it or after having definitely failed it or been excluded, also cannot register for the Entrance exam.