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Work-study Bachelor’s degree programme

"The PiBS program offers just the right balance: On one hand, studying is a lot of fun for me; I have nice fellow students and lecturers at ZHAW - and at my workplace, I engage in exciting projects where I can directly apply what I've learned from my studies."

Laura Leiser, PiBS graduate in Computer Science

You have the school-leaving certificate, are interested in technology, and would like to study at a university of applied sciences without having to first complete a twelve-month internship? The work-study Bachelor’s degree programme offers you this opportunity by combining theory with professional experience. The students acquire practical experience in a company alongside a four-year Bachelor programme – which is adjusted to match the course content.

The ZHAW School of Engineering offers the work-study Bachelor’s degree programme in all courses of study. Aviation, Data ScienceElectrical Engineering, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Medical InformaticsSystems Engineering, Transport Systems, Industrial Engineering.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the work-study Bachelor’s degree programme, you must have a secondary school matriculation (in German, “gymnasiale Maturität”) and a training contract (= internship contract) with a company. 

To apply for an internship position, it is important that you independently apply to one of our partner companies and go through the standard application process of the respective company. Please note that you should not apply through the provided links. Instead, we kindly ask you to request the contact details of the company directly through our program secretariat at the email address There, you will receive the necessary information to submit your application. We would also like to inform you that the application period for the autumn semester begins every year in January.

The registration for the degree programme must be submitted to the degree programme secretariat by April 30. The signed training agreement must be submitted by July 31.

Attention: The secondary school graduates (Matura holders) who can already demonstrate one year of work experience in any career related to the field of study meet the admission conditions for the regular Bachelor's degree program and are therefore not admitted to the work-study Bachelor’s degree programme. 

“The combination of study and work experience is ideal for me. After spending two years acquiring the theoretical knowledge I will need, I will spend the whole of my third year of study at Swiss Federal Railways. That way, I can derive far greater benefit from my internship. I am sure that this will ensure that I am ideally prepared for the world of work.”

Ximena Florez, studying Transport Systems in the Work-study Bachelor’s degree programme

"In this way, the practical experience necessary for studying at a university of applied sciences was not a hurdle for me, it was simply part of the study."

Jan Scheuermeier, PiBS graduate in computer science


The bachelor degree programme incorporating practical work experience generally lasts four years. The practical component accounts for 40 percent of the course and comprises a company internship, laboratory and project work and the bachelor thesis. The study components are the same as those contained in the regular bachelor degree curriculum.

Study models (in german)


The four-year study programme is concluded with a Bachelor thesis in the final year. In the project work and Bachelor thesis, you will independently deal with current topics and problems in close collaboration with the company where you are completing your internship.

Graduates are awarded the protected and internationally recognised title of Bachelor of Science ZHAW in (Study programme / Focus). The Bachelor programme comprises a total of 180 credits*.

* ECTS = European Credit Transfer System: uniform European evaluation system of performance criteria as part of the Bologna Reform. Around 30 hours of student work corresponds to one credit.

Application / Registration / Contact

Please contact the person in charge of the desired study programme.

Information for companies

Do you work for a company and would like to offer internship positions for the Work-study Bachelor’s degree programme?