Top 3 Low Tuition Universities in Switzerland and how to Apply

It is well known that Switzerland banks the wealth of some of the world’s richest men but it is also a global power house in  academics. Swiss universities have cumulatively produced 113 Nobel Laureates, and most of these Nobel Prize winners are scientists. The world’s leading particle physics laboratory CERN is equally located here. Discovering low tuition universities in Switzerland for international students will be an excellent choice, because Swiss degrees in STEM are world class and top rated.

Please find below the list of low tuition universities in Switzerland that can give you a great degree without emptying your pockets.

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

ETH Zurich is currently ranked as the number one university in Switzerland and 10th in the Times World Rankings 2018. ETH Zurich has produced the likes of Albert Einstein and 32 other Nobel Laureates who excelled in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine. This institution was founded in 1985, this Swiss university has roughly 16 departments researching and dealing with STEM.

Per cost , we can confidently say that ETH Zurich is way cheaper than a lot of colleges, with tuition fees per semester roughly 580 CHF, which is  $600 USD. A few other compulsory fees can move around 130 to 150 CHF, which is roughly $160 USD. Average tuition fees for an academic year can be between 1,400 to 1,600 CHF, which is roughly $1,700 USD. You can find the tuition fee table in the ETH Zurich Tuition Fees page.

As you can see, education in the prestigious university is actually cheaper than 99% of the colleges in the US and Canada. However, please do take note that living expenses can be quite high in Switzerland since they import quite a lot of commodities. Also, do take note that the academic rigor in ETH Zurich is extremely high, so expect a lot of coursework and projects!

University of Geneva

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva is known for its long history of producing highly qualified professionals. With more than 16,000 students and 6,000 staff, this university is a recognized global hub for researchers. The main focus of this institution lies in the social sciences, like law, political science, psychology, economics, and humanities.

Although this public university was originally started as a seminary for theologians, in the 17th century, it has been part of the global Enlightenment movement. Since then, the university prides itself on giving secular education at quite a low cost.

For 2018, tuition fees are at 500 CHF per semester. This amount roughly translates to $510 USD. In a single academic year, tuition fees are expected to be around 1000 CHF. In a school year, you can expect to pay approximately $1,100 USD. That is quite a deal since most community colleges in the US costs almost three times as much. You can see their tuition fees in the Universite de Geneve tuition page.

Geneva is a prominent global city where diplomats, politicians, and businesspeople often hold meetings. With such a high-income population, the prices are expensive. There is no shortage of demand for part-time work though, so you can survive as a working student as long as you are determined.

University of Bern

This institution is based in the Swiss capital of Bern, and has consistently ranked in the top 200 universities in the world. It has repeatedly produced several Nobel Laureates in Medicine and Chemistry, the University of Bern equally an affordable public university that deals primarily with medicine and pharmacy. Additionally, the institution equally has a solid business and economics faculty. They are popular for their research in sustainable development.

Well, their fees are quite higher compared to other Swiss institutions but is still relatively affordable. The regular tuition fee is roughly 750 CHF per semester. However, you will incur an additional 200 CHF if you are not a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.In order to save cash, students are encouraged to secure their residences in Switzerland at least six months before applying to the University of Bern. To sum it up, tuition fees for the university can be around $1,600 to $2,000 for one academic year. However, $2,000 is still cheap when compared to universities around the world.

You can check their tuition fees at the University of Bern semester registration page.


To conclude, The University of Bern is where you should be if you are looking for business or medical degrees. ETH Zurich as you have seen above is cheaper but has a super  competitive admission and education process with academic work that is almost twice compared to other institutions. ETH Zurich is a fit for international students who would like to pursue a STEM program. The University of Geneva is the cheapest and easiest to enter and  perfect for those desiring a political or legal career.

How to Apply to Universities in Switzerland for International Students

The primary place to look when applying to colleges and institutions in Switzerland is to review the university website. All their universities have a special page and section for admissions, and many have a specific page dedicated for international student admissions. So if you are considering to apply to study on low tuition in Switzerland do well to look up information about admissions to see the admission requirements, deadlines, required forms, and more.

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