FAQ - Terms For Your Study

Accepting Credits / Recognizing Previous Coursework


Evaluating your educational background and transferring credits from other institutions is a complicated process. The Student Administration Office or the Admissions Office will review which degrees are recognized. On the other hand, the faculties decide which credits from previous coursework can be applied. As a general rule, you may submit a request to have credits from another institution transferred only once you have been accepted into the program.


The following websites contain more information about these decisions according to the faculty:


Faculty of Theology


Study of Religions

Faculty of Law

Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics

Faculty of Medicine

Vetsuisse Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Faculty of Science

Assessment Level


The Bachelor's program can include a specifically established and separate introductory phase of study. At UZH, this is generally referred to as the Assessment Level. Whether this level requires an examination is defined in the framework ordinance and/or framework ordinance, which also provide further details that may apply.

Office of the Dean


The Office of the Dean is the highest-ranking administrative body of a faculty at the University. It coordinates the processes between administrators, students, lecturers, and the Executive Board of the University. Furthermore, it supports the Faculty Council in carrying out its responsibilities.


One of the offices of the Office of the Dean is dedicated to organizing and administering your studies, and it will answer any questions your may have during the application process or during your studies. We recommend that you visit the website to learn more about the remits of the Office of the Dean or the Office of Student Affairs at your faculty! 

ECTS Credits


The work involved in completing a module is measured in ECTS credits. This has shown to be an effective means of quantifying workloads and designing assessments. One ECTS credit is equivalent to roughly 30 hours of work. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ETCS) is a reference framework for comparing the coursework at universities throughout Europe.


A Bachelor's program generally involves 180 ECTS credits, while a Master's program involves 90 or 120 credits. In some degree programs, the ECTS credits are valid only for a certain time (internal link). 



The University of Zurich is divided into seven teaching and administrative units: The Faculties.

Association with a faculty is determined through the major study program. The University of Zurich has seven faculties, making it the largest comprehensive university in Switzerland and enabling it to offer a wide range of academic perspectives and disciplines. The Portrait of UZH contains more information. The seven faculties are responsible for research, teaching, and services.



ThF = Faculty of Theology

RWF = Faculty of Law

WWF = Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Informatics

MeF = Faculty of Medicine

VSF = Vetsuisse Faculty

PhF = Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

MNF = Faculty of Science



Do you know the application and cancellation deadlines? Do you know by when you need to make an appointment to file a request?


There are several deadlines at UZH that you must observe! The given reference dates are binding on everyone. Examples include: Deadlines of the matriculation procedure, the enrollment or registration period, the module enrollment period, or those that apply when completing your studies.

Laws, Rules, and University Regulations

You will find the program regulations on the website of the faculty.


The University of Zurich Act is available online in the Zurich statute book.


The University Statutes are available online in the Zurich statute book.


Ordinance on Admission to Studies at The University of Zurich


Validity of ECTS Credits


Please refer the regulations for details about how long the ECTS credits you earn can be credited towards the degree. Depending on the faculty, this information is included in the framework ordinance or the program regulations, and it is especially important if you are planning to study part-time over a longer period.



Matriculation means having your name on the student list. It is also referred to as enrollment, which becomes legally binding once you have paid the semester fee. This also gives you the right to use the services of the University of Zurich. The matriculation procedure starts when you submit your application and involves a review to ensure that you qualify for the faculty and degree program. Being admitted means being granted the right to enroll in a certain degree program. The Student Administration Office or the Admissions Office reviews your application documents. While the Student Administration Office handles applications for the Bachelor's degree program by those with a Swiss educational background, the Admissions Office handles applications to the Bachelor's degree program by those with a foreign educational background, and also to the Master's degree program, Teaching Diploma program, and the Doctoral degree program. An exclusion or subject ban by a Swiss or foreign university generally prevents applicants from being admitted to a comparable branch of studies.

See Application and Admission for further information on this topic.


