Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts (UASA) are practice-oriented universities.
They are closely linked to the world of work and the corresponding field of activity. The UASAs cover a wide range of fields of study (technology, economics, design, art, social work and health) and prepare students for entry into the professional world.
The following link contains a

list of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland

(in Italian).

University and University of Applied Sciences and Arts apply the same training system, based on the Bologna Process and both provide a recognised qualification. The substantial difference lies in the teaching methods.
UASAs offer courses with small classes and always combine theory with practical exercise.

SUPSI Bachelor's and Master's degrees are recognised at Swiss and European level. Since 2004 SUPSI has adapted its courses to the study model established by the Bologna Process. This makes SUPSI degrees compatible with the university system in force in Europe and valid for taking up a profession in Switzerland and abroad.

Attendance at the educational activities provided for in the study plan of each training cycle (theoretical lessons, exercises, workshops, seminars, etc.) is compulsory in principle, as is implicit in passing the tests, exams and aptitude tests provided for in the various courses.

Lessons can be held in Italian, English or German depending on the location and degree course. For many courses SUPSI also provides for the teaching of one or two foreign languages (English and/or German). Non-Italophone students have the possibility to attend free intensive Italian courses before and during the academic year.

The six-monthly fee is CHF 1,600 or CHF 800 for students benefiting from the application of the Intercantonal Agreement on Universities of Applied Sciences ASUP (Swiss nationality or civil and tax domicile in Switzerland or Liechtenstein). The amount varies for the degree courses offered by the affiliated Schools: Music CHF 1,500, respectively CHF 750; Theatre CHF 800 - 1200; Fernfachhochschule CHF 1800 - 2200.
In addition to the six-monthly fee, teaching contributions are to be provided, which vary according to the degree course. For further details, please refer to the course summary sheets.

Yes. The dissertation - as a rule - starts during the last year of study. The thesis must be an unpublished work that contributes to the development of knowledge and in-depth reflection on a topic that may have practical application.


The term "Bologna Process" describes the process of harmonisation of the European academic system which owes its name to the Summit of Ministers of Higher Education held in Bologna on 19 June 1999. The most important novelty brought by the Process is the new articulation of the study path, structured in two phases: Bachelor and Master (Master's degree), also known as the 3+2 course.
The Bachelor's degree allows you to obtain a generalist qualification that qualifies you for the profession and allows you to continue your studies through a Master's course of specialization.

The harmonization of study systems aims at standardizing the types of education. This allows for greater transparency and readability of educational courses and qualifications and the real possibility for students and graduates to easily continue their studies or find employment in Switzerland or another European country.

Following the Bologna Process, the study paths have been structured in different modules, each of which is worth a certain number of study credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). An ECTS credit represents a workload ranging from 25 to 30 hours per week. 60 credits measure approximately the workload of a full-time student over the course of an academic year. To obtain a Bachelor's degree you need 180 credits; for a Master's degree you need between 90 and 120 credits.

"ECTS" is the European nomenclature for study credits, while "CFU" (Credito Formativo Universitario) is the Italian term. There is no difference.

No. The Bachelor allows the graduate to enter the world of work. If they are eager to study specific areas in greater depth, they can continue their studies. The achievement of a Master's degree could also facilitate entry into the employment market.

SUPSI Bachelor's degrees are equivalent to three-year university degrees. For this reason, it is possible, after graduating from a Bachelor's degree at a UASA, to attend specialisation or Master's courses both at a UASA and at a University.


For most degree courses, the application for admission must be submitted by 15 April, some may have a different deadline. In this regard, please consult the course summary sheets. The application can only be submitted on-line using the admission procedure available on the website. Following the acceptance of the application, it is possible to make the final enrolment within the established deadline. Subsequent enrolments will be accepted according to the availability of places.

A professional baccalaureate related to the chosen study address or other equivalent diploma allows access to the admission examination or direct entry to the degree course. In some cases, high school diplomas are admitted. For candidates with a qualification other than the one required, either a year of professional practice or an entrance exam may be required. Admission is also possible for candidates without the required qualifications, but who have significant experience and have reached the age of 25. In any case, it is useful to consult the "Admissions and enrolments" page under each Bachelor's and Master's degree. For further information, please contact the SUPSI Orientation Area or the SUPSI secretariat of reference.

