University of Bern

Berne, Switzerland
The University of Bern offers top quality across the board: it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines, is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting, and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the city.

About University of Bern

The University of Bern offers top quality across the board: it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines, is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting, and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the city.

The university's comprehensive offering includes 8 faculties, some 160 institutes, 60 Bachelor- and 83 Masterprograms, PhD in all disciplines and more than 200 executive programs. Courses include theology, humanities, law, the economic and social sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine and sciences. Its your option to make various combinations, including across different faculties. Whether you want to combine economics with archaeology or psychology with computer science, you will not be short of choices.

With 17,500 students, the University of Bern is of mid-range size among Swiss universities. Unlike the bigger institutions, it retains a warm and friendly atmosphere. The central geographic location and its attractive programs, draw students from all Switzerland's language communities and from abroad. Fees remain very affordable and there is a good choice of rented accommodation.

Its academic and research organization prides itself on its interdisciplinarity, exemplified by its Graduate Schools and its Strategic Research Centers and its leading of several National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR): International Trade Regulation and TransCure (membrane transporter research to the treatment of human diseases). Additionally it shares the NCCR MUST (experimental physics) as well as RNA & Disease which studies a class of molecules that is pivotal for many vital processes both with the ETH Zurich. Furthermore PlanetS with the University of Geneva, which aims to contribute to a better unterstanding of planets. The University is actively involved in a wide range of European and worldwide research projects, notably in the field of Space and Fundamental Physics Research; Climate Change, and Biomedical Engineering Research and Dental Medicine.

Most of the institutes are located in the Länggasse, a lively student quarter that offers a wide range of places to eat and drink: snack bars, restaurants and cafes are an invitation to wind down. The railway station and city center with an abundance of shops are just a few minutes' walk from the different university buildings.

The city of Bern is listed among the cities that offer excellent quality of life in the world. The people of Bern are welcoming and peaceable, and the old town of Bern, nestling in a breath-taking setting surrounded by the Swiss Alps, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The Swiss capital also has an broad range of cultural activities. There are plenty of green areas in which to relax, and, for the local, there is nothing more vivifying than a daily dip in the Aare river.


Orientation Day for First-Year Students

The orientation day for first-year students is always the Friday before the start of the fall semester.

Its an introduction to studies at the University of Bern; and it should provide answers to any questions students may have about their upcoming studies, and help them find their way around the University of Bern. The orientation day also gives a representative picture of life at and around the university, and gives students a chance to make new contacts.

Join on the Friday before the official beginning of semester to gather Information and meet other students.

Masters open days

Masters open days are usually held in March.

Drop by the info events during the Master's open days and find out more about the preconditions, possible special qualifications and plan of studies for your chosen subject.

Also benefit from the chance to talk to master students and lecturers who will be happy to give you valuable tips and recommendations in a direct exchange. For numerous fields of study, the regular courses are also opened up so you can see for yourself in advance how lectures and seminars are conducted.

Language courses

German as a foreign language

Free courses from levels A1 to C2 (beginners up to high-school leaving equivalent) are offered for students registered at the University of Bern.

German Integration Course for exchange students

A two week course before the semesters starts for exchange students. The course offers language trainings, and activities to help students learn more about Switzerland, the university and the city of Bern. They are also given the opportunity to improve their study skills and conversational skills, and to expand their vocabulary.

English for Academic Purposes

Courses are designed to provide language support for undergraduate and graduate students who need to understand, speak, and write English for their studies and academic careers.

All courses are free of charge for registred students at the University of Bern.

Language Tandem

Tandem learning is a learning partnership between two people with different mother tongues. Participants agree to meet regularly to improve their language skills and to learn a little about each other's culture or country. The program is open to students currently matriculated to study at the University of Bern and to members of staff employed by the University of Bern.

Counselling Centre Universities of Bern

Counselling for students and staff on career and personal issues. Study organization: course planning, changing course and subject combination, alternatives to studying, balancing studying and employment, combining studying with family life, financing your studies

  • Work and learning techniques and coping with exams

  • Career planning

  • Conflicts in personal and study relationships

  • Difficulties, crises and personal development

The services are free of charge.

Study guide of the Counselling Centre

Start of studies, skills and doctoral studies

Office for gender equality

The university is committed to gender equality for men and women. It promotes the success of both men and women in academia with effective instruments of gender equality and career models.

Assistance and advice on gender equality issues for University staff

International Office

Information for exchange students from partner universities on academic life at the university and everyday life in Bern. Orientation and integration events.

Advise for regular students who come to Bern to study for a master's degree or doctorate on life in the town and at the university.

