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Masters Scholarships in Switzerland

Home to several of the most prestigious universities in Europe (and the world!), it’s no surprise that Switzerland is extremely popular with international students.

But what scholarship schemes are available to support foreign Masters students in Switzerland? This page will give you an overview of various Swiss postgraduate funding programmes, as well as details of Masters tuition fees in Switzerland.

You can also begin your search for a Masters in Switzerland by browsing the courses listed on our website, or check out our guide to postgraduate study in Switzerland.

Masters scholarships for international students in Switzerland

There are several postgraduate scholarship schemes for international students at Swiss universities, ranging from government programmes to funding offered by the institutions themselves.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists

Switzerland offers two kinds of Government Excellence Scholarship to international postgraduates, funded through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS):

  • Research Scholarships are intended for students pursuing a PhD in Switzerland, as well as post-doctoral studies
  • Arts Scholarships are for highly-qualified artists studying a Masters at a Swiss university of the arts or conservatory

If you’re interested in an FCS Research Scholarship, you should check out our guide to PhD study in Switzerland over on FindAPhD.

FCS Arts Scholarships are available to scholars from countries that Switzerland has a reciprocal funding agreement with. You can find out if your country is eligible by checking the FCS website. There isn’t a restriction on the subject you study for your Masters, but it must be at one of Switzerland’s universities of the arts or a Swiss conservatory.

If you successfully apply for an FCS Arts Scholarship, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Health insurance
  • Travel allowance
  • Monthly stipend of €1,800
  • One-off housing payment of €280

Applications usually open in August for Masters programmes beginning the next academic year, with deadlines between September and December depending on the country you’re applying from. You’ll normally apply through your local Swiss embassy.

Swiss Study Foundation scholarships

The Swiss Study Foundation is a support organisation for high-achieving university students in Switzerland. Membership is open to international students, but you’ll need to speak at least two of Switzerland’s national languages (French, German and Italian).

The Foundation offers a variety of scholarship programmes to its members (information is only available in French and German).

Hirschmann Masters grants

International students can apply for a grant from the Hirschmann Foundation to help fund a Masters at a Swiss university of applied sciences.

Awarded on a one-off basis, Hirschmann grants are usually worth €4,650. You’ll be expected to be a high achiever at Bachelors-level and, if successful, will need to take part in a ‘policy kitchen’ with the rest of your scholarship cohort.

You can make an application twice a year: in April and October. You’ll need to complete an online application form and provide the following documents:

  • A cover letter
  • A copy of your Bachelors degree certificate and academic transcript
  • Two academic references
  • A letter of acceptance for a Masters programme at a Swiss university of applied sciences

Between 40 and 50 grants are usually awarded by the Hirschmann Foundation each year. Grand holders will be able to attend regular networking events through the Foundation.

Swiss university Masters scholarships

Another good source of funding for a Masters in Switzerland is the universities themselves. Many institutions offer scholarship packages to international students, comprising of a tuition fee waiver and / or a monthly stipend to help with living costs.

Below we’ve linked to the scholarship pages of some of Switzerland’s top universities.

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) runs a range of MBA scholarship programmes.

Masters fees for international students in Switzerland

Switzerland has an unenviable reputation for being an expensive place to live, but you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by how affordable the tuition fees are.

Masters fees for international students are usually between €930 and €3,720 per year. These fees are largely similar to what domestic Swiss students pay, but may include an additional international fee of €95 per semester.

Despite being closely aligned with the European Union, Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU. This means that EU and EEA nationals pay tuition fees at the same level as other international students.

Application fees

When applying for a Masters at a Swiss university, you’ll often have to pay an application fee of around €95.

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Last updated - 10/12/2020

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