Be sure to observe the deadlines! 

Obligation to Obtain Information


Students must inform themselves about all issues relating to their studies of their own accord, especially when it concerns enactments and deadlines (Framework Ordinance).

Student Administration Office


The Student Administration Office is responsible for the admission to all Bachelor's study programs of applicants with Swiss qualification and Swiss mobility students as well as other administrative matters such as change of degree and study program, leave of absence, withdrawal from the university, issuing the bills for the semester fees and confirmations.


Contact details Student Administration Office

Co-Determination And Shared Responsibility


As part of its goals and responsibilities, the University of Zurich is committed to promoting a high degree of autonomy and shared responsibility. In doing so, it takes into account the requirements arising from management practices at the academic organizations.

The University of Zurich promotes the principles of subsidiarity, participation, transparency, and balance of interests. It considers involving its members appropriately in decisions at all levels to be an expression of its shared responsibility. http://www.uzh.ch/de/about/management.html


The University of Zurich Student Association is the independent legal entity of the University’s students in the form of an advocacy group that includes all enrolled students. It officially represents the concerns and interests of students at the University of Zurich and connects the student associations of the University.http://www.uzh.ch/studies/studentlife/organizations/vsuzh.html



Explanation of the term “module”:



General information on module enrollment: http://www.students.uzh.ch/de/booking.html


You will find detailed information about enrolling in and withdrawing from modules on the respective faculty pages:


Faculty of Theology (ThF)


Faculty of Law (RWF)


Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics (WWF)


Vetsuisse Faculty (VSF)


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (PhF)


Faculty of Science (MNF)



Standard period of study / reference period of study


The Bachelor's degree programs last six semesters based on a standard period of full-time study. The standard period of study for Master's degree programs ranges from three to six semesters, depending on the study program. Please note that federal/cantonal stipends are generally paid only for the standard period of study (6 semesters for the Bachelor's program; 3-4 semesters for the Master's program). Some study programs have a time limit in which they must be completed.

Regulations / Legal Bases


All decisions by the faculty are based on the regulations. It is therefore important that you know the relevant regulations for your studies (obligation to obtain information). Every degree program has a framework ordinance that defines the admission requirements, study objectives, basic conditions for modules, regulations on repeating modules, and graduation requirements. The ordinance is approved by the Board of the University and included in the statute book of the Canton of Zurich. Joint-degree and double-degree programs, as well as specialized Master's degree programs, are generally subject to a separate enactment.


The faculty enacts the program regulations in accordance with the framework ordinance. The framework ordinance takes precedence over the program regulations, which explain the provisions of the ordinance in detail, such as the formalities of module enrollment, the model curricula, and the documents to submit for the degree. Some faculties also issue study guidelines for specific topics to explain the program regulations in more detail. The websites of the faculties also include information on many of the processes and requirements.


The relevant regulations arranged according to faculty:


Faculty of Theology

Theology http://www.theologie.uzh.ch/de/studium/theologie/tabelle.html

Bachelor's Degree in the Science of Religion http://www.religionswissenschaft.uzh.ch/de/studium/bachelor/dokumente-und-formulare.html

Master's Degree in the Science of Religion



Faculty of Law



Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics



Faculty of Medicine



Vetsuisse Faculty



Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences



Faculty of Science



Special degree programs are not part of the regular framework. Besides the Teaching Diploma for Upper Secondary Education (http://www.ife.uzh.ch/de/llbm/lehrdiplomfuermaturitaetsschulen.html ), UZH also offers a special degree program to become a notary (http://www.ius.uzh.ch/de/studies/notary-certificate.html).


Teaching Diploma for Upper Secondary Education (Institute of Education)



Degree program to become a notary




An overview of the University's development:


UZH introduces a Framework Ordinance Template with a view to making the regulations and design of its study programs more transparent and uniform. In particular, the template aims to give the framework ordinances of the faculties a clearer structure and more consistent terminology. The Executive Board of the University, together with the faculties, developed the template jointly and approved it in the summer of 2016.  The changeover to the Framework Ordinance Template is scheduled in phases as part of the planned revisions of the faculties. 

