What are the admission requirements to study at the ZHAW? How much are the fees per semester? What else do I need to know?
Prerequisites to study for a Bachelor's degree: Baccalaureate (Swiss Matura) and practical experience
- In order to study at the ZHAW, you need to have a baccalaureate: a federal vocational baccalaureate (Berufsmatura), a specialised baccalaureate (Fachmatura), a high school baccalaureate (Matura) or an equivalent qualification.
- Before you begin your studies, you need to have gained at least one year of practical experience or to have completed a traineeship in an area of work related to your chosen field of study. Exceptions may be made in the field of health professions and for the degree programmes in Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Engineering, in which students can gain the required year of practical experience during or after their studies.
Health Professions, Social Work, Applied Linguistics and Psychology
- To be admitted to a degree programme in these Schools, you need to pass an aptitude assessment in addition to presenting a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification.
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. Abitur or International Baccalaureate), please submit the documents requested by the academic office responsible for the degree programme you have chosen so that your qualification can be checked for equivalency. This equivalency verification process follows the specifications outlined by swissuniversities and takes place after your application has been submitted. In order to determine in advance whether you are likely to fulfil the admission requirements, please consult this flow chart, which takes you through the recognition process for foreign qualifications. The criteria and steps outlined in the flow chart are also explained in our Fact Sheet for Applicants from Abroad. If you have any further questions, please contact the academic office responsible for the degree programme you have chosen.
Prerequisites to study for a Master's degree: Bachelor's degree in a related area
- In order to be admitted to a Master's programme, you need to have a Bachelor's degree which has provided you with the necessary background knowledge for the Master's programme you have chosen.
- In addition, you will be required to take part in an admission process in which you must demonstrate your aptitude for the programme.
Legal basis for admission requirements
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 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).
|Registration fee for admission process||once||CHF 100.–|
|Enrolment fee for Bachelor's and Master's programmes ||once||CHF 100.–|
|Tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's programmes ||per semester||CHF 720.–|
|Fixed charge for students on leave of absence ||per semester||CHF 300.–|
|Additional tuition fees for students who are not Swiss residents ||per semester||CHF 500.–|
|Membership of the Academic Sports Association Zurich (ASVZ)||per semester||CHF 30.–|
|Membership of the ZHAW Students Association (VSZHAW)||per semester||CHF 12.–|
|Fees for guest auditors (depending on the number of courses attended)||per semester||CHF 100.– to 600.–|
 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.
 According to §4 of the regulations on tuition fees
 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 Professions 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).
 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. See Fact Sheet for Applicants from Abroad
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.
Legal basis for fees (most of the documents only available in German)
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: 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:
- AHV Website (Information in English on a limited number of topics)
- Information sheet (in German only): Beiträge der Studierenden an die AHV, die IV und die EO
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)
|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|
- Christmas vacation 24.12.–02.01*
- Fasnacht Monday (carnival) in Winterthur
- Easter holidays (Good Friday – Easter Monday)*
- May Day (01.05.)
- Ascension Day (Thursday)
- Whitsun (Whit Monday)
* These dates are subject to change. Please contact your academic office or programme director for further information.