Exemption and equivalence

Exemption is when a student is exempted from attending and validating a subject that is part of his study plan. This can only take place if he has already acquired the taught knowledge and competences within another class of equivalent level (this is called equivalence).

Exemption from a subject (first year)

It is not possible to obtain equivalence for a first-year subject.

In case of transfer during the first year, for subjects that are identical (title and content) in both programs, the same rules apply as in the case of a second attempt in the same program. These rules are detailed on the page Requirements for passing the first year and the mise à niveau. The procedure to transfer is detailed on the page Program transfer during the first year.

Exemption from a subject (Bachelor’s and Master’s cycles)

It is possible to ask for an equivalence when you have already attended a similar class, with the same content and level as the one in your current program, at EPFL or at another institution. The following conditions must be taken into account:

  • you must have successfully completed the class in question;
  • that class must not be part of a program for which you have obtained a diploma, since a same class cannot count toward two different titles;
  • the grade you have obtained for that class will not be transferred to your current program (a D will appear on your transcripts, and your averages will be calculated without the corresponding subject) unless it is the same class taken at EPFL within another program (two subjects with similar titles in two different programs are not necessarily identical).

To ask for an equivalence, please fill in the form Course equivalence/exemption and submit it to the secretary’s office of your program before the end of the second week of the semester during which the subject in question is taught. You will receive a reply by email after the analysis of your request by the program and the Registrar’s Office.