Teaching languages

Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh. The official language in the canton de Vaud is French. At EPFL, French is thus the official language for legal texts and decisions. Depending on the level of studies, courses are given in French and/or English (see below).

EPFL recommends that applicants beginning their studies at EPFL have a C1 level at minimum in the teaching languages. You will find more information on the Requirements for languages and levels webpage of the EPFL Language Center (CDL).

Cours de mathématiques spéciales (CMS)

All courses in the preparatory year are given in French.


Most courses are given in French. In principle, there is a maximum of one course given in English per semester. For some courses in maths and physics, English or German may be offered as an option. From the second year, study plans may include up to 50% of courses given in English.


Teaching languages vary greatly from one cursus to another. Most Master’s programs are taught mainly in English. Others are mainly in French. A detailed presentation is available on the promotion website for the Master’s programs.

Certificate for teaching languages

A generic certificate about teaching languages at EPFL (PDF) can be downloaded and printed by any student or diploma-holder in need of such a document. If need be, this document can be certified (stamped and signed) by the Registrar’s Office.

No specific certificate can be delivered on this topic.

Having followed and completed subjects taught in a given language does not constitute an evaluation of the competence level of the student in that language.