Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply and How ? | How do I apply for the Masters Scholarship and for admission to the Masters programme ? | Can I apply if I have not yet obtained my degree equivalent to a Swiss Bachelor degree? | Can I apply if I already hold a degree equivalent to a Swiss masters degree? | How do I fill in the "University Studies" sections on the application form? | How can I obtain certified copies and notarised translations of the academic documents ? (Points 4 and 5 on the list of documents to attach to the application.) | Who can write a letter of recommendation ? | Why do I need proof of payment of the CHF 200.00 administration fee ? | Is the Master's Grant sufficient to live in Switzerland ? | Which linguistic level is required for a Master ?
 

Who can apply and How ?

Candidates must have graduated from a foreign university only: their qualification/university degree must be considered equivalent to a Bachelor degree obtained in Switzerland (180 ETCS credits). If your Masters scholarship application pack is complete, the Admissions Department (SII) will decide whether or not you are admissible unconditionally to a Masters programme at UNIL.

 

Students with a foreign university degree who have already begun a Masters programme at UNIL or who are in their preparatory year are not authorised to apply.

 

Candidates must send their completed application, unbound, by post only to the following address (applications sent by email will not be taken into acount) :

 

Université de Lausanne

Service des affaires sociales et de la mobilité étudiante (SASME)

Bâtiment Unicentre

CH - 1015 Lausanne

Switzerland

 

The application form must be completed on a computer and duly signed by the candidate.

 

The application for the Masters scholarship also serves as an application for admission to your chosen masters (and therefore an application to register at UNIL).

How do I apply for the Masters Scholarship and for admission to the Masters programme ?

As explained on the Masters scholarship page on the website, you must not apply via the Admissions Department (SII) for your registration/application for admission to your chosen Masters degree at UNIL. The application for the Masters scholarship also serves as an application for admission to the Masters programme.

 

You must therefore not apply online on the SII's website; you should simply provide us with all the required documents for your application for the Masters scholarship.

 

As indicated on the "Selection process calendar", it is only after the selection process for Masters scholarships that candidates whose application for a scholarship has been unsuccessful must contact the SII should they wish to continue their application for admission to their chosen Masters degree. They will receive a letter explaining the process to follow for normal registration for the Masters degree.

Can I apply if I have not yet obtained my degree equivalent to a Swiss Bachelor degree?

Yes, you may apply for a Masters scholarship even if you have not yet obtained your degree equivalent to a Swiss Bachelor degree at the time of application. Nonetheless, you must of course have completed and obtained your degree before the start of your chosen Masters programme at UNIL.

 

If you are in the process of obtaining your university degree, you must provide in your application all existing grade transcripts as well as a description of the remainder of your course until you obtain your final degree, including the list of modules to be followed, the number of credits to be obtained or, for example, the subject of the end of course dissertation you are working on, depending on the structure of your degree course. This description must be as precise as possible. This does not need to be an official document.

 

If you have obtained the degree corresponding to a Swiss Bachelor degree at the moment of application for the scholarship but not yet received the final certificate, you must provide us with at least an official confirmation of success in the degree course, signed by the institution that awarded it.

Can I apply if I already hold a degree equivalent to a Swiss masters degree?

Students who have already obtained a masters level degree from a foreign university also have the right to apply, although priority will be given to students who only hold a Bachelor- level degree (or are about to obtain one) at the time of application.

 

Students who have already obtained a degree considered equivalent to a Swiss Bachelor degree and are in the process of following an additional course of study (a masters, for example) or a new degree at the time of application for the Masters scholarship, at the same institution or at another foreign university, must also specify this on the application form and provide us with all existing grade transcripts for the course as well as a detailed description of the remainder of the programme until they obtain their final degree.

How do I fill in the "University Studies" sections on the application form?

On the application form, under "University Studies", we need to know, in detail, about your complete university programme, including the exact title of all degrees obtained or expected, the number of years for studies already completed or in process, and the number of semesters to complete before the expected degree is obtained. As foreign university degrees are sometimes structured differently to a Swiss Bachelor programme, and you may be in the process of studying for other degrees after obtaining one or more completed degrees, we  need as much information as possible in order to understand the structure and content of your past and (where applicable) current studies. That is why we have included additional sections (II and III) so that you can list all your university degrees, in chronological order.

