Preparatory year (CMS)

This preparatory year (CMS) allows some students who do not fulfill the entrance requirements to be admitted directly into one of EPFL’s Bachelor’s programs, as well as holders of a Swiss maturité gymnasiale (cantonal certificate recognized by the Confederation or federal certificate) on a voluntary basis, to strengthen their competences in basic sciences during one year before beginning their Bachelor’s studies.

Advantages of the CMS

The CMS is designed as a preparatory year during which prospective students concentrate on the fundamental concepts of mathematics (analysis, linear algebra and analytic geometry), physics, computer science and chemistry. It also gives them time to familiarize themselves with the teaching methods used at EPFL, improve their knowledge and immerse themselves in the student life offered on campus, allowing them to start their Bachelor’s studies under the best possible conditions the following year.

Indicative distribution of weekly timetable (teaching language: French)

6h / week
Analyse I
Calcul algébrique, notions de limite et de continuité, propriétés des fonctions d’une variable réelle, calcul différentiel et intégral
4h / week
Analyse II
Trigonométrie, nombres complexes, étude des fonctions élémentaires (trigonométriques, exponentielle et logarithme)
4h / week
Géométrie analytique
Calcul vectoriel, produit scalaire, représentation cartésienne d’objets géométriques (droites, plans, cercles, etc.) dans le plan et dans l’espace
4h / week
Algèbre linéaire
Espaces vectoriels, calcul matriciel, étude des transformations linéaires, systèmes d’équations linéaires
6h / week
Mouvement dans le plan, lois de la dynamique, énergie, gaz parfait, états de la matière, électrostatique, magnétostatique
4h / week
Informatique et Calcul scientifique
Introduction à l’algorithmique et à la programmation, bases de l’analyse numérique, applications à la résolution de problèmes scientifiques
3h / week
Liaisons chimiques, stoechiométrie, équilibres chimiques, acides et bases, cinétique (uniquement deuxième semestre)

The teaching language is French and the courses follow the standard format used at EPFL: for each subject, two hours of lecture followed by two hours of classroom exercises, which are overseen by the teachers and their assistants.

Immersion at EPFL

In order to fully immerse themselves at EPFL, students enrolled in this preparatory year also have the opportunity to attend French classes free of charge at the Language Center, and they enjoy full student rights. Therefore, they have access to the library and to the Sport Center, they may attend the various events organized on campus and take part in the activities offered by the associations.

More information about the CMS

Admission requirements

Direct access (subject to availability) for holders of a Swiss “maturité gymnasiale” or vocational/specialized “maturité”; specific admission requirements for other candidates.

Rules and evaluation

Holders of a Swiss “maturité gymnasiale” may automatically integrate a Bachelor’s program of their choice. All other candidates must successfully pass the CMS or the entrance exam.

Teaching staff

“Good at explaining, available and dedicated to the success of their students”: this is how former CMS students describe the teaching staff.

For CMS students

CMS Intranet

The CMS’ virtual office is available to students 24/7.

Useful documents

Consult the CMS’ rules, catalogue of courses, calendar and timetable.

After the CMS

Discover EPFL’s Bachelor’s programs, orientation tools and open days.


François Genoud
Tél: 41 21 693 22 91

Cours de mathématiques spéciales
Station 4
CH-1015 Lausanne

Tél: 41 21 693 22 95

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