Frequently Asked Questions

Interruption of studies

If you interrupt your studies for one or more semesters to complete your military service (as supported by a copy of your marching orders), the maximum duration of the current cycle may be extended for the same period. During this semester(s), you will remain enrolled at EPFL. Your status is “on leave”, and will be indicated on your enrollment certificate for the semester(s) in question.

For more information, please see the following two pages:

If you decide not to enroll in a Master’s program consecutive to your Bachelor’s degree, you can interrupt your studies at EPFL for a year or more without giving a specific reason. Since you are no longer a Bachelor’s student and not yet a Master’s student, you cannot remain enrolled at EPFL. For special cases, please consult this link.

If you have not attended another study program in the meantime and wish to pursue a Master’s program consecutive to your Bachelor’s degree (Master’s program in the same field of study), simply contact [email protected] (no later than June 30 for enrollment for the autumn semester, or December 31 for the spring semester).

For more information, please see the following two pages:

Progressing from a Bachelor to a Master program

EPFL Bachelor

     EPFL Master

Computer Science

  • Communication Systems
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Science

Communication Systems

  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Science
  • Neuro-X

Students with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Communication Systems may begin their studies in a consecutive Master’s program in the spring semester.  All other students will only be able to begin their studies in the autumn semester, after they have been formally admitted.

Current EPFL students are automatically enrolled in the Master’s program in their field of study and only need to confirm their registration on IS-Academia. They do not need to go through the application process to continue their studies in the same field. If their Bachelor’s degree is consecutive to more than one Master’s program, they can request to be enrolled in one of these programs at the beginning of their first semester at the Master’s level using the FRAC form.

Current EPFL students who wish to change their field of study or enter a specialized Master’s program must go through the full online application process. A minimum grade point average of 4.50 over the entire Bachelor’s program is required for admission. However, this criterion does not guarantee admission, as the quality of the application, the relevance of the completed Bachelor’s degree compared to the desired Master’s program, and the candidate’s motivation are also evaluated. Current EPFL students are exempt from providing referees’ contact information. For more information, please visit the following page: Master admission criteria & application

You can enroll in a IC Master’s program if you lack no more than 10 credits from the last year of the Bachelor’s program. These credits must be made up in the first year of the Master’s program.

  • Minimum of 3 semesters of courses (with an average of 30 credits per semester), maximum of 6 semesters of courses to complete the master’s cycle;
  • Mandatory internship in industry, of 8 weeks duration during the summer, or 6 months during a semester;
  • A Master’s project of 18 weeks duration (including 1 week of vacation) if conducted at EPFL (or ETH Zurich for Cyber Security students), or 26 weeks (including 1 week of vacation) if conducted in industry or at another university (30 credits).

Change of Master’s program in IC after start of studies

For external students (without an IC Bachelor’s degree):

You have been admitted to a specific Master’s degree program in which you have enrolled. External students (i.e., without an IC Bachelor’s degree) who wish to change their field of study (e.g., IN => DS or SC => Cyber) must follow the full online application procedure no later than the end of the 1st semester (deadlines: December 15 or March 31) for possible admittance by the Admission Committee the following September. Students should contact the Deputy Head before the start of the 2nd semester and prior to submitting the online application form. After that, students will not be able to change their field of study. 

For internal students (with an IC Bachelor’s degree):

Deadline for a possible change of Master’s program in IC (e.g., SC => DS, Cyber => IN): End of 1st semester of Master’s studies, upon request by email to the section. After that, students will not be able to change their field of study. 


Yes, excess credits from Group 1 will count towards Group 2. Thus, the student may complete their Group 2 with courses from Group 1.


Yes, you can take courses in Group 1 to obtain the minimum 32 ECTS credits required. However, if you choose courses from Group 2 – options, the credits will not count towards your Master’s degree (Group 2 – options is passed with a minimum of 40 ECTS credits) and the courses will be placed in “Courses outside the study plan”.


Yes, it is possible to fail more than one exam, either in Group 1 – core or Group 2 – options. Please note that grades below 4.0 are taken into account when calculating the average, except for subjects graded NA. For more information, see the following page: Requirements for passing the Master’s degree

If you fail an exam twice, you cannot repeat the subject again. You must earn the missing credits by successfully passing another subject, within the deadline of 6 semesters of courses maximum.

The failed subject must be taken in the academic year directly following the year of the first failure. After this period, the result of the first attempt becomes final. The result of the second attempt replaces the result of the first attempt, even if it is lower. It is not possible to keep the result of the first attempt after the second attempt.

For any absence from an exam, whether it is during the semester or during the exam session, you must provide a justification: a medical certificate, a death or birth certificate, or for elite athletes, a training certificate.

  • For continuous exams graded during the semester: The teacher must be notified of the absence as soon as possible, and the justification must be submitted within three days at the latest. If possible, the teacher will offer a substitute exam before the end of the semester. If this is not possible, the missed exam will be graded “M” and must be retaken the following year. The teacher is not authorized to change the grade distribution in the course and disregard this exam from the final grade.
  • For exams during the exam session: The absence must be announced as soon as possible to the teacher and the justification submitted to [email protected] (with a copy to the teacher) within three days at the latest. The missed exam will be graded “M” and must be retaken the following year. There is no substitute exam session.
  • N.B.: In both cases, it is possible to retake only the exam marked “M”. This means that the student who received an excellent score on the other course evaluations or on the final exam may retake the entire course or only the exam where the absence was justified. Note that if the grading of the course has changed, you may be required to take all the tests rather than only the one you have missed.  