 

If you do not have enough space on the form for the information you wish to provide us with, you can attach a supplementary document. The first table on the form concerns your university studies, which must be equivalent to a Swiss Bachelor level degree.

How can I obtain certified copies and notarised translations of the academic documents ? (Points 4 and 5 on the list of documents to attach to the application.)

Firstly, students applying for a Masters scholarship and seeking clarification regarding UNIL's requirements concerning certified copies and notarised translations must read the information on this web page

 

If, following this, you require further information, you must contact the Admissions Department (SII) directly by email to immat.master@unil.ch.

 

As the Social Affairs and Student Mobility Office (SASME) cannot answer questions about the required academic documents, there is no need to contact them.

Emails on this subject addressed to the SASME will not receive a response.

Who can write a letter of recommendation ?

Any member of the teaching staff with knowledge of your past or present studies (lecturers, supervisors, assistant lecturers, etc.). Any of your current or former employers may also write a letter of recommendation.

 

The original letters of recommendation must be attached to your application, in sealed envelopes.

 

Should it be impossible or difficult for you to obtain them in time to submit your application, the letters of recommendation must be sent directly by their authors to the Social Affairs and Student Mobility Office (SASME) by email to: mastergrants@unil.ch by 1 November at the latest.

 

It is of course possible to provide more than two letters of recommendation.

Why do I need proof of payment of the CHF 200.00 administration fee ?

This is the fee for processing and considering your application for admission to the Masters programme by the Admissions Department (SII). The fee must be paid by all students wishing to register at UNIL. It has no relation to your application for a Masters scholarship.

 

The administration fee must be paid and the proof of payment (copy of the bank transfer receipt, for example), attached to your application for the Masters scholarship by 1 November at the latest.

 

We can make no exceptions for the payment of this administration fee. Nonetheless, if your application for the Masters scholarship is unsuccessful but you are admitted to the intended masters programme and wish to register as a regular student, you will not have to pay this fee again.

Is the Master's Grant sufficient to live in Switzerland ?

The federal and cantonal authorities consider that an amount of approximately CHF 2000.- per month is necessary to live in Lausanne. As such, the amount of the Master's Grant does not cover the full expenses of a student. It is thus highly recommended to have some personal complementary financial ressources in order to supplement the monthly budget. Furthermore, the Master's Grant is payed solely during the academic year, that is for 10 months. It does not cover the period from july 15th to september 15th.

Nonetheless, the University of Lausanne guarantees to all Master's grantees an accommodation with the Student Housing Foundation of Lausanne, the FMEL. The rent has to be paid by the student, but the amount is reasonable in comparison with the prices of the private housing market in the Lausanne region. Plus, international students at the University of Lausanne can buy a special health insurance which is also cheaper than the ones that are paid by swiss students.

Which linguistic level is required for a Master ?

To attend UNIL’s classes a level of language of at least B2 is recommended in French and a level of C2 is highly recommended in English according to the language in which your chosen masters is taught.

Master taught in English

Experience has shown that for applicants whose native tongue is not English or whose Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English a solid command of English is essential for succeeding this program. Upon starting the program, you should have attained a level of proficiency in English as a foreign language corresponding to one of the following minimum levels:

 

  • TOEFL CBT: 250 points
  • TOEFL IBT: 100 points
  • TOEFL PBT: 600 points;
  • Academic IELTS: 7 points
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): Grade B
  • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Grade C
  • TOEIC: 850 points

Master taught in French

Students whose mother tongue is not French or whose Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English should have attained a B2 level of language minimum. Following degrees are accepted:

 

  • Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) niveau B2
  • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) niveau C1
  • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) niveau C2
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) pour les étudiants et futurs étudiants de niveau B2 ou plus haut
  • Test d'évaluation du français (TEF) de la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris niveau 4 minimum, accompagné des 2 épreuves facultatives niveau 4 minimum.
  • Diplôme Supérieur Langue et Culture Françaises de l'Alliance française
  • Diplôme de Hautes Etudes Françaises de l'Alliance française
  • Diplôme de langue de l'Alliance française
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