Industry Internships: Students

EPFL students must do an internship to obtain their engineer degree. This allows them to discover day-to-day work in a professional environment.
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Internships have a minimal duration of 8 consecutive full-time weeks (max. 6 months). They can be done between the Bachelor and Master cycles (between BA6 and MA1) or any time during the Master cycle (but before the Master thesis). Internships require an official internship agreement. They can be found through the internship portal on ISA or by yourself.

This page is specifically about industry internships for students from the School of Life Sciences. If you need more general information, check out the EPFL page about industry internships.

Two weeks before the end of the internship, a link to an online evaluation form will be sent to the internship coordinator by the School (and to you for self-assessment). The information provided by the company will be used by the section to determine the success or failure of the internship.

The IS_ACADEMIA “stages” portal is accessible to all students with selected internships depending on the cursus.

  1. Apply and be hired by a company by submitting your CV and a motivation letter.
  2. Organize the establishment and signature of the internship agreement (3 original signed agreements) containing the dates of internship and host company supervisor contact information.
  3. Complete on ISA information regarding the internship dates and the supervisor.
  4. Contact the EPFL coordinator for final validation.

Your personal investigations (social network, searches on internet, spontaneous offers, applications to internship programs, from agencies).

  1. Once you have found an opportunity (a company and a description of the content of your internship), please contact the EPFL coordinator for approval.
  2. Organize the establishment and signature of the internship agreement (3 original signed agreements) containing the dates of internship and host company supervisor contact information.
  3. Register your internship on ISA in the Internship portal by filling the required fields.
  4. Contact the EPFL coordinator for final validation.

Yes! An internship in a company is mandatory for every EPFL Master student.

The internship is mandatory and there is no alternative, since the 2017-2018 Master.

The internship must last at least 8 consecutive weeks at 100% occupation. Its maximum length is 6 months. Typically, an 8 weeks internship will take place either between the end of the Bachelor degree and the beginning of the Master Cycle, or in between the two years of the Master, during the Summer break. For a longer internship, you will need to do a semester where you are registered as “in internship” and not take any courses.

There is no geographical limitation for the internship provided it is done in a company.

By internship, it is understood that you will be taking part in an activity in a company where you will apply your personal skills and the knowledge acquired during your studies at EPFL. “Summer jobs” which have no relationship to your training are excluded.

A company is any institution (including non-profit) that is not involved in higher education. In the case of European institutions those that attribute ECTS credits are excluded. At institutions such as University Hospitals, acceptable internships are limited to the service areas of the hospital (central laboratory, imaging, nuclear medicine, pharmacy, etc.). Fundamental research labs within the clinical setting are not allowed.

Absolutely! Just like for your theoretical and practical skills, your personal initiative and your relational network are an important part of your future career. A personal proposal also gives you the best chance of finding what is the most appropriate position for you. As for every internship, the content needs to be accepted by the SV Section in order to be validated in your study’s cursus. In order to obtain validation for the internship, post a brief description of the subject (2-3 sentences), the address and website of the company, the approximate dates on which you plan to carry out your internship (8 weeks minimum and 6 months maximum; full-time), and the name of your contact person, on You should not complete and sign the internship agreement (convention de stage) before obtaining validation. The next step would be to register the internship on ISAcademia Internship’s portal.

Registration is only possible through the IS-Academia course portal. If you have found the internship by your own means, add it to the portal. It is important not to register for the BIOENG-596 course under any circumstances.

No. There is no need to write a report for short internships. If a report is part of your duties towards the company, a copy will be welcome for a confidential and internal use in order to appreciate the type of activity that you have been executing at the company.

Although there is no need to write an activity report for the Section, a written evaluation from your internship supervisor, as well as your evaluation of the internship is mandatory for the validation and the credits of the internship (by the internship coordinator). An editable form is available at

The internship is credited 8 ECTS. The internship is seen as an experience in the world of industry also enable you to refine your career choice. Moreover, this is also an experience that will benefit to your CV.

As a master student, the monthly salary should be in the range of CHF 1’000 – 2’000. Be aware that CHF 1’700 – 2’000 is the lower limit for the delivery of a working permit by the Employment Service (Vaud) for all foreign students (excluding EU).

No. It is your responsibility to check if you have appropriate insurance covering illness, accidents and personal liability insurance.

EPFL requires an internship agreement signed by the company, the student and the EPFL (represented by the Faculty internship coordinator). An editable .doc file is available on the EPFL SV Internship drive and at This agreement covers all the issues of an internship position, and in most cases is accepted by most of the companies. If a company is not willing to sign this document and proposes another model of agreement, please contact your internship coordinator.

EPFL is extensively contacting companies in Switzerland and in Europe to make them aware of our new and innovative program which includes a mandatory internship. Many companies publish their positions in the “internship” part of IS-Academia while other companies have their own “career” website and are open to EPFL students contacting them directly.

Yes. If you did an internship in a company after your Bachelor degree, you may have it evaluated and potentially recognized as the mandatory internship. You will need to provide an internship certificate which includes an evaluation of your internship activity, the name of your internship supervisor, the dates, title and description of the internship.

You have to find the professor or a senior scientist who will accept to take the responsibility of supervising your Master project.

No, not in the School of Life Sciences.

It is possible to combine the industry internship with the Master project, by doing both in the same company, under certain conditions (see below). It is then necessary to differentiate between the internship part, of which the subject must ideally be related to an industrial objective, and the PDM part, which aims to develop deeper knowledge, understanding and skills on a topic related to the program of study, and to demonstrate the ability to carry out independent work in research or advanced development.

The industry internship must be done before the PDM and the combination of the two is dependent on having previously validated/completed all the groups of the Master cycle (except group 3 “Industry internship”). Please note that in addition to the mandatory industry internship, the student can do the PDM or a lab immersion out of EPFL (22 credits) in industry, but not both.

The validation procedure is different for the industry internship and the PDM :

  • The duration of the industry internship remains between 8 weeks and 6 months, and the internship agreement must be signed. The validation of the internship is done exclusively through the IS-Academia internship portal and does not require registration for a course. Read more information about the industry internship.
  • The duration of the PDM outside EPFL can be 17 weeks, or 25 weeks. It is necessary to find an EPFL supervisor who will have to validate the subject as a PDM, and fill in the registration form to be returned to Igor Allaman. It is possible, but not mandatory, to have an additional agreement signed for the PDM (under the responsibilty of the EPFL supervisor). Read more information and find documents for the PDM.


For additional information, validation of the industry internship subject, and signatures, please contact the SV section through the Life Sciences Engineering (LSE) support platform.