As a result of the Swill Federal Parliament’s law, which mandates the foundation of a polytechnical school in 1854, the Federal Polytechnic School or Polytechnikum was established. The school would later be one of the driving forces behind industrialization in Switzerland and will be renamed Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich in 1911. At present, ETH Zurich is also home to one of the best applied and fundamental research in science and technology and ranks among the top 10 universities in the world.

Since its doors opened in 1855, it has always been popular among international students, and the number of foreign nationals in ETH Zurich has been increasing over the years. For all international students yearning to study but have no idea of the application process and can not afford to pay the university’s tuition, this article will give you an overview of ETH Zurich scholarships and the application process.

International Students at ETH Zurich

For the last ten years, ETH Zurich has consistently had 625 or 20% of their undergraduate programs students with non-Swiss nationality; it only goes higher to Master’s program with 43% and doctoral studies at 73%. There are many resources available at the university to guide all aspiring candidates throughout their application, including the International Student Support and a Handbook for International students.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Tuition Fee for International Students

The tuition fee for Bachelor and Master’s in ETH Zurich is cheap, and it is the same for both domestic and international students at only $800 per semester. Doctorate programs cost higher at $1,600 for every semester. While the fee may be lower compared to the other top schools globally, do note that the cost of living in Switzerland is high, and there are also other additional semestral fees that you need to pay.

International Admissions Guide at ETH Zurich

If you plan to apply to an ETH Zurich undergraduate program, you can only do so before their Autumn semester. The application will run from November 1 to April 30 of the following year for regular, but they can also allow a late application from May 1 to July 31, and you will have to pay a late application fee on top of the regular one. You can still apply even if you still don’t have your documents yet but be sure to submit it before by August-October before the semester starts; otherwise, your application will be invalid. To apply, you must fill up the form from eApply, print it, and submit it to the Admission Office together with all your requirements.

For international undergraduates who aim to pursue higher education with ETH Master’s programs, the application is also through eApply. But before you apply, make sure that you meet the qualifications for the programs you wish to pursue. There would be two application periods; the first is from November 15 to December 15, while the second lasts the whole month of March. You will generally receive the result of your application 2-3 months after.

Application Fee

International applicants will have to pay a higher application fee at $160 for both graduate and undergraduate degrees; however, for late application in the Bachelor’s program, you will have an additional late application fee of $215.

Admissions Requirements at ETH Zurich for International Students

If your documents are not in German, French, Italian, or English, you will need to submit an original and a translated copy of your requirements to apply to undergraduate programs in ETH Zurich. The documents required for application are as follows:

  • Printed application form with a signature from eApply
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Upper secondary school-leaving certificate
  • Transcript of the last three years of school
  • German language certificate
  • Proof of payment
  • For applicants who have already taken an undergraduate study: university transcripts, admission certificated and if available, a university diploma.

In the case of graduate programs, here are the following documents you are required to submit:

  • Official transcripts/ Academic record of an undergraduate study or any equivalent
  • German language certificate
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • GRE test scores
  • Academic portfolio

Prepare your documents early on so you can have a fast and smooth application process.


As a flagship university for Science and Technology, ETH Zurich ranks high among all the tertiary education in Switzerland and globally. For two consecutive years, QS Ranking has awarded the 6th spot to the university in its World University Ranking for 2020 and 2021. Times Higher Education also recognizes the university’s academic excellence giving it the 14th spot among all the world’s universities. It also leads among the top institutions in Geology by QS WUR Ranking By Subject 2021.

ETH Zurich Acceptance Rate

With its highly selective admission process, the estimated acceptance rate in ETH Zurich is not so low at 27%. The university has an average of 20,000 students and gets an application of around a hundred thousand each year from 125 countries. To be accepted, you must have an excellent academic background and a high score on the university’s admission test.

ETH Zurich Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

1. ETH scholarships

While most scholarship available at ETH Zurich is for Master’s programs, ETH scholarship is one of the few internal scholarships available for all deserving students undertaking a Bachelor or a Master’s degree. The scholarship amount varies on the students’ needs, and to compute for that, they have a scholarship calculator that can provide an estimate. For BSc studies, you must have all the first-year exams completed with the 120 credits to be eligible. You can request this ETH Zurich scholarship for international students via the eStip starting from September 1 and ends on July 31. Make sure you submit only the supporting documents such as your parents’ definitive tax return, Evidence of assets Form, Evidence of Transport costs, and the likes, so the Financial Aid Office can assess your financial need.

Since the tuition is less for undergraduate studies, the focus of scholarships at ETH Zurich are students in the graduate programs.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full Tuition Fee + Grant of 12,900 per semester

ETH Zurich has two main scholarship programs for Master’s students: Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP) and ETH-D Scholarship. ESOP covers the living and studying costs throughout the whole 1-2 year duration of the Master’s program, but aside from financial assistance, it also supports students through mentorship and the ETH Foundation network. To be eligible for this ETH Zurich scholarship for international students, you must graduate at the top 10% of your Bachelor’s degree with grades at A level and apply through the eApply portal. Each year, around 60 students become part of the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme.

2. ETH-D Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full Tuition Fee + Grant of $8,000 per semester + Department scholarship of $3,200 per semester + Paid assistantship of $530-$640 per month.

ETH-D scholarship has similar eligibility, the application process, and deadlines with ESOP, but it includes additional financial aid from your department. This ETH Zurich scholarship can total up to $22,500 in Zurich and $25,700 in Bassel per annum. Thirty applicants get awarded per year with their undergraduate standing and a pre-proposal thesis as the basis for selection.

3. Oskar Jeger Scholarship

The Oskar Jeger Scholarship is awarded to master’s students in the field of organic and biological chemistry. Aside from full tuition coverage, scholars also receive CHF 22,000 or around US $23,000.

There are many graduate scholarships in ETH Zurich for international students from both internal and external parties. To learn more about each of them, check this page.


I hope that this article on ETH Zurich scholarships for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!