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2nd cycle: Master

Second cycle degrees are awarded to students who …

Knowledge and understanding:

… have demonstrated knowledge and understanding that is founded upon and extends and/or enhances that typically associated with Bachelor’s level, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context;

Applying knowledge and understanding:

… can apply their knowledge and understanding, and problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study;

Making judgements:

… have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information, but that include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements;

Communication skills:

… can communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously;

Learning skills:

… have the learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.

(Dublin Descriptor / Joint Quality Initiative)

Admission Criteria

2nd cycle: Master

  • Prerequisite for admission is a subject-specific Bachelor degree. If need be, further requirements (to be fullfilled during the master programme) or conditions (to be fulfilled before the master programme) can be required.
  • Admission criteria for «specialised master programmes» are defined by the university itself.
  • Transfer between the types of higher education institutions (in the same branches of study) is regulated in the agreement between the CRUS, the KFH and the COHEP of November 5th 2007: «Permeability Between the Types of Higher Education Institutions» and listed in detail in the attached compilation of subjecte (Konkordanzliste/Liste de concordance).


2nd cycle: Master

90 or 120 ECTS credits and 180 ECTS Credits in human medicine (regulated in the Bologna Directives of the Swiss University Conference resp. of the Universities of Applied Sciences Council of the EDK/CDIP and according to the agreement between the Federal Department of Economic Affaires FDEA and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education EDK/CDIP concerning the master qualifications of the universities of applied sciences)

Lizentiat/Licence/Licenza and Diplom/Diplôme/Diploma (before the Bologna Reform): In general at least 8 semesters

Musiker MH/Musikerin MH / Musicien HEM/Musicienne HEM / Musicista SUM (before the Bologna Reform): at least 10 semesters


2nd cycle: Master

Qualifications after the Bologna Reform

In addition to the Bologna title the awarding institution and the branch of study is mentioned.

Master of TheologyM Th

Master of Law

M Law

Master of Medicine

M Med

Master of Dental Medicine

M Dent Med

Masetr of Veterinary Medicine

M Vet Med

Master of Arts


Master of Science

M Sc

Master qualifications of the Swiss universities

Qualifications before the Bologna Reform

Former university degrees



Equivalency of the former university degrees listed above and the Master degree (according to the Bologna Directives of the Swiss University Conference, Art. 6a):

The former university degrees Lizentiat/Licence/Licenza  and Diplom/Diplôme/Diploma are equivalent to a master’s degree. Upon request the university that awarded the former degree confirms this equivalency.

Holders of such former university degrees are entitled to use the master title instead of the former title.

Former university of applied sciences degree:

Musikerin MH/Musiker MHMusicien HEM/Musicienne HEMMusicista SUM


Equivalency of the former university of applied sciences degree listed above and the Master degree (according to the decision of the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology of January 10th 2011):

Upon request the university of applied sciences that awarded the former degree confirms this equivalency.

This confirmation of equivalency does not, however, entitle the holder to use the corresponding master title.

Teaching qualifications

The teaching qualification is awarded together with the academic degree and can be recognised by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK/CDIP) on the basis of the concordat concerning the recognition of qualifications signed in 1993.


Qualifications of the Swiss Higher Education Institutions