Seminar, Proseminar, Exercise, Lecture


You will find more information on the study programs in the guidelines


Degree Program


The degree program is the formal unit of the university degrees (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate).


Branch of Studies


Branches of studies comprise groups of degree programs with similar content and do not necessarily fit into the systematic framework commonly used for the academic disciplines as found in the research fields. This term is used in connection with admission to the Master's study program at Swiss universities.

Time Limit on The Period of Study


Some faculties prescribe a maximum period of study for the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degrees. This period is twice the reference period of study of the degree program. For example, the Bachelor's degree program can be completed in 12 rather than 6 semesters, and the Master's degree program in 8 rather than 4 semesters. This is particularly relevant when planning to study part-time. We recommend that you refer to the regulations and contact the Office of Student Affairs before submitting a request to extend your studies. A limit may also apply to the period of study at the assessment level, as in the case of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics (see Framework Ordinance).


Students who are enrolled in a minor program offered by another faculty must observe the time limits of that faculty. For example, a student in a minor program with 30 ECTS credits at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will need to have completed the coursework by the spring semester of 2022 (twice as long as the reference period of study).


  • The validity period of ECTS credits is also relevant when applying for the final degree! We urge you to read the information above carefully.

Part-Time Study


  • If you have any questions about planning your part-time studies, please contact the advisory center of the faculty.


A part-time study program does not have a special status, it simply means you enroll in fewer modules per semester than suggested in the program regulations on the standard or model curriculum. If you decide on an extended part-time study program, it makes good sense to gauge the overall workload carefully in your individual planning.


You can use the standard or model curriculum to get an overview and plan your studies:


  • Please note the module-specific aspects of the individual faculties (frequency in which modules are offered, previous and prerequisite modules, etc.).
  • A time limit at the assessment level may also apply.
  • Since studying part-time also means prolonging your studies, you will need to know what restrictions apply to the duration and for how long the ECTS credits of your program are valid. These vary and may be subject to different rules that apply in cases where major and minor programs involve several faculties.
  • If you receive a government stipend (cantonal, under the Federal Training Assistance Act, etc.), you may face consequences when extending your studies. It is therefore important to contact the relevant office (cantonal stipends office, Augsburg student services, etc.) for details in good time. 

Full-Time Study


  • If you have any questions about planning your full-time studies, please contact the advisory center of the faculty!


The full-time study program is the standard at Swiss universities and serves as basis for determining the standard period of study. The model and standard curricula are based on a minimum of 30 ECTS credits per semester in the full-time program. Students therefore generally assume a workload of 900 hours per semester. The workload at the Bachelor's level involves 180 ECTS credits, and full-time students generally complete it in three years. The standard period of study for the Master's degree program is three to six semesters, depending on the number of ECTS credits involved (generally 90 or 120, in exceptional cases 80). This information enables you to calculate how much time your studies will require per semester and  how long your studies are likely to take.



  • Look for the guideline on your studies on your study program’s website if you have questions about enrolling in modules or the design and structure of the program.


The guidelines, information sheets, and forms/templates for study programs are updated regularly and will help to answer possible questions about studies at an institute or in a seminar. 

Restriction on Admission


Restrictions on admission apply only to degree courses in human, veterinary, and chiropractic medicine, and in dentistry (numerus clausus). The number of places in these subjects is therefore limited and not all applicants will be accepted. The applications and admissions website has more information about the specific requirements that apply. 


Admissions Office


The Admissions Office is responsible for the admission to all Bachelor's study programs of applicants with foreign qualification as well as applications to all other study programs (Master's, Teaching Diploma for Upper Secondary Education, doctoral studies).


Contact details Admissions Office