Universities of applied sciences

Created in the second half of the 1990s, the seven public universities of applied sciences (UAS) cover 12 different fields. There are also additional private UAS which teach in the areas of economy and health. Three UAS also train teachers. These are the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI).

The bachelor has gradually replaced the previous "diplôme". Since 2009, the bachelor degree is the main qualification awarded to students by the universities of applied sciences. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of bachelor degrees increased by 66%. Master degree courses offered at universities of applied sciences are also increasing over time. This level of study nonetheless remains less popular than the bachelor degree.

Graduates of universities of applied sciences by field of study and level of graduation, 2019
  Bachelor Master
Architecture, Construction and Planning  911  144
Engineering and IT 2 707  277
Chemistry and Life sciences  516  180
Agriculture and Forestry  129  0
Business, Management and Services 4 455  905
Design  662  222
Sport  26  7
Music, Theatre and Other Arts  854 1 225
Applied Linguistics  119  36
Social Work 1 623  107
Applied Psychology  180  101
Health 1 936  149
Total 14 118 3 353
Source: FSO - SHIS-studex

The universities of applied sciences awarded 14 118 bachelor degrees and 3353 master degrees in 2019. The areas of study with the highest number of bachelor degrees are economics and services (32% of all bachelor degrees in 2019) and technology and IT (19%). Just under half of bachelor and master degrees are awarded to women and around 15% to foreign students.
At master degree level, the share of qualifications awarded to students of foreign origin (40%) is far higher than that at bachelor degree level. The size of this share is mainly due to the number of master degrees awarded to foreign students in music, performing arts and other arts, which make up 37% of all master degrees at universities of applied sciences and of which 60% were awarded to foreign nationals educated abroad.

We highly recommend checking the results published in the tables available under the heading "tables" beforehand.

Further information



Federal Statistical Office Section Educational Processes
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