The University of Zurich, also referred to as UZH, was founded in 1833 and began its history with just 161 students and 55 instructors. It was the first university in Europe that was founded in a democratic state rather than by a monarchy or by the Church. UZH is the largest university in Switzerland and offers the widest range of subjects of any Swiss higher education institution.

Today, the University of Zurich is home to almost 28,000 students and a workforce of over 9,000. Their mission is to work towards serving the public better by contributing to research and providing the best quality of education through exceptional teachers. As a community, UZH promotes an environment that is equal, non-discriminating, and transparent. In this article, we will be looking at the University of Zurich scholarships for international students.

International Students

Switzerland should definitely be on your check-out list if you are planning to study abroad— nearly 40% of their enrolled students are international. At the University of Zurich, from a total of over 26,000 students recorded in 2019, almost 4,500 or 18% of those are non-Swiss enrollees.

Most of this international population are from Germany and the rest are from all over the world. Aside from the beautiful country of Switzerland that in itself can easily attract foreigners, what UZH has to offer is its world-class programs and its focus on research, and the highest standard of teaching. The University takes pride in its diversity and sees it as one of the institution’s main strengths.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Tuition Fee for International Students

The semestral tuition fee for international undergraduate enrollees at UZH totals CHF 1,274 or approximately $1,400. For students taking their Master’s degree, their tuition amounts to CHF 820 or roughly $891. Doctoral student tuition is at CHF 250 or around $270. This includes the base tuition, the surcharge for international and/or graduate students, and mandatory semestral contributions. For the exact breakdown of fees, students may visit UZH’s Fees and Contributions page.

International Admissions Guide at the University of Zurich

The initial step to getting into the University of Zurich is deciding on which of the many programs they offer you are keen to take. Depending on the faculty and subject area, students may take a single major or combine two— one major and one minor study program. The applicant may then start processing and submitting their requirements, which usually takes three months for the university to review and confirm.

It is important to note that all Bachelor’s and the majority of graduate programs are taught in English, so before the student can start their studies in UZH, they must have also already met the language requirements. Although individual modules may be offered in English or any other language, all foreign-language applicants are required to prove that they have a German skill of at least C1.

Visit the university’s Application and Admission page to review the complete admissions process. UZH has also provided a guide on securing a visa on their International Students — Entry and Residence page.

Application Fee

The application fee for both undergraduate and graduate applicants at UZH is CHF 100 or roughly $110.

Admissions Requirements for International Students

The main language of instruction for all bachelor’s programs and most graduate programs in the University of Zurich is German, so one of the most important requirements that must be met by all international applicants is a German language proficiency score of C1 or higher.

For undergraduate enrollees, they must submit their secondary school diploma that is equivalent to a Swiss maturity certificate. Specific subjects and a minimum overall grade are also required and vary per country of origin. Applicants may view the complete list of requirements per country here.

If the candidate is not able to meet the admissions requirements, they have the option to take UZH’s entrance examination and can proceed if they pass the exam. Refer to the university’s Admission to a Bachelor’s Program page for further guidance on the admissions process and requirements.

For graduate students, the requirements are categorized into two: formal admission and academic admission requirements. Formal admission requirements include the student’s bachelor’s diploma for master’s applicants, or master’s diploma if they are applying for a Ph.D. degree. Academic admission requirements vary depending on the faculty the student is going for. This covers the minimum grade requirement, skillset, and other qualifications the candidate has to offer. Visit this page for the complete list of requirements.


As the largest and one of the oldest universities in Switzerland, the University of Zurich has steadily top-ranked and created such a reputation of being a leading institution both countrywide and worldwide. To name a few, UZH was ranked #56 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, #76 by QS Rankings, #73 by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and #58 by the US News and World Report Best Universities Rankings.

Taking a closer look into the university’s programs, some of their faculties have also been highly ranked throughout the years. In 2020 by QS Rankings, Veterinary Sciences was placed at #8, Anatomy and Physiology at #11, Dentistry at #12, and Communications and Media Studies at #18.

Acceptance Rate

The estimated overall acceptance rate at the University of Zurich is 47%, while the rate for international students come lower at 27%. Acceptance at the university is heavily based on the applicant’s academic standing and some other qualifications for certain programs.

University of Zurich Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

The University of Zurich currently does not offer scholarships to international undergraduate students.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship is open to foreign researchers who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Switzerland. Through this, the Swiss government aims to promote international relations and research cooperation with other nationalities. This University of Zurich scholarship has two types— research and art scholarships.

The research scholarship is available to applicants who must have already completed their master’s degree, while those wanting to pursue arts may hold only an undergraduate diploma. The selection of grantees is based on the applicant’s profile, quality of research project or artistic work, and potential for future research cooperation.

2. Ph.D. Scholarship

International students taking their Ph.D. at the University of Zurich may apply for the Ph.D. Scholarship, which can cover their full tuition for up to 36 months. Applications go through a total of three deliberations, first by national authorities and/or by the Swiss diplomatic representation, next by the professors of Swiss universities, and lastly by the Federal Commission for Scholarships.

Once the University of Zurich scholarship recipients have been selected, the student must be able to secure the commitment of a professor to supervise their studies and projects during their stay at the university.

Note that before applying for the Ph.D. Scholarship, the student must have already received confirmation from UZH that they are successfully admitted to a program. A few criteria and requirements must also be met and submitted alongside the scholarship application itself.

Explore the University of Zurich’s International Scholarship Center to see the other scholarships at the University of Zurich you may be qualified to apply for.


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