Structure and contents
The Master in Computational Science (MCS) program is an exciting new approach to understanding complex systems in a broad range of knowledge areas, including the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences, the life sciences, management science and medical science. By integrating computer simulation, mathematical modelling, and data analysis, recent developments in computational science are making possible what was unthinkable only a few years ago. Problems that are inaccessible to traditional experimental and empirical methods can now be addressed thanks to new techniques in algorithmic modelling and the increasing speed of modern computers.
The MCS program combines courses from computer science, mathematics, statistics, and data analysis to build application-oriented competencies in simulation science and data science. Students enrolled in the MCS program acquire valuable and much sought-after analytical skills through direct involvement in modelling projects addressing a wide range of real-world problems spanning many interdisciplinary applications.
The program introduces students to the university's blend of innovative scientific research and real-world applications, thus providing an excellent foundation for a career in industry and science. Students may emphasize numerical software, mathematical modelling, deterministic and probabilistic theory, computer simulation, or data science. Our graduates are ready to pursue professional careers in research, engineering, scientific computing, data science, data and business analytics, computational medicine, and information systems.
For the master's thesis, students can participate in ongoing research projects at the Institute of Computing at the Faculty of Informatics or the Euler Institute. Topics include, e.g., Statistical Computing, High-Performance Computing, Multiscale Modelling, Computational Engineering, Optimization, High-Dimensional Data Analysis and Computational Finance. Interested students will also be given the possibility to participate in ongoing research projects. Elective courses and the master thesis allow students to tailor their learning experience to their individual interests and professional objectives while creating innovative combinations of knowledge across multiple disciplines.
The Master in Computational Science programme consists of four semesters across two years of full-time study (120 ECTS). It offers courses in numerical mathematics and computer science, together with a wide range of more application-oriented courses. It finishes with a master’s thesis in the form of a half–year project worth 30 ECTS, which can be carried out in an industrial or research setting.
With the guidance of the Master Director, students will be encouraged to set up an individual study plan that includes appropriate elective courses. The Master Director will advise and accompany students through the entire two-year course of study.
Mandatory (21 ECTS)
6 6 3 6
Electives (9 ECTS)
3 6 6 6 6 6 3 6 6 6 6 3
Electives (30 ECTS)
6 6 6 6 6
Effective High-Performance Computing & Data Analytics Summer School
4 3 6 3 6 3 3 3 6 6 6
Mandatory (6 ECTS)
Electives (24 ECTS)
3 6 6 6 6 6 3 6 6 3 6 6
Mandatory (24 ECTS)
Electives (6 ECTS)
Advanced Computer Architectures
6 6 6 6 6 6
Effective High-Performance Computing & Data Analytics Summer School
4 6 3 6 3 3 3 6 6
Software Atelier: Simulation, Data Science & Supercomputing
Please be aware that slight changes in the study programme may occur.
Research summer internships for students - UROP Internships
The Faculty of Informatics encourages and promotes the talent of its Bachelor and Master students by offering them summer internships in academic research within the programme Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program - UROP.
Internships are extracurricular and access is on a competitive basis. Students work one-on-one with an advisor to develop a deeper understanding of both the concepts taught during the semester and of the research topic. Students that are considering continuing in academia should seriously consider applying for a UROP position.
All research opportunities for this year are listed here.
See all the job and internship opportunities in the USI Job Bank.
Teaching at the Faculty of Informatics emphasizes close contact between students and staff. Professors are pursuing research on a variety of topics and are active participants in Swiss and international research projects and networks. The Institute of Computing at the Faculty of Informatics aims to train students that are interdisciplinary in approach, with abstract mathematical skills, a sound knowledge in numerical methods, computing and data science, as well as project management and teamwork abilities.
Academic Directors: Prof. Olaf Schenk and Prof. Ernst Wit
The admission to English-language Master programmes at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR) or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
The language certificate must be included in the application package.
We only accept the English qualifications mentioned below. The certificate must still be valid at the point of the application. We generally cannot accept language test results older than three years as of September 1st.
The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
IELTS* 5.5 TOEFL* Computer-based: 183
Cambridge English B2 First TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.
The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.
The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
IELTS* 7.0 TOEFL* Internet-based*: 100 Cambridge English C1 Advanced, grade C or above
BEC (Business English), grade C or above
TOEIC Listening & Reading: 945
*Update 30.01.2023 - Academic Year 2023/24
Certificates obtained by passing the IELTS Academic Online or TOEFL iBT Home Edition tests may also be submitted for admission to the programme.
As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics in Italian.
The Università della Svizzera italiana offers a free of charge Italian language course: further information can be found here.