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USI - Università della Svizzera italiana

Via G. Buffi 13 Lugano,
Switzerland View map


USI. Create freely, act responsibly.

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is one of the 12 certified public universities in Switzerland and member of swissuniversities. It is organised in five faculties and is active in several study and research areas, among which: architecture, communication sciences, computational science, data science, economics, health studies, humanities, informatics, law, medicine and biomedicine.

USI is a young and lively university, a hub of opportunity open to the world where students are offered a quality interdisciplinary education in which they can be fully engaged and take centre stage, and where our researchers can count on having the space to freely pursue their initiative.

Around 2900 students and about 850 professors and researchers, hailing from over 100 countries, convene every day on the three campuses in Lugano, Mendrisio and Bellinzona. The relatively small size of the campuses encourages the free flow and open exchange of ideas within the academic community. USI encourages faculty, students and researchers to develop their potential, and appreciates their curiosity and willingness to experiment with new ways of thinking, learning, teaching and working.

Established in 1996, USI is in constant evolution, always taking on new challenges while remaining true to its three guiding principles: quality, openness and responsibility.


Seven reasons for choosing USI:

  • Quality of the Swiss university system
  • International faculty
  • Leading interdisciplinary education
  • Teacher/student radio 1 to 8
  • Strong ties with the business world
  • Flexible structure, open to the exchange of ideas
  • International, dynamic and welcoming environment

USI is a young and agile university that offers to its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging and interactive approach, leaving room to practical application.

The quality of the study curricula is complemented by USI small size, by its cosmopolitan environment and its informal and dynamic culture.

These elements make USI a hub of opportunity open to the world, where students can engage in direct dialogue with their professors and define their educational path, discover unexpected horizons, and embrace international careers.

Applicants must be in possession of one of the following qualifications:

a) Swiss diplomas, awarded in Switzerland:

Maturità federale and Maturità cantonale recognised by the appropriate Federal Commission;

Maturità commerciale cantonale (Scuola cantonale di commercio, Bellinzona);

Final diploma from a university of applied sciences or diploma of a technical college recognised by the appropriate federal authorities: in these cases, where the field of study selected is the same as the previous one, the single Faculties may recommend admitting candidates to an advanced level of the programme and exempt them from particular examinations or from the internship period.

School-leaving certificates issued by Swiss schools abroad are equally accepted.

b) Overseas certificates

Applicants in possession of a foreign secondary education and/or of a foreign university diploma considered to be equivalent are admitted to the undergraduate programme. As a rule, reference is made to the guidelines of the University Admissions Commission of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities. Should there be doubt about the equivalence of a foreign qualification, this can be resolved by means of an interview or exam; language requirements and/or supplementary courses may also be required.

Italian diplomas

Secondary education (or high school) diplomas conferred by the following types of schools are considered equivalent and therefore acknowledged for admission to the Bachelor programmes:

Classical Gymnasium (or Lyceum);

Scientific Lyceum;

Language Lyceum;

Social sciences (or Humanities) Lyceum.

The following secondary education diplomas are also considered equivalent:

Arts Lyceum, limited to the Bachelor programmes in Architecture and in Italian language, literature and culture;

High school degree in Administration, Finance and Marketing, conferred by a vocational high school (or trade school in economics), limited to the Bachelor programmes in Economics, Communication Sciences and Informatics;

High school degree in Informatics and Telecommunications, conferred by a vocational technical high school, limited to the Bachelor in Informatics.

All other secondary education diplomas conferred by high schools or vocational high schools are not deemed equivalent. Exceptions can be taken into consideration for similar subject areas of study and upon fulfilment of the guidelines of the Admissions' Commission at swissuniversities (formerly CRUS, or Rector's Conference of the Swiss Universities).


With concerns to degrees conferred prior to the implementation of the current set of rules and regulations, the convergence tables for secondary education programmes, as foreseen by the previous regulatory system for the high school and vocational high school system, shall apply. However, diplomas conferred by teacher training schools, professional art schools and all other four-year secondary education schools will not be acknowledged.


The University, through the Career Service, offers to its students a series of activities and contact services with the job market.

In particular, the Service:

  • promotes and develops internship opportunities, coordinating curricular internships;
  • helps students who are seeking their first jobs, providing counselling and career-oriented services;
  • organises information sessions on a variety of companies and organisations, in the private and public sector, nationally and internationally.

More in detail:

  • The internship: Find an internship / job, Internship stories / Info stage
  • Application dossier
  • Career grants
  • Meet the companies
  • USI Career Forum
  • Long Night of the Careers
  • USI & Careers Guide

Programs available

Undergraduate Faculties/Departments and Programs


Biomedical Sciences



Postgraduate Faculties/Departments and Programs

University Highlights

USI - Università della Svizzera italiana is one of the top universities in Lugano, Switzerland. It is ranked #=273 in QS Global World University Rankings 2021.

Total students - 2,695


International students - 1,864


Total faculty staff - 403


Total students - 2,695


International students - 1,864


Total faculty staff - 403



QS Stars is a rating system that helps you select the right university based on your interests. It provides a detailed look at an institution, identifying which universities rate highest in the specific topics that matter to you, like facilities, graduate employability, social responsibility, inclusiveness, and more.
For more in-depth information about QS Stars, please click here.

Campus Locations

English language requirements

This institution accepts IELTS!
Find your nearest test centre and test dates.

Please check the specific English language requirements for your chosen course with the university.

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