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Pre-College - Our Courses for Prospective Students

If you are interested in studying at the ZHAW School of Engineering, but unsure whether you fulfil the admission criteria, you can put your prior knowledge to the test and find the best preliminary courses here.


There is more than one way to get into a university of applied sciences, including an apprenticeship with a vocational baccalaureate, a specialised baccalaureate, an academic baccalaureate, a foreign diploma or a diploma from a college of higher education.

Youth2Engineers pre-study internship

Do you have an academic or a non-technical vocational baccalaureate but wish to sign up for an engineering programme at a university of applied sciences? And do you still need to complete the required 12-month work experience placements (internship)? Then the Youth2Engineers programme might be the perfect point of entry for you.

Holders of an academic baccalaureate may also consider signing up for a work-study Bachelor’s degree programme.

Pre-courses and literature

We can help you get ready to study in the most effective way, be it with specialist literature or with our courses.


If you are interested in applying for a Bachelor’s programme in Computer Science but have no or limited basic skills in object-oriented programming, we recommend you take the programming pre-course. 

Programming literature
The programming pre-course is based on the following book:

Java lernen mit BlueJ: David J. Barnes und Michael Kölling, Pearson; ISBN 978-3-8689-4907-0. Weiter empfehlen wir folgende Literatur zur Vorbereitung:

Language courses during studies

The following language courses are offered at the Institute of Language Competence and financially supported by the ZHAW School of Engineering during your studies. Students pay a contribution fee of CHF 80 per course, the remaining course costs are covered.

English courses

First-year BA students who wish to sign up for the International Profile and who have not reached the required B2 level in the Online English Placement Test (OET), or wish to consolidate their B2 level, can attend the "Preparation Course English for International Profile Level B2 (PreIP)" in the spring semester and repeat the OET at the end of the semester.

The courses "Exam Preparation: English C1 (Advanced/CAE), part 2" can be attended by all students who have reached a level B2+ (OET or certificate) and wish to prepare for the CAE exam (level C1) throughout their studies

The courses "Exam Preparation: English B2 (First/FCE), part 2»" can be attended by all students who have not yet reached a level B2 (OET or certificate).

German as a Foreign Language

For foreign-language students we offer the course «Schreiben für Studium und Beruf», training reporting and argumentation skills. You can improve your oral fluency in the course «Kommunikation im Fokus», where you will expand your vocabulary and train your speaking skills to express your opinion in discussions or present everyday and professional topics. Public speaking practice and effective presentation techniques prepare you for your own presentations.

Your registration will be definite, if you can provide an internationally-recognised certificate (e.g. Goethe-Zertifikat) or have completed the ILC placement test at the required entry level.

Students pay a contribution fee of CHF 80 per course, the remaining course costs are covered. Upon registration, please state that you are an SoE-student.