Many SUPSI study courses include the possibility of participating in organised programmes (APA - Year of Assisted Practice), developed in collaboration with external schools or companies. As an alternative to the APA programmes, the student has the possibility of a professional internship. In this case, the student will be responsible in the search for a job. The SUPSI Orientation area offers a support service for the preparation of the application dossier.

In accordance with the Bologna Process, credits obtained in other institutions are usually recognised. However, a preliminary interview is necessary to establish special admission procedures (exemption from modules or additional modules, the requirement to complete a work experience period, etc.).

The passing of an entrance exam or an aptitude test is foreseen for limited number degree courses.


SUPSI has laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art IT equipment and a range of specialist software. However, students are strongly encouraged to buy personal computers. IT staff can advise students on the purchase of a PC and the appropriate applications for their chosen degree course. Throughout their studies, students have free access to the Internet and receive a personal e-mail address.

Below are some general indications of the common prices applied in Ticino:

  • monthly cost of a room in a shared flat is approx. 450 CHF (280 €) per month;
  • renting a studio apartment in the centre is approx. 850-900 CHF (525-555 €) per month;
  • monthly season ticket for public transport in the Lugano region is approx. 75 CHF (46 €);
  • theatre approx. 25 CHF (15 €);
  • cinema ticket: 15 CHF (9 €);
  • simple meal at the restaurant: approx. 25 CHF (15 €);
  • coffee at the bar: 2-2.50 CHF (1.25-1.55 €).

Some SUPSI locations are equipped with a canteen service at favourable prices.

If you are struggling to find suitable accommodation, the various SUPSI notice boards often have adverts from people looking for flatmates or sub-lets. General information on accommodation can be found at the Accomodation webpage (in Italian).

Information on how to obtain scholarships can be forwarded to the Scholarship Office.

If you are a Swiss citizen, you only need to report your presence to the residents' control office in your local council. For citizens from EU/EFTA countries, it is sufficient to apply for a residence permit for study purposes at the residents' control office of the local council where you are staying.
Citizens from third countries, on the other hand, are required to apply for both a study visa and a residence permit. For more details, please consult the "Visas and residence permits" page.

Student life in the canton is concentrated mainly around the city of Lugano. SUPSI and University of Lugano have almost 5,000 students enrolled throughout the region. There are various opportunities for meetings and gatherings. The tourist organisations in the various cities also offer interesting opportunities for recreation.

SUPSI also offers a sports service that presents various activities during the course of the academic year.


The “Swiss-European mobility program” (SEMP) allows mobility to and from Switzerland with universities in the countries participating in Erasmus + in possession of an Erasmus + University Charter.
More information about the SEMP programme.

The Mobility Programme provides the opportunity to spend one or two semesters in another Swiss UASA institution. You do not need to enrol at this institution; you remain registered with SUPSI and continue to pay the semester fee, even if you attend another academic institution.
Please contact the International Office for more information.


SUPSI's Career, Experience and Study Advisory support students in the preparation of the application dossier and in the preparation for the job interview.

In general, SUPSI requires full-time attendance. However, there are many students who carry out small ancillary activities. Students from non-EU/EFTA countries can work up to 15 hours per week in a Swiss public or private company.

This attendance model is aimed at students who exercise a profession in a field related to the chosen study address, with an employment rate corresponding to at least 50%.
Those who attend courses in this way have the opportunity to transfer the knowledge learned during training into their daily work.
Within SUPSI, the PPA study modality is offered only by some Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes; it is implemented in relation to their specific educational and organisational needs, subject to strict admission conditions.


Recruitment school lasts 18 or 21 weeks and those who decide not to do it before the start of their studies have the possibility to divide it (split it) without losing study time.
However, it should be noted that:
The first part of the RS is 13 weeks and can be carried out from week 27 to 39 inclusive.
In order not to miss the first two weeks of courses (38 and 39) recruits must ask their commander for a two-week holiday.
The second part of the RS is to be carried out during the summer break of the following year, i.e. from week 24.
Applications for postponement of service must be submitted by the student to the cantonal command using the appropriate form. The form must be approved by the Departmental Directorate at least 14 weeks before the start of service.
Further information on this issue can be found on the Military Service page.