Switzerland is the best-organized and the most politically and economically stable country in Europe. Its name has become a synonym of high living standards and unquestionable and unconditional supremacy of law. The Swiss may be a bit conservative, but at the same time, they are always ready to help newcomers settle in and feel at home.

Switzerland has got centuries-long traditions in banking, watchmaking, and chocolate-making. At the same time, Swiss universities are among the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in Europe. There are three official languages in Switzerland – German, French and Italian. However, almost all universities in the country offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the English language.

Switzerland IELTS Band Requirements

1. Università Della Svizzera Italiana Lugano

  • IELTS score for undergraduate students: 5.5
  • IELTS score for graduate students: 6.5

Better known as Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), this higher education institution was established in 1995. It is an interesting fact that USI is the only university in Switzerland where the principal language of instruction is Italian.

The university has now got just under 3,000 students that are trained on two main campuses – in Lugano and in Mendrisio. The former houses four faculties – the Faculty of Communication Sciences, the Faculty of Informatics, The Faculty of Economics, and the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

The latter campus houses only the Academy of Architecture. Interestingly, an IELTS score of just 5.5 is enough to secure the applicant admission to one of the university’s several Bachelor’s programs taught in English.

2. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

  • IELTS score for undergraduate students: 6.5
  • IELTS score for graduate students: 7.0

ETH Zurich, also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is the Mecca of Engineering in Switzerland and one of the best schools to pursue a degree in the field in the world. Currently, ETH Zurich as got about 21,000 students and over 35% of them come from abroad.

Surprisingly, an undergraduate applicant can be admitted to ETH even without any certificates of secondary education, provided that they pass the university’s comprehensive entrance exam. ETH Zurich is also world-famous for its numerous graduate and undergraduate programs in Mathematics. Last but not least, this university is the alma mater of Albert Einstein! To enroll at this university in Switzerland, you’ll need an IELTS Band of 6.5 for undergraduate and 7.0 for graduate programs.

3. University of Zurich

Whereas ETH Zurich requires that all applicants produce an IELTS score of at least 7.0 to secure admission to a Master’s program taught in English, its sister school, the University of Zurich, appears to be somewhat less selective, with an IELTS band requirement for its Master’s programs taught in the English language of just 6.5.

Established back in 1833, this currently is the largest university in Switzerland with more than 25,000 students. It is particularly famous for its programs in the field of Law, Mathematics, and Medicine. the English Language and Literature program is the only undergraduate program taught in English.

4. University of Basel

Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is Switzerland’s oldest university and among the world’s oldest surviving higher education institutions. Now, it has got about 13,000 students who pursue their degrees in seven major faculties. Each faculty has got between five and ten departments.

The University of Basel is particularly famous for its programs in the field of Biochemistry. Its Language Training Center can prepare you for the IELTS exam prior to your application for one of the Master’s programs taught in the English language.

5. University of Bern

Established back in 1834, the University of Bern has now developed into eight different campuses with more than 150 faculties altogether. The university has got just over 18,000 students and about 25% of them aren’t Swiss nationals. International students are required to get at least an IELTS Band of 6.5 to get accepted to this university in Switzerland.

The different departments, faculties, and institutes of this university are scattered around the whole city of Bern. The is one of the best schools in Europe to pursue a degree in Humanities, Human Sciences, and Theology. The Master’s program in Climate Sciences is one of the university’s most popular programs taught in English.   

6. University of Lausanne

If you’d like to enroll in a graduate or undergraduate program taught in English at the University of Lausanne, you’ve got to produce an IELTS score of at least 7.0! Thus, this is the most selective higher education institution on our list.

The University of Lausanne is a French-speaking university in Switzerland established in 1537. Now, it has got more than 13,000 students. They are trained in seven different academic faculties and three schools. The university’s main campus spreads on the picturesque shores of Lake Léman, in Dorigny. The university’s most popular program taught in English is the Master of Science in Behavior, Evolution, and Conservation. It is provided by the Faculty of Biology. 

7. The University of St. Gallen

  • IELTS score for undergraduate students: 6.5
  • IELTS score for graduate students: 7.0

The University of St. Galen was established in 1898. It is particularly famous for its programs in Business Administration, Economics, Law, and International Relations. Currently, it has got about 9,000 students and many of them come from English-speaking countries. IELTS Band Requirements at this university in Switzerland are 6.5 and 7.0 for undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively.

The university’s main campus, located atop Rosenberg Hill, is one of the finest examples of Postmodern Architecture in Europe. The University of St. Galen offers a number of Master’s programs taught in the English language. The most popular of these programs is the one in International Management Strategies.


A close look at the IELTS scores listed above reveals that universities in Switzerland are highly selective when it comes to the admission of international candidates to their Bachelor’s and Master’s programs taught in the English language. Of all candidates that are listed above, the University of Lausanne appears to be the most selective, and the  Università della Svizzera Italiana appears to be our least selective candidate.


We hope that this article on IELTS Band Requirements in Switzerland was helpful. To know more about studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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