Integrity office

The integrity officer is the contact person for all members of the university regarding any questions of dishonesty. He or she is Independent of all institutions of the University

Ombudsman / Ombudswoman

Counselling and mediation for University staff in conflicts concerning employment

Discrimination, sexual harassment at the workplace and at the University

Consultation and assistance for students and staff members in cases of sexual harassment

Student Union

The Student Union of the University of Bern (SUB) represents the concerns and interests of the students of the University of Bern. It is a public law entity based on the University Law of the canton of Bern. Over 90% of students in Bern are SUB members.

As well as political representation, the SUB offers the students of the University of Bern a comprehensive and varied range of services and advice, such as jobs, accommodation, free tickets to cultural events, legal and financial advice and help.

Welcome Center for doctoral students and staff

Information and advice for researchers new to the University of Bern on all non-academic issues, such as: «Moving to Bern», «Health Insurance», «Family», etc.

A choice of online tools at the University of Bern.

Course Catalogue

Mobile computing on Campus

IT services

Campus maps

University Library

The largest library of the University of Bern

Numerous institute libraries to take out books or get access to electronic media

Student book shop

Three professionally managed academic bookshops on the university campus. In addition to selling books, the bookshops offer various services, which range from the sale of lecture notes through the printing of semester papers to the sale of tickets for university parties.

Student life at University of Bern

Clubs and Associations of the University of Bern

Students representativies

Cultural, political, religious, fraternities/sororities associations, and other student groups

Cafeteria and restaurants

In every major building you will find a cafeteria or restaurant.

Accommodation living

In Bern, there are various student lodging companies that rent out rooms and studios to students.

It is common to share a flat (Wohngemeinschaft or WG). You rent a room (Zimmer) in an apartment with other students/persons. Many people enjoy the social aspect, while others simply need to save money. Rooms in apartment are generally unfurnished, but furnished rooms are sometimes available temporarily when students take semesters off or participate in exchange programs.

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Financial Matters

For your stay in Switzerland, you need at least CHF 1,500 a month for accommodation and food.

It is difficult to find part-time jobs. As a non-Swiss student you are allowed to work a maximum of 15 hours a week. Non-EU/EFTA and Croatian nationals may only start working in Switzerland after having lived in the country for six months.

To apply for a residence permit, you require financial proof confirming that you will be able to pay the minimum living expenses of CHF 1,500 a month (a bank statement from your bank account or a written guarantee from a person supporting you with CHF 1,500 a month with bank statement and a copy of the person's passport).

Estimated monthly living expenses:


Information on scholarships and financial and non-material support for students

Social fund foundation

Financial aid for all registered students who are are currently suffering from an acute financial emergency (unforeseen and temporary) and who are coming up to their final degree (bachelor, master or doctorate)

Social Fund Student Union (SUB)

The social fund of the SUB is ready to support SUB or MVUB members and exchange students with immense financial difficulties.

Visa and residence permit in Switzerland

The conditions relevant to entering and residing in Switzerland depend on your nationality and on whether you are a degree-seeking or an exchange student at the University of Bern

Health insurance

Anyone living in Switzerland for more than three months is obliged to pay health insurance.

City of Bern

Internationally, Bern is one of the cities with the highest quality of life. The friendly and relaxed mentality of the Bernese people, the beautiful medieval town, now a protected UNESCO site, the impressive Alpine panorama as well as a rich cultural program are all characteristic of the Swiss capital with its approximately 139,000 inhabitants. It is without doubt the mix of the traditional and the modern that lends Bern its particular charm. Many green areas invite you to sit down and relax, and for many bathing in the River Aare has become a daily ritual in the summer. Thanks to its central position, Bern is a splendid starting point for trips to the Alps and the Bernese Oberland in both summer and winter. From Bern, you can discover virtually the whole of Switzerland in day trips.

Leisure time culture

Discover the wide range of cultural activities, the Swiss capital also offer

Traveling, Public Transport

The city of Bern has an excellent public transport system, which extends to neighbouring towns.

A special ticket, the «Libero-Abo» is available for CHF 57 to 75 per month. It offers unlimited bus, tram and train travel to commute to the University and explore the city and its surroundings. You can get a «Libero-Abo» at BernMobil.

Bern's ideal central position makes it a perfect point of departure for excursions throughout Switzerland.

The Swiss Federal Railways offers a railcard (Halbtax-Abo) which costs CHF 175 per year. Holders of the Halbtax-Abo pay only half fare for trips by train, post bus, and boat.

In addition a range of special tickets and services for young people are available.

Going out, Cultural Bern

Bern has a wide variety of cultural events and exhibitions. Find current information in Bern's daily papers, at the Tourist Office at Bern's main train station or by browsing through the "Bewegungsmelder", a popular guide to events.


The Museum of Fine Arts is a particularly attractive art museum. In June 2005 its collection of works by Paul Klee, the world's largest collection, was transferred to the new Zentrum Paul Klee. Students will also find Einstein House of interest, where Albert Einstein, the Nobel-Prize-winner, developed his Theory of Relativity. The Swiss Literary Archives (Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv), which hold the literