Admissions to Graduate School

Are you an excellent student completing at least three years of university (or equivalent) education with rigorous background in computing, communication systems, engineering, mathematics, or science? Are you interested in pursuing a subsequent graduate degree at the EPFL School of Computer and Communication Sciences? Depending on the degree that you will have completed by the time you plan to start at EPFL, here is an overview of your options.

After four or five-year University Degree: PhD at EPFL

If you will have completed a four-year or a five-year degree, we advise you to apply to our PhD program (EDIC). Financial support in the form of a salary is available to all admitted PhD students.

If you will have a four-year degree you can apply for PhD, MSc, or both. The admissions criteria in both cases are the same: we are looking for high potential to excel in research and coursework at EPFL. If you apply for MSc you must explain in your statement of purpose why you would prefer to pursue a MSc degree instead of a PhD for which you are also eligible. If you are applying for both MSc and PhD, please indicate this fact in both of your statements of purpose.

If you will have a five-year degree in an area different than the programs we offer in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, please follow the same rules as for four-year degree programs in the previous paragraph.

Note that you are not eligible to start an EPFL MSc degree if you are already scheduled to receive a five-year degree from your home university in a closely related field. In this case, PhD (EDIC) is the sole option for you.

What is it like doing a PhD in Switzerland?

To find our more about what it’s like to live Switzerland and doing a PhD at EPFL,  Assistant Professor Mathias Payer shares some very useful insights on is blog. You’ll also find essential information about the EDIC application process.  


If you are finishing a three-year university program (or a four-year degree, see above), please apply to one of our MSc programs (listed alphabetically):

Financial support for MSc is available primarily through the research scholars program, which provides financial support from the first days of studies and is open to all students. It gives a student an opportunity to work on research projects in one of the laboratories of our school. Additionally, EPFL awards a small number of Master Excellence Fellowships  that provide financial support. Students can also arrange research assistantships paid by the hour in direct communication with the professor of the hosting laboratory; these are part-time during the semester and up to full time during the holidays. Hourly research may commence from the start of studies for Swiss and EU students or after an initial six-month period for all remaining students.

You cannot enter our PhD program with only a three-year university degree.

Special circumstances

Dual Degree MSc involving EPFL are possible only with universities with which EPFL has signed a dual degree agreement. Please inquire with your home university if such agreements exist and precisely which EPFL degrees are involved.