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Medicus Student Exchange Program

Dr. Heinrich Medicus, a late Swiss professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Albany) made a permanent gift of stock to the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York (SBS) to establish an exchange program between Switzerland and the United States for qualified U.S. and Swiss candidates.

The Medicus Student Exchange program in Switzerland
The Medicus Student Exchange program in Switzerland supports Swiss graduate and Ph.D. students as well as researchers, university lecturers, and experts from academic institutions in Switzerland to study or conduct research and/or lecture at accredited U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions.
You can apply if you wish to go to the United States to pursue

  • a Master’s or Ph.D. degree;
  • non-degree coursework;
  • Ph.D. or postdoctoral research/teaching

This can be done after completing studies or research projects at a university or research institution in Switzerland.
Master's students or doctoral candidates who have already started their degree program in the United States can also be considered for a Medicus scholarship for the second year of their studies provided they have resided in Switzerland until they began their studies in the United States.

Scholarship Details

The program offers partial scholarships of US$ 10,000 each to be used toward the cost of tuition and other academic expenses or living expenses. The scholarships are three to ten months in length and not renewable. Applications will be accepted in all fields at any recognized institution of higher education in the United States.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You are a Swiss citizen.
  • You are resident in Switzerland at the time of application.
  • You hold an undergraduate degree from a Swiss higher education institution completed by summer 2024.
  • You have obtained your bachelor's OR your master's degree at a higher education institution in Switzerland.
  • You have English proficiency appropriate to the proposed study program or research/teaching project to be carried out in the United States.

In the following cases, you are NOT eligible to apply:

  • You hold dual citizenship with the United States, are a resident of the United States, or hold a “green card.”
  • You will not have completed a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) by Summer 2024.
  • You are currently studying, researching, or lecturing at a U.S. university.
  • You are currently living or working in the United States.
  • You have already received a Medicus scholarship for a previous study or research stay in the United States.

Additional conditions for visiting student researchers and scholars:

  • You have already received a stipend from the Swiss National Science Foundation for your proposed research/teaching project to be carried out in the United States.
  • You plan a stay that begins before the start of the academic year or that takes place during the semester breaks. Research/teaching stays during these periods can only be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Application Process

Application deadline: March 25, 2024 for the 2024-2025 academic year (The competition for the 2024-2025 academic year is closed!)

swissuniversities uses the Fulbright application form for the Medicus scholarships. When submitting a Medicus application via the Fulbright application portal, there is no option to indicate that you apply for the Medicus and not for the Fulbright program. However, this is not necessary, as the application deadlines for the Fulbright and the Medicus programs are several months apart.
Please review the application instructions carefully before completing the online application.

Application for students (studies/research on Master's or PhD level):

Application for scholars (post-doctoral research and/or teaching):

Important: Scanned copies of transcripts and diplomas (including Diploma Supplement) with English translations from all post-secondary institutions attended must be uploaded to the online application. However, unlike the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Medicus applicants do NOT need to submit HARD copies of official certified transcripts to swissuniversities.

A complete application consists of the following:

Online application form including

  • three letters of reference uploaded by the recommenders into the online application
  • copies of academic transcripts and diplomas/degrees written in English or with an original English translation from all post-secondary schools attended

Submission of application: After the application form has been submitted electronically via the Fulbright application portal, the application can be downloaded. Please send a copy of the application in PDF format to no later than March 25 at midnight.

The Medicus program does not include a service for placement at a U.S. university. Candidates must apply individually for university admission and are asked to provide an official admission/invitation letter of the U.S. host university by the end of May 2024 at the latest. Only after receipt of a copy of an admission/invitation letter, candidates can definitely be considered for a Medicus scholarship. The candidates are responsible for obtaining their own visas.

If you have any questions or doubts about your eligibility or the application procedure, you can contact the Scholarship Service via email


At the end of May/beginning of June, the Scholarship Service of swissuniversities forwards the applications of eligible candidates to the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York (SBS). The number of scholarships awarded depends on the performance of the Medicus Student Exchange Fund administered by the SBS and the total number of U.S. and Swiss applicants.

Every year in June, the SBS Scholarship Committee holds its selection meeting. Candidates will be informed of the results of their application by the Scholarship Service of swissuniversities by the end of June 2024 at the latest.