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Important information

What are the admission requirements to study at the ZHAW? How much are the fees per semester? What else do I need to know?

Admission requirements

Prerequisites to study for a Bachelor's degree: Baccalaureate (Swiss Matura) and practical experience

Health Professions, Social Work, Applied Linguistics and Psychology

Studying for a bachelor’s degree with a foreign qualification

If you have gained a foreign qualification either abroad or in Switzerland which allows you access to higher education (e.g. A Levels, Abitur or International Baccalaureate), your qualification will be assessed for equivalency. Please provide the following documents via the online application system when submitting your application:

For degree certificates awarded under British law, the basic principle is that the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have completed the A Levels required for admission to the ZHAW, i.e. three A Levels with the minimum grades B/B/C, by the time they enrol online for their studies. In addition, the A Levels should cover three out of four subject areas as per the subject requirement (see Guidelines on Admission to Bachelor’s Degree Programmes, section 4.1.2). If this is not the case, an entrance exam must be passed to establish the equivalency of the school-leaving certificate.

This equivalency recognition process follows the Guidelines on Admission to Bachelor’s Degree Programmes and takes place after your application has been submitted. Please note that you will not be able to enrol if you do not submit your documents by the deadline. If you have any further questions, please contact the academic office responsible for the degree programme you have chosen.

Additional information for applicants from abroad

Prerequisites to study for a Master's degree: Bachelor's degree in a related area

Please read the respective admission requirements in the study regulations and appendices (in German).

Legal basis for admission requirements

Primary legal basis

Specific regulations on admission to individual degree programmes

General recommendations for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes in Switzerland

Fees and costs

The costs of studying on a degree programme at the ZHAW comprise the tuition fees, the costs of materials and field trips and your living expenses. The tuition fees are set by the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich in the ordinance on tuition fees at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (in German) and apply to all students (full-time and part-time students, resit students, students on a work placement semester, students who withdraw from a programme, etc.).

The fees for the admission process must be paid in any event, even if you are not admitted to the later stages of the process (e.g. aptitude assessment) or if you are not accepted on the programme. During your studies, further costs may arise, e.g. for software. You can find further information in the regulations on fees and contributions (in German).

Description Frequency Cost
Registration fee for admission process [1] once CHF 100.–
Enrolment fee for Bachelor's and Master's programmes [2] once CHF 100.–
Tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's programmes [3] per semester CHF 720.–
Fixed charge for students on leave of absence [4] per semester CHF 300.–
Additional tuition fees for students who are not Swiss residents [5] per semester CHF 500.–
Membership of the Academic Sports Association Zurich (ASVZ) per semester CHF 35.–
Membership of the ZHAW Students Association (Alias) per semester CHF 20.–
Fees for guest auditors (depending on the number of courses attended) per semester CHF 100.– to 600.–

[1] Fee according to § 2 ordinance on tuition fees 
[2] Applicants are exempt from paying the registration fee for the admissions process if they pass the admissions assessment/test and enrol for the next available programme start date.
[3] According to §4 of the regulations on tuition fees
[4] According to § 25, paragraph 5 of the general examination regulations for Bachelor's and Master's programmes at the ZHAW, students on leave of absence are exempt from paying tuition fees. According to the regulations on fees and contributions (in German), they pay a fixed charge per semester of CHF 300.– to cover their e-mail account, campus card, use of the University Library and general administration costs. This fixed charge also applies to students on the Bachelor’s programmes at the School of Health Sciences who attend the additional module C and to students who do delay the completion of their programme (e.g. by postponing submission of their thesis).
[5] Under Swiss law, non-Swiss nationals who come to Switzerland to study are not considered residents of Switzerland (Art. 23 Swiss Civil Code). In addition to the regular tuition fee, they pay an additional tuition fee of CHF 500.– during the entire duration of their studies (even if they move their official place of residence to Switzerland after commencing their studies). Official residency under civil law is not possible if the residence permit was issued for study/educational purposes.

Auditing modules

Attend a module without enrolling: You can attend individual modules as an auditor without having to enrol at the ZHAW on a regular basis. The fees range between CHF 100 and CHF 600 per semester depending on the number of courses you attend.


Check your insurance policy before you start your degree programme at the ZHAW to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Accident insurance, health insurance and AHV (old age and survivors' insurance) and pension insurance are particularly important. This also applies to students from abroad.

Accident insurance: If you are employed and work at least 8 hours per week, you are automatically insured against accidents. If this is not the case, you must include accident cover in your health insurance. This can be done simply by contacting your insurance provider in writing. Please contact the municipality where you live for a reduction in the premium.

