Practical information: registering online

Autumn semester

Our modules start one week after the beginning of the EPFL academic semester.

  • Period of registration: from 15 August to 17 September 2019
  • Extended hours (teacher(s) present to answer questions): from 11 to 17 September 2019
  • Confirmation of placement and possible changes: Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September 2019
  • Dates of the semester: from 23 September to 20 December 2019

Spring semester

Our modules start one week after the beginning of the EPFL academic semester.

  • Period of registration: from 15 January to 18 February 2020
  • Extended hours (teacher(s) present to answer questions): from 12 to 18 February 2020
  • Confirmation of placement and possible changes: Thursday 20 and Friday 21st February 2020
  • Dates of the semester: from 24 February to 29 May 2020

Intersemester periods

At this time of year the Language Centre proposes, in various forms and for differing lengths of time:

  • Intensive integrated skills modules
  • Specific skills modules

Look closely at the dates planned for the modules to be sure they are suitable for you.

  • Period of registration for Winter intersemester period: from 15 November to 13 December 2019
  • Period of registration for Summer intersemester period: from 15 April to 22 May 2020


Which course should I choose?

Go to our website and have a look at the modules that we offer in different languages:

  • Choose the language that interests you
  • Note the different types of course (integrated skills module, optional external exam, specific skills module…)
  • Read the title and objectives.

If you have questions, you can:

  • Come to the Language Centre reception desk
  • Meet a teacher in the days preceding the start of the new semester (dates and timetables).

Which level?

Levels are a feature of all Language Centre courses. Yours will be determined by our teachers thanks to the information you supply during online pre-registration.

Note: If your level does not correspond with the chosen module, a teacher will (time permitting) contact you for an interview.


For the Semestrial modules: The timetables are created at the end of the pre-registration deadline and will not be posted on our website. They are fixed according to the availability indicated on each student’s pre-registration form. Courses will take place between 08h00 and 20h00.

Because group levels and timetables are defined according to the registrations received, it may be that not all students are placed. If this should be the case, we invite you to come to the Language Centre to try to find a solution.

For the Intersemestrial modules: Intensive courses take place during the intersemester period (winter and summer). Possibilities are numerous. Consult the details for the language that interests you and don’t forget to make sure the dates match your availability.

Because group levels are defined according to the registrations received, it may be that not all students are placed.

On the other hand, there may also be more registrations in a group than the permitted maximum number allows. In that case, persons who are not placed will be contacted if another participant drops out.


In order for a maximum number of persons to benefit from language courses, we are obliged to establish certain limits:

  • You may register for 3 different languages. However, you will be placed in a maximum of 2 groups, according to the number of places available.
  • You cannot register for more than one module per language; however, it may be possible to change modules if you are not placed in your chosen module.


Your pre-registration does not guarantee you a place in a group: that will depend on the timetable and your level. Pre-registration must be completed online via our site:

  • Click on Register online and then on ‘French’ or ‘English’
  • Log-in with your Gaspar username and password
  • For those of you who do not have a Gaspar account but who are authorised to register, follow the procedure described on page Access to courses and details of fees.

Choose the module you would like to do and complete the steps below:

  • Provide some personal information about your previous learning in the language of your choice and formulate your objectives
  • Do a self-assessment (purely indicative)
  • Do a placement test (several pages: please do not stop after the first!). Failure to do so will mean non-placement, except if you are a complete beginner or completed the test less than 6 months ago.
  • Indicate when you are available (concerns semester modules only).

All of this information is important and will enable us to place you in the most suitable module. Please complete all steps of the pre-registration process carefully.

Allow enough time for pre-registration. You can, however interrupt the process at any time and come back to it later but only after validation will your file be processed by the Language Centre. Further online modifications will then be impossible. Your file will be accessible only for consultation.

The registration deadline is final. We take no further registrations after this.


On the days following the registration deadline, you will receive an email informing you whether or not you have been placed. You can also consult your online file.

You have been placed…

Go to the first class by following the instructions in the email you will receive two or three days before the start of the semester. You will also be able to consult the instructions via your online file)

Our modules start one week after the beginning of the academic semester (dates and schedule).

As soon as the course is confirmed, go to your online file (which also gives details of the time of the class, the teacher’s name and the room number). If relevant to your module, select a registered multimedia session. You will be able to modify your choice at any time by repeating the original procedure.

You have not been placed…

This might be due to several factors: the time of the module does not match the availability you have indicated, we could not open the module that you are interested in, we could not place everyone in the module…

Come to the Language Centre!

You might be able to adjust your timetable to the one set up for the group module and get a place (If the group is full you will be placed on a waiting list). Important: if we have to create a waiting list, you will be informed by email as soon as a place becomes available. The waiting lists are however closed after 2-3 weeks.

We can suggest alternatives: other modules, learning independently (Guided autonomy).

We can inform you about other learning modes independent of a group (Multimedia Centre for Personalised Learning – Free-access EMA, Tandem).


Presence and attestations

By registering for a course, you commit yourself to following it regularly and for the duration of the semester. If however you have to miss a class, please inform your teacher beforehand.

Those participants for whom courses are free and  who have two consecutive unexcused absences will automatically be excluded from the group. (Absences in the multimedia centre can be compensated for during the free-access sessions.)

To obtain an attestation, 80% presence in both class and the multimedia centre is compulsory. There are two types of attestation:

  • attestation for participation
  • attestation with mention of the final grade and ECTS credits

See Evaluation and promotion course followed for more information.


The information below is a summary. For more precise details, see page Access to courses and details of fees.

During the registration periods, EPFL students (including doctoral students) may sign up for free. (Language modules are financed by the EPFL.)

All other members of the EPFL community who are eligible for access to modules must obtain authorisation. The eligibility categories are as follows:

  • EPFL employees / Persons considered equivalent to EPFL employees
    • Authorisation required from immediate superior
    • Personal contribution of CHF 130.- / free if required by the unit
  • Spouses/partners of EPFL employees and students (French courses only)
    • Authorisation required from immediate superior and from Staff Training Service
    • An account will be opened at the time of online pre-registration
    • Personal contribution of CHF 520.-
  • Employees of the Confederation
    • Authorisation required from immediate superior and from Staff Training Service
    • An account will be opened at the time of online pre-registration
    • Personal contribution of CHF 650.-

Note for all categories: Participants are responsible for obtaining the course books (details of which will be given during the first class) as well as for covering fees for external examinations.