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Admission conditions for a Bachelor programme for candidates with a foreign secondary school diploma

How to enrol at UNIL

Registration conditions for holders of a foreign diploma of secondary education

General rules for secondary education :

Unless otherwise specified, only diplomas of secondary education representing a broad curriculum are recognised (essentially of the literature or science type), subject to certain requirements in relation to average mark and additional entrance exams.

The list of foreign diplomas giving access to Bachelor studies is based upon recommendations of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities "Recommandations du 7 septembre 2007 de la CRUS relatives à l’évaluation des diplômes d’études secondaires supérieures étrangers", as well as on the decisions of the Commission on admission and credential evaluation of the CRUS.

Essentially the diploma must be the equivalent (in terms of hours and subjects) to a Swiss secondary school-leaving diploma ("maturité").

In particular it must :

A - represent the highest level of secondary education in the country of issue, as a result of 12 years of study (or 11 years, if year 9, 10 and 11 belong to - higher - secondary education)
B - have been delivered after a complete, non shortened programme
C - give a general access to all university faculties in the country of issue

D - be issued by the government or, where relevant, by an institution recognised by the government and authorised to issue this type of diploma

E - be considered to represent a general education covering the six teaching subjects listed below :

1. First language

2. Second language
3. Mathematics
4. Natural science (biology, chemistry or physics)
5. Human and social sciences (geography, history or economics/law)
6. Free choice (one subject from among those in 2, 4 or 5)

These six subjects must have been studied in each of the last three years of secondary education.

The simple fact that a qualification gives access to university studies in the country of issue does not necessarily authorise registration at UNIL.
The following qualifications are not recognised :

* pedagogical, commercial, technical or teaching diplomas;
* vocational or specialised diplomas (construction, art, home economics, etc);
* diplomas for evening courses, correspondence courses or adult education courses;
* diplomas issued by combining study periods in several secondary education systems;
* entrance exams to another Swiss or foreign university.

The recognition of foreign diplomas of secondary education by the University of Lausanne is subject to particular conditions (particularly regarding the average mark and additional entrance exams). In case of doubt, candidates are responsible to provide all necessary documents establishing their eligibility.

List of qualifications and requirements by country

If, in addition to the diploma of secondary school, a certificate of university admission is required, it must:

1) concern a study place in the same orientation as that chosen at UNIL ;

2) be provided by a recognised university of the country where the diploma of secondary school was granted;

3) certificates delivered for distance studies are not accepted.

If the present regulation authorises a change of orientation, the certificate of university admission must in all cases concern an orientation and a programme recognised by UNIL. The requirement to pass the Complementary Examination of Swiss Universities (ECUS) remains valid.

General rules for university studies :

If university studies are required for admission to a Bachelor's degree, only university programmes comparable to those existing in Switzerland and followed at public universities (or at least accredited universities recognised by UNIL) are accepted. The studies must take place in the country where the diploma of secondary education was granted. The total number of credits gained and courses taken within the bachelor programme or the university degree deemed equivalent by the Rectorate, must have been achieved at a university recognized by the Rectorate of the University of Lausanne. 

The following programmes in particular are not recognised:

- University programmes with a lesser duration than those of Swiss universities, as well as those including more than 15 credits ECTS out of a total of 180 (or equivalent) for internships

- Technological or vocational university courses;

- Correspondence courses or distance learning programmes.

candidates who have already studied at a university without obtaining a degree may find their application subject to restrictions.

The required diploma does not automatically give entitlement to registration, which is accorded only after examination of the application.


Online enrolment and preparation of your application
Access to the online enrolment and the list of the documents you have to send by postal mail.
(there is no need to send the documents by email or fax in parallel)

Do not forget to take note of all the information mentioned below.




How to enrol at UNIL

First of all select the Bachelor programme you wish to apply for

Apply within the deadlines

Deadline for candidates who need a visa for their studies in Switzerland : 28 February 2014

General deadline : 30 April 2014

Medicine: compulsory pre-enrolment before 15 February 2014 at the Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) in Bern. It is essential to follow the procedure required by the CRUS within the deadlines. In April at the latest, the CRUS will inform all pre-enrolled candidates personally about the procedure to be followed later in order to enrol in medical studies.

Note: it is mandatory to submit an online application at UNIL before 30 April 2014, further to the pre-enrolment at the CRUS.

Note : specific conditions for foreign students

Administrative fees
The administrative fees have to be paid before sending the documents.

Apply for a visa
How to obtain a visa for your studies in Switzerland.

Specific registration conditions for Bachelor programmes
Medicine, Pharmacy, Arts, Sport (Faculty of Social and Political Sciences), School of Criminal Justice (ESC), EFLE.

Qualifications and requirements
Only secondary education diplomas with a broad curriculum give access to enrolment at UNIL.
Please take note of the other requirements mentioned below regarding each country delivering the diploma.

Holders of foreign secondary education diplomas are admitted providing they pass additional exams: Complementary Examination of the Swiss Universities (ECUS) or French exam

List of registration conditions classified by country

Processing of your application
What happens once you have confirmed your online enrolment and sent the required documents.

Online enrolment and preparation of your application
Access to the online enrolment and the list of the documents you have to send by postal mail.

Register for the Service courses (“cours d’appoint”) or the vacation courses for non-French speakers
If you wish to take French courses beside your regular studies.

Request for equivalences
For students who wish to obtain equivalences for their former university studies.



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the French version of the registration conditions prevails

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