Study programme 2021-2023

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 (from A.Y. 2021/22)
  • Computer Systems
  • Geometric and Visual Computing
  • Information Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Software Development (from A.Y. 2021/22)
  • Theory and Algorithms


Algorithms & Complexity 6 Autumn
Distributed Systems 6 Autumn
High-Performance Computing 6 Autumn
Information Security 6 Spring
Machine Learning 6 Autumn
Software Engineering 6 Autumn
Advanced Java Programming 6 Autumn
Computer Aided Verification 6 Autumn
Distributed Algorithms 6 Autumn
Mobile and Wearable Computing 6 Autumn
Numerical Algorithms 6 Autumn
Software Performance 6 Autumn
User Experience Design 6 Autumn
Advanced Computer Architectures 6 Spring
Advanced Networking 6 Spring
Business Process Modeling, Management and Mining 3 Spring
Computational Fabrication 6 Spring
Computer Vision & Pattern Recognition 6 Spring
Data Analytics 6 Spring
Geometric Algorithms 6 Spring
Graph 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 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 B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:




    Computer-based: 183
    Internet-based*: 65
    Paper-based: 513

    Cambridge English

    B2 First


    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, 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:​




    Internet-based: 100

    Cambridge English

    C1 Advanced, grade C or above
    BEC (Business English), grade C or above


    Listening & Reading: 945
    Speaking: 180
    Writing: 180

    We only accept the English qualifications mentioned above. The certificate must still be valid at the point of the application. In general, we are not able to accept language test results older than 3 years, as of September 1st.  



    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.

    Academic Year 2022/23

    When do I have to submit my English language certification?

    • Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society / Economics / Informatics
      The language certification should be included in the application package. Exceptions will be made for those who can prove the cancellation of international certificates exam sessions.