Universities of applied sciences

Created in the second half of the 1990s, the eight 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 2021, the number of bachelor degrees increased by 73%. 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, 2021
  Bachelor Master
Architecture, Construction and Planning  921  173
Engineering and IT 2 727  350
Chemistry and Life sciences  560  261
Agriculture and Forestry  122  0
Business, Management and Services 4 823 1 010
Design  653  287
Sport  35  11
Music, Theatre and Other Arts  957 1 274
Applied Linguistics  97  37
Social Work 1 633  119
Applied Psychology  245  124
Health 2 021  215
Total 14 794 3 861
Source: FSO - SHIS-studex

The universities of applied sciences awarded 14 794 bachelor degrees and 3861 master degrees in 2021. The areas of study with the highest number of bachelor degrees are economics and services (33% of all bachelor degrees in 2021) and technology and IT (18%). Just under half of bachelor (49,9%) are awarded to women and around 15% to foreign students.
At master degree level, the share of qualifications awarded to students of foreign origin (41%) 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 33% of all master degrees at universities of applied sciences and of which 63% 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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