Study Programs Structure

The Bachelor’s programs at EPFL are centered on three main axes:

  • advanced scientific and theoretical knowledge: guaranteeing a broad-based education that is necessary for an innovative and interdisciplinary approach.
  • practical content: EPFL’s many laboratories, projects and internships let students apply theoretical knowledge and gain practical experience.
  • direct and permanent contact with the research world: ensuring an optimal transfer of the latest skills and technical knowledge.

In addition, courses in humanities and social sciences (SHS) allow students to step back and develop critical thinking skills with regard to social, ethical and environmental implications.

Bsc Program Structure

The first year, called the “propaedeutic”, is dedicated to acquiring basic scientific foundations. You are registered in one of the 15 sections, but at this stage, there are still many sections that give you the possibility fo join another closely related section, once you’ve passed your preparatory exam.

Review Course for first-year students (MAN)

Beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, a full-time Review Course (“Cours de mise à niveau”) will be run during the second semester of the propaedeutical year. First-year students whose average is below 3.5 at the end of the winter semester will be required to take this course. This course will enable students to strengthen their fundamentals in mathematics and physics to restart the propaedeutic year in optimal conditions.

More about the Review Course (French only)

Msc Program Structure

The Master’s programs are based upon, and a continuation of, knowledge acquired at the bachelor’s level. They open doors to careers in both industry and academia. The Master’s Programs offer exceptional flexibility and a large choice of subject matter, making it possible for each student to construct a personalized program of study.

The courseload in the Master’s cycle varies between 90 and 120 credits, depending on the section and specialization chosen (note: 120-credit programs are becoming the norm). You can also opt for a minor which gives a transdisciplinary dimension to your studies. The last semester is dedicated to the Master’s project — a personal research project that culminates the program. The project takes between 4 and 6 months and is done as part of a research project in an EPFL laboratory, in another universtiy or in a company.

Once the Bachelor’s degree is obtained, changing one’s field of study is unusual and not recommended. Nonetheless, it is possible to do so by catching up with appropriate Bachelor’s level subjects.

Degree

At the conclusion of the Master’s program, EPFL delivers the degree:

  • Master of science EPFL (MSc) in the chosen program.

The diploma mentions the professional designation and includes a «diploma supplement» which indicates the specializations you’ve chosen and the list of all courses you took, their level, and the grades obtained.

As the holder of an EPFL Master’s degree, you are authorized to hold the title of EPF Engineer or Architect. Degrees delivered by EPFL are recognized by the OAQ, the accreditation and quality assurance body of Swiss Higher Education. Engineering degrees are also accredited by the CTI (Commission du Titre d’ingénieur) in France, where the title of Engineer is protected.

Degree holders benefit from an excellent international reputation and have many possibilities for careers both inside and outside Switzerland.