Study programme 2023-2025

The study programme consists of four semesters full-time study (120 ECTS). Students select 30 ECTS of foundational courses (over the two years) and 60 ECTS of electives based on their interests, plus a substantial Master's thesis (30 ECTS).

To broaden the student's perspective, in addition to courses from the other master programmes of the Faculty, up to 6 ECTS of electives can be obtained by following any Master course offered at USI.

The students have the possibility to obtain a specialisation by writing the Master's thesis and taking at least 18 ECTS of courses in one of the following areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Systems
  • Geometric and Visual Computing
  • Information Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Software Development
  • Theory and Algorithms


Algorithms & Complexity 6 Autumn
Distributed Systems 6 Autumn
High-Performance Computing 6 Autumn
Machine Learning 6 Autumn
Software Design & Modeling 6 Autumn
Information Security 6 Spring
Advanced Java Programming 6 Autumn
Advanced Topics in Machine Learning 3 Autumn
Artificial Intelligence 6 Autumn
Computer Aided Verification 6 Autumn
Deep Learning Lab 3 Autumn
Distributed Algorithms 6 Autumn
Edge Computing in the IoT 6 Autumn
Mobile and Wearable Computing 6 Autumn
Numerical Algorithms 6 Autumn
Programming Styles 3 Autumn
Software Performance 6 Autumn
User Experience Design 6 Autumn
Advanced Computer Architectures 6 Spring
Advanced Networking 6 Spring
Computational Fabrication 6 Spring
Computer Vision & Pattern Recognition 6 Spring
Data Analytics 6 Spring
Geometric Algorithms 6 Spring
Graph Deep Learning 3 Spring
Image and Video Processing 6 Spring
Information & Physics 3 Spring
Quantum Computing 6 Spring
Robotics 6 Spring
Security Aspects of Machine Learning 3 Spring
Software Analysis 6 Spring
Software Quality & Testing 6 Spring
Electives from other master programmes of the Faculty of Informatics    
MSc in Artificial Intelligence    
MSc in Computational Science    
MSc in Financial Technology and Computing    
MSc in Management & Informatics    
MSc in Software & Data Engineering    
Master Thesis (can be started in the 3rd semester) 30 Spring

Please be aware that slight changes in the study programme may occur.

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  • Language

    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
    Internet-based*: 65
    Paper-based: 513
    Cambridge English B2 First
    TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
    Speaking: 150
    Writing: 160

    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
    Speaking: 180
    Writing: 180


    *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.