Students who have, in another university or university of applied sciences in Switzerland or abroad, exceeded the number of failed examinations permitted by the Study Regulations, and have as a result been rejected by that university, shall not be admitted to study in the same Faculty or field of study (Admission and Matriculation Regulations, Art. 6).
Swiss diplomas, awarded in Switzerland
- Maturità federale and Maturità cantonale recognised by the appropriate Federal Commission;
- Maturità commerciale cantonale (Scuola cantonale di commercio, Bellinzona);
- Final diploma from a university of applied sciences or diploma of a technical college recognised by the appropriate federal authorities: in these cases, where the field of study selected is the same as the previous one, the single Faculties may recommend admitting candidates to an advanced level of the programme and exempt them from particular examinations or from the internship period.
- School-leaving certificates issued by Swiss schools abroad are equally accepted.
Applicants in possession of foreign secondary education and/or of a foreign university diploma considered to be equivalent are admitted to the undergraduate programme. As a rule, reference is made to the guidelines of the University Admissions Commission of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (swissuniversities). Where equivalence cannot be unequivocally defined, candidates may be invited to attend an interview or to sit a test, and supplementary, pre-university courses may be prescribed.
Secondary education (or high school) diplomas conferred by the following types of schools are considered equivalent and therefore acknowledged for admission to the Bachelor programmes:
- Classical Gymnasium (or Lyceum);
- Scientific Lyceum;
- Language Lyceum;
- Social sciences (or Humanities) Lyceum.
The following secondary education diplomas are also considered equivalent:
- Arts Lyceum limited to the Bachelor programmes in Architecture and in Italian language, literature and culture;
- High school degree in Administration, Finance and Marketing, conferred by a vocational high school (or trade school in economics), limited to the Bachelor programmes in Economics, Communication and Informatics;
- High school degree in Informatics and Telecommunications, conferred by a vocational-technical high school, limited to the Bachelor in Informatics.
All other secondary education diplomas conferred by high schools or vocational high schools are not deemed equivalent. Exceptions can be taken into consideration for similar subject areas of study and upon fulfilment of the guidelines of the Admissions' Commission at swissuniversities (formerly CRUS, or Rector's Conference of the Swiss Universities).
With concerns to degrees conferred prior to the implementation of the current set of rules and regulations, the convergence tables for secondary education programmes, as foreseen by the previous regulatory system for the high school and vocational high school system, shall apply. However, diplomas conferred by teacher training schools, professional art schools and all other four-year secondary education schools will not be acknowledged.
As to qualifications awarded in other countries:
- The European Baccalaureat is considered to be equivalent whereas the International Baccalaureat is accepted as a suitable equivalent only if the final average grade is above a certain class. More information is available on the swissuniversities' website.
- A US High School final diploma is not recognised as equivalent to the required certificate of secondary education. US applicants seeking admission to USI must submit evidence of having studied for 2 years in a recognised university, or have passed 5 (five) APT (Advanced placement tests) with a minimum mark of 3, in two languages, mathematics, a natural science, and a history. Please refer to the appropriate guidelines issued by the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities (swissuniversities).
Mature students (‘su dossier’)
Candidates aged 25 or more, although not in possession of the required certificate of secondary education, may be admitted if their previous training and work experience (appropriately documented in their application file) is considered to be sufficient and relevant.