Civil engineering

  • Department/School
  • Department for Environment Constructions and Design
  • Head of course
  • Manuel Lüscher, Christian Ambrosi
  • Qualification awarded
  • Bachelor of Science SUPSI in Civil engineering
  • Course type
  • Full-time course (180 ECTS over three years) Course running parallel with professional working activity (180 ECTS over four years)
  • Language
  • Italian
  • Application fee
  • A CHF 100 fee must be paid when the application is made. This fee is not reimbursable, and cannot be deducted from the semester fee.
  • Course fee
  • The semester fee amounts to CHF 1,600. This sum is reduced to CHF 800 for students who benefit from the application of the ASUP Intercantonal Agreement for Vocational Universities (Swiss nationality or civil and fiscal domicile in Switzerland or in Liechtenstein). Specific agreements apply for students residing in Campione d’Italia.
  • Centre
  • Mendrisio
  • Start date
  • 19 September 2022
  • Application deadline
  • 31 August 2022
  • The degree program reserves the right to close enrollment early if the maximum number of available seats is reached.
  • Description
  • Following a broad-based programme, closely linked to professional practice, students learn how to work autonomously and in an interdisciplinary environment, conducting in-depth study into the financial and social components of the construction sector and of the local area, while also learning about optimal resource management, based on solid foundations of design and sizing. Teaching is anchored to methodologies that have been diversified and adapted to the competences that must be learned, allowing students to acquire the transversal skills characteristic of the civil engineering profession.


“The real world in education” could be the definition of the Civil Engineering programme, both full-time (FT) and in parallel with professional working activity (PAP), and which covers a vast range of theoretical concepts and practical experience, acquired gradually over the course of the Bachelor programme. In fact, the main characteristic of the academic course is that of guiding students through an educational curriculum that becomes gradually more specific and concrete, closely reflecting real-life professional/design situations that they will face on completion of their studies. The fundamental theoretical subjects are tackled first, before moving on to all the main sectors of civil engineering, which range from topics related to the activities conducted by public works offices, to structures made from wood, steel or concrete. Also included are the necessary project and construction management components, which also touch on financial, legal and planning-related aspects. One step at a time, progressing from a set objective to a result achieved, culminating the Bachelor thesis, which encompasses the pragmatic and practical skills learned in an interdisciplinary manner in the course of the programme. In addition to this, teaching is often supported and combined with practical laboratory work, topic-based seminars and visits to construction sites.


The professional figure of the civil engineer is in evolution, and students wishing to pursue this career should be reliable and well-organised, keen to find construction solutions while endeavouring to solve tangible problems. The SUP civil engineering programme aims to gradually deliver the specific professional competences required, and, precisely because of this, facilitates new graduates in their search for professional employment; at the same time, students can develop their critical skills and sense of judgement, with a view to being able to operate effectively and competently both in design studios and on construction sites. The programme therefore combines the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge with the development of perceptiveness and understanding in terms of construction.

Admission requirements

Applicants with the Federal Certificate of Proficiency (AFC) and school leaving examination from a technical secondary school (MPT) or artistic secondary school (MPA) in a profession related to the field of study, or with a diploma from a specialist technical college (SSST) related to the selected course of study, are admitted directly. Applicants with a diploma in surveying (Italy) or an industrial construction expert diploma from an Upper Secondary School (Italy) are also admitted. Applicants with general secondary school leaving examination or leaving examination from a commercial secondary school (MPC) are admitted provided they have completed one year of on-the-job experience recognised by SUPSI. This work-experience year can be arranged by the Department and guarantees direct admission. Applicants aged more than 25 and who lack these qualifications may be admitted on the basis of their prior learning, provided they have significant training and work experience. Applicants who plan to attend the course conducted in parallel with professional working activity (PAP) must have a 50% employment contract with a civil engineering studio, and they must have matured at one year of work experience in the profession. Depending on the number of applicants, SUPSI reserves the right to hold an entrance examination ordering applicants in order of merit. Those with school leaving examination from a vocational secondary school in an area related to civil engineering, and those who have completed the work experience year arranged by the Department, are exonerated from this entrance examination.

Career prospects

Educational prospects
The degree has Federal recognition. Among the specialisation opportunities available in Euro­pe, the Degree course in Civil Engineering has established mutual recognition agreements with the following univer­sities: Lausanne Polytechnic; Zurich Polytechnic; Turin Polytechnic; Milan Polytechnic; University of Bergamo;  Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart; Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) at certain Swiss SUP Institutes.

Career prospects
Bachelor graduates can operate independently or find em­ployment in design studios, technical studios, construction companies, public services (Federal, Cantonal or Munici­pal). Work is conducted essentially in an office and on bu­ilding sites, where activities are planned and coordinated, controlling that they are advancing regularly and properly executed. Civil engineering has an extremely varied and ra­pidly evolving field of application. “Traditional” knowledge and methodologies are integrated with innovative techni­ques, for the conception, design, construction, manage­ment and maintenance of structures and infrastructures, also considering environmental and energy sustainability aspects. Civil engineers can make informed decisions and plan in the long term. Graduates are therefore well equip­ped to perform a range of professional roles also in other sectors, such as insurance and banking, management and in the consulting field.