Interruption of studies during the Master’s program

General rules

Both cycles of the Master’s program must be completed within a fixed maximum duration:

  • Master’s cycle of a 120-ECTS-credit Master’s program: six consecutive semesters
  • Master’s cycle of a 90-ECTS-credit Master’s program: four consecutive semesters
  • Master’s project: two consecutive semesters

The deadline to complete the Master’s project is calculated from the successful completion of the Master’s cycle or from the conditional admission to the Master’s program should that be the case. The interruption of studies during the Master’s program is not authorised.

Special cases

Should you be unable to study for one semester or more, the maximum duration of the ongoing cycle may be extended for the same amount of time. The following constitute valid motives of inability:

  • inability to work full time (attested with a medical certificate),
  • inability to work over 50% (attested with a medical certificate),
  • the birth of your child (attested with a copy of the birth certificate),
  • a period of military duty (attested with a copy of the duty summon),
  • a period of civil duty (attested with a copy of the duty summon), or
  • the death of a close parent (attested with a copy of the death certificate),

provided that the inability to study is such that the acquisition of knowledge and/or your participation in the assignments of the majority of the classes of the given semester(s) are rendered impossible. During that/those semester(s), you remain matriculated at EPFL. You are “on leave”, and this status appears on your certificate of matriculation for the given semester(s).

If you decide not to study for one semester or more for a personal motive (learning a language abroad, working, etc.), you may ask to be put “on leave.” In such a case, however, the maximum duration of the ongoing cycle is not extendedThis is not possible during the Master’s project.

A student enrolled in a Master’s program that includes an engineer’s internship credited with the Master’s project (STAP) or an engineer’s internship credited separately (SCS) and who has not undertaken this internship before his registration for the Master’s cycle may ask to be “on internship” during one semester, provided that the planned internship takes place during that semester and has been approved by the Program. The maximum duration of the Master’s cycle is then extended for one semester, as well as the deadline to complete the full Master’s program, except in the case of an engineer’s internship credited separately (SCS) of 30 ECTS credits.

Additional information

It is not possible to acquire ECTS credits during a semester “on leave” during the Master program, with the exception of the credits for the engineer’s internship credited separately (SCS).

A student “on leave” or “on internship” from the beginning of a semester is exempted from course fees and pays only the semester taxes for that semester. This exemption does not apply for students undertaking an engineer’s internship credited separately (SCS) of 30 ECTS credits (since they can acquire, during that semester, as many credits as students studying at EPFL). Course fees are not reimbursed if the status is modified during a semester.

The interruption of studies and its motive may be indicated:

  • through the academic reregistration form on IS-Academia (when it is open in the winter and summer)
  • at the Registrar’s Office, Monday–Friday, 10–12 AM
  • via email at [email protected]

The required attestations may be delivered in person, or sent by postal mail, or scanned and send by email.

Semesters in a mobility program are not leaves: they count toward the maximum duration of studies and the couses fees are due.