Admission Criteria and Application

To be eligible for a master’s program in cyber security, candidates must either:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or communication systems, or
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering or physics, with excellent results: additional admission requirements (bachelor’s courses) might apply, or
  • Hold a HES bachelor’s degree in computer science (from a Swiss University of Applied Science) with a grade point average of 5.0: 60 credits of the HES Gateway must be acquired before the admission to the master’s program in cyber security is effective.

If EPFL bachelor’s students want to pursue a master’s degree in a different field from their bachelor’s program, they need to complete the full online application process. This includes meeting a minimum grade point average of 4.50 over their entire bachelor’s program. In addition to grades, other factors such as the relevance of their bachelor’s program to the desired master’s program, their motivation, and the quality of their application will also be considered during the evaluation process.

To increase their chances of getting admitted, students who want to switch fields for their master’s degree are strongly advised to take the following prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s studies. They can request permission from their section to take these courses either as part of their bachelor’s options or as “Off Plan Subjects”. If they are doing an exchange, they should try to find equivalent courses and submit a request for an equivalency analysis if their application is accepted, which will be evaluated by our faculty.

Cyber security (Prerequisite courses):

  • Software construction, 8 cr, fall 
  • Computer security and privacy, 6 cr, fall 
  • Algebra, 4 cr, fall (except for MA, PH, & CH)
  • Computer systems, 8 cr, spring 

If students have completed the prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s program, they will not need to catch up on these courses if they are admitted to a master’s program in IC. However, if EPFL bachelor’s students were unable to take the prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s studies, successful admission to a master’s program in IC will require the acquisition of these additional ECTS credits which will not count towards their master’s degree. These additional credits must be acquired during the first year of the master’s program and are non-negotiable, so students must take these courses as a priority.

>> Presentation Master Info Days [PDF] (03.2023)


Additional information

Admission principles

Admission decisions are based on the curriculum of the bachelor’s program, your grades, the statement of purpose, the reference letters, the academic reputation of your school and other elements.

GPA

Excellent bachelor-level grades are expected.

Language requirements

The program is taught entirely in English. Therefore, excellent English language skills are required to follow the master’s program in cyber security. English language certificates (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) are welcome but not compulsory.

Financial support

Financial support is available primarily through the Research Scholars MSc 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, if you start your Master in Cyber Security at ETH Zurich, the master must be completed in Zurich, of which one semester must be carried out at EPFL (the duration of this exchange semester cannot be extended).

The submission of an application for the Master in Cyber Security is tied to the school where you wish to enroll and complete the majority of the program (with the exception of the mandatory exchange semester):

  • If you apply to EPFL, you will be enrolled at EPFL, if admitted, and you will be required to complete an exchange semester at ETH Zurich. The rest of your studies must be completed at EPFL.
  • If you apply to ETH Zurich, you will be enrolled at ETHZ, if admitted, and you will be required to complete an exchange semester at EPFL. The rest of your studies must be completed at ETH Zurich.

It is up to you to decide whether you want to apply to EPFL, ETH Zurich or both schools. The two schools’ admission processes are coordinated.

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