Course numbering

The course codes at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD levels aim to:

1) specify the level of studies and affiliation of a course: since there exist courses with similar titles at various levels of studies and taught in different programs, it is important for students to have clear information, even in the case of mobility or transdisciplinary curricula

2) make EPFL courses easy to recognise internationally: from this perspective, course codes must be visible and readable for any potential employer or school

3) make it easy also for teachers and administrators to identify a course

Code structure

  • Acronym specifying the field of study (see table below)
  • Three-digit number, with the first digit specifying the level of study (see list hereafter) and the next two digits specifying the course itself:
    1 = first-year course
    2 = introductory Bachelor’s course
    3 = advanced Bachelor’s course
    4 = introductory Master’s course
    5 = advanced Master’s course
    6 = introductory PhD course
    7 = advanced PhD course
  • Courses taught more than once, with the same content but different teachers, may be identified with a small letter following the three-digit number, e.g.: MATH-101(b)

Acronym table

Acronym Field of study
PHYS Physics
MATH Mathematics
CH Chemistry
ChE Chemical Engineering
CS Computer Science
COM Communication Systems
EE Electrical Engineering
MICRO Microengineering and Microsystems
ME Mechanical Engineering
MSE Material Science and Engineering
AR Architecture
CIVIL Civil Engineering
ENV Environmental Sciences and Engineering
BIO Life Sciences
MGT Management
SHS Social and Human Sciences
ENG Engineering
FIN Finance
DH Digital Humanities
PENS ‘Projeter ensemble’
HEP HEP Lausanne
ETH ETH Zurich

This numbering system was first used during academic year 2008–2009; it does not apply retroactively to courses in earlier years.