You will find more information on the following page: Withdrawing from subjects and tests and missing tests

Calculation of averages

No, you cannot replace or remove a course for the calculation of the GPA. If you do not want a subject to appear on your transcript, you must ensure that you withdraw from the exam/course (with the exception of courses marked “no withdrawal”) via the IS-Academia portal before the withdrawal deadline. For more information, see the following page: Withdrawing from subjects and tests and missing tests

No, you cannot choose the subjects. In addition, insufficient subjects will be taken into account when calculating the average, even if no credits are earned (e.g., within a group or a block completed by accumulating credits). However, subjects graded R, E, D, or NA are not considered in calculating the average. For more information, see the following page: Transcripts of records and grade sheets

Research project

We recommend that you look for a project at the end of the previous semester. The project lists available on the lab websites are often non-exhaustive and other projects can be found by contacting the labs of interest directly. Reserve your project as early as possible. Meet with the professor or the assistant in charge and define the objectives and work to be accomplished.

For your information: the research project is carried out during the Master’s cycle, grants 12 credits and must be done at EPFL (or at ETHZ for Cybersecurity students during their mandatory exchange semester) and supervised by an authorized professor (if the research project is carried out at ETHZ for Cybersecurity students, the supervision takes place at ETHZ).

Please read the page on this topic where you will find all the useful information.

Only the registration on IS-Academia is valid for the official registration for the research project. Deadline: January 31 for a spring project, August 31 for a fall project.

According to EPFL rules, ECTS credited research projects cannot be paid.

No. The rules do not allow both projects to be done in the same semester.

There is no set order between the two projects.

It is possible to do all the projects (Bachelor research project, Master research project and Master optional research project) in the same laboratory. However, the research project (Master) and the optional research project (Master) cannot be done during the same semester. Moreover, if you fail one of the projects at the Master level, you will have to choose another project and another laboratory to repeat the branch.

Yes, a project can be done in pairs: two students per project. This possibility is either offered by the labs or you can request it. For details, you should contact the laboratory proposing the project. At the administrative level, each student will have to register for the research project on IS-Academia.


Computer Science and Communication System students can choose either a specialization or a minor. Data Science students cannot enroll in a specialization. Cyber Security students cannot enroll in either a specialization or a minor.

A minor is equivalent to 30 credits that must be earned during the duration of the Master’s program and are taken in courses offered by another section. The 30 credits count toward the 120 credits of the Master’s degree in accordance with section regulations, and replace 30 credits in Group 2. The minor will be mentioned in the Diploma Supplement.


No, every course counts only once and in one place.

Registration deadline on IS-Academia: end of the 1st semester of Master’s studies.

No, it is not possible to drop one or more courses for calculating the general average of the minor.

If you do not want a subject to appear on your transcript, you must ensure that you withdraw from the exam/course (with the exception of courses marked “no withdrawal”) via the IS-Academia portal before the withdrawal deadline. For more information, see the following page: Withdrawing from subjects and tests and missing tests

You cannot move subjects (passed or failed) from your minor to “Courses outside the study plan”. Once you have registered, a course remains in the group to which it belongs. For more information, see Art. 5.D of the « Ordonnance sur le contrôle des études menant au Bachelor et au Master à l’EPFL » (only in German, French or Italian):


End of the 1st semester of your Master’s program (M1).

For students who started the Master before September 2023, the registration deadline for the specialization is the beginning of the 3rd semester of studies (Friday of the 2nd week of the semester) => please fill in this form.

You can enroll for a specialization in the “Registration for Courses” tab on IS-Academia by the beginning of the 2nd semester. Once this deadline has passed, please send an email to Antonella Veltro for Computer Science or Carole Dauphin for Communication Systems indicating the specialization you have chosen.

For more information, see the following page: Specializations

Courses outside the study plan

No, Bachelor level courses cannot be taken during the Master program.

If the course you wish to register for appears in the list of authorized courses, you may register directly in IS-Academia, by searching for it under “Other Subjects”.

For all other courses not on the list, you must submit a request through this form. Once you have received authorization, you must register for the course in IS-Academia by searching for it under “Other Subjects”.

Please find all the useful information on this page.

The number of authorized credits is 15 ECTS. The Deputy Head may increase the 15-credit limit if the request is justified. If authorized, the course credits will be counted in Group 2 – options.

Your priority is to complete the Master cycle (90 credits of courses) and the Master project (30 credits). However, with the section’s approval, and provided that the 90 course credits have not yet been completed and that these courses have not been accepted as courses outside the plan, it is possible to take a few courses of interest outside of our study plans that will not count toward your Master’s degree. These courses will be listed under “off-plan subjects” and will not appear on your official degree transcript.

Master’s project

Yes, under the following conditions: you must not have more than 8 missing credits in your Master’s cycle, you must have completed the semester project, and you must not have reached the end of the Master’s cycle.

The oral examination must take place within a maximum of four weeks from the date the report is submitted.

Your EPFL academic supervisor is responsible for organizing the oral examination. She or he will set the date for the oral examination in consultation with the student and will select the expert from amongst EPFL staff members or persons external to EPFL (However, she or he will may not choose a staff member from their unit or a PhD student). She or he will enter the details in IS-Academia at least one month before the defense.

No, the oral examination is not open to the public. The jury consists of the EPFL academic supervisor and an examination expert (in most cases the expert is the supervisor of the company or other university where the PDM was carried out) nominated by the EPFL supervisor and approved by the Registrar’s Office. The examination expert appointed is authorized to intervene during the oral examination.

Only the EPFL academic supervisor may invite other persons to the oral examination. These persons have no right to intervene or ask questions. The EPFL academic supervisor should discuss this with the student beforehand to see if the student agrees, because the oral defense of the Master’s project is not public.