Old age and survivors' insurance (AHV), invalidity insurance (IV) and insurance for loss of earnings (EO) contributions: During your studies, you must pay AHV, IV and EO contributions. Gaps in contributions can result in a reduction in your pension. If you do not work during your studies, you pay only a minimum contribution. Payment of contributions is therefore compulsory in all cases. For further information, contact the AHV administration or any cantonal compensation office.

Social security contributions: The ZHAW has to report the social security number for all students to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) by 15 October each year. In the case of foreign students who do not have a Swiss social security number, the ZHAW has to apply to the Central Compensation Office CCO (Zentrale Ausgleichsstelle ZAS) for a number to be issued. This number will be stated on the enrolment confirmations from the second semester onward. Swiss and foreign students whose residence under civil law is in Switzerland must pay contributions amounting to at least 478 Swiss francs annually to Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (AHV), Invalidity Insurance (IV) and Loss of Earnings Insurance (EO) from 1 January following the student’s 20th birthday.

Other AHV-related questions can be addressed to any of the AHV offices. See also:

Private pensions: Certain risks are involved if you stop working. All insurance contributions previously paid by your employer no longer apply, and you therefore no longer have any pension cover while you are studying. Long-term occupational disability during your studies means that you can expect only a small IV pension. You are therefore strongly advised to take out private insurance during your studies.

Programme start dates

Apart from programme start dates and national holidays, other dates and deadlines may vary from School to School. In some programmes, compulsory courses may take place at the end of the Christmas holidays.

Dates and deadlines (CW = Calendar week)

Event Date
Enrolment for autumn semester by 01.08.
Autumn semester starts CW 38
Exam timetable published (at the latest) CW 47
Exam completed at the latest by * CW 5
Spring semester starts CW 8
Exam timetable published (at the latest) CW 17
Application deadline for new students (autumn semester entry) * 30.04.
Exams completed at the latest by * CW 26

No classes

* These dates are subject to change. Please contact your academic office or programme director for further information.

Further Information for Applicants from Abroad

Residing in Switzerland for study purposes

Applicants from abroad who wish to study in Switzerland must apply for a residence permit and take out health insurance before they begin their studies. This is their personal responsibility.

Student residence permit for Swiss or EU nationals

You have lived abroad, are a Swiss national or a national of an EU member state and you are coming to Switzerland to study?

If you are a Swiss national, you can study in Switzerland as a matter of course. However, the information below on health insurance and on your acceptance and admission with a foreign qualification also applies to you. If you are an EU national, please find out whether your country is a signatory to the agreement between the Swiss Confederation, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other, on the free movement of persons “Abkommen zwischen der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft einerseits und der Europäischen Gemeinschaft und ihren Mitgliedstaaten andererseits über die Freizügigkeit“ (only in Geman), see "Free Movement of Persons Switzerland - EU/EFTA"). In accordance with Art. 24, residence permits for students are issued on a yearly basis for the period of their studies. In order to ensure that you receive a residence permit, you must be able to present evidence that you have taken out health insurance and that you have the necessary financial means to cover the expenses of your stay and studies in Switzerland.

Please contact the Migration Office of Canton Zurich to find out what formalities you need to complete in order for a residence permit to be issued: Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich, Berninastrasse 45, 8057 Zürich, Tel. +41 43 259 88 00

Student residence permit for nationals of other countries

If you are a national of a country which is not a signatory to the above-mentioned agreement, contact the Migration Office of Canton Zurich to find out what formalities you need to complete in order for a residence permit to be issued: Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich, Berninastrasse 45, 8057 Zürich, Tel. +1 43 259 88 00

Please note in particular the regulations in the ordinance on admission, residence and gainful employment (OASA) (Verordnung über Zulassung, Aufenthalt und Erwerbstätigkeit (VZAE), only in German) of 24 October 2007 in Art. 23 concerning the conditions for study and continuing education purposes (Art. 23, Persönliche Voraussetzungen) and Art. 16 concerning registration and deregistration for residence during the working week (Art. 16, An- und Abmeldung bei einem Wochenaufenthalt). With regard to part-time employment or internships during your studies, please note the following OASA/VZAE regulations: Art. 38, Aus- und Weiterbildung mit Nebenerwerb, Art. 39, Ausbildung mit obligatorischem Praktikum and Art. 40, Erwerbstätigkeit während der Weiterbildung an einer Hochschule oder Fachhochschule.

Health insurance

If you are studying in Switzerland with a student residence permit, you are obliged to take out health insurance according to Art. 3 of the federal law on health insurance (Bundesgesetz über die Krankenversicherung (only in German), Art. 3, KVG). It is your personal responsibility to organise your own health insurance. If you can demonstrate that you have sufficient health insurance cover from a foreign health insurance provider, you can apply to the residents’ registration office for exemption from the Swiss compulsory health insurance requirement.