Study programme

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. 

A specialisation can be obtained by writing the Master's thesis and taking 18 ECTS of courses in one of the following research areas:

  • Computer Systems
  • Geometric and Visual Computing
  • Information Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Theory and Algorithms
Algorithms & Complexity 6 Fall
Distributed Systems 6 Fall
High-Performance Computing 6 Fall
Information Security 6 Spring
Machine Learning 6 Fall
Software Engineering 6 Fall
Advanced Java Programming 3 Fall
Computer Aided Verification 6 Fall
Distributed Algorithms* 6 Fall
Mobile and Wearable Computing 6 Fall
Numerical Algorithms 6 Fall
Programming Styles 3 Fall
Software Performance 6 Fall
User Experience Design 6 Fall
Advanced Computer Architectures 6 Spring
Advanced Networking 6 Spring
Business Process Modeling, Management and Mining 3 Spring
Compiler Construction 6 Spring
Computational Fabrication 6 Spring
Computer Vision & Pattern Recognition 6 Spring
Data Analytics 6 Spring
Geometric Algorithms 6 Spring
Geometric Deep Learning 3 Spring
Information & Physics 3 Spring
Quantum Computing 6 Spring
Robotics 6 Spring
Electives from other master programmes of the Faculty of Informatics    
MSc in Artificial Intelligence    
MSc in Computational Science    
MSc in Software & Data Engineering (selected courses)    
MSc in Management & Informatics    
MSc in Financial Technology and Computing    
Master Thesis (can be started in the 3rd semester) 30 Spring

* The course is not offered in the Academic Year 2019/20.

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

Expand All

  • Language

    Admission to English-language graduate-level (Master) programmes at USI require a good command of the English idiom. Non-English native speakers applying for such programmes, 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 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 FCE (First Certificate English)
    TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
    Speaking: 150
    Writing: 160

    Students admitted under the above mentioned condition (with the exception for the Master in Cognitive Psychology in Health Communication) 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, and 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 CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
    BEC (Business English), grade C or above
    TOEIC Listening & Reading: 945
    Speaking: 180
    Writing: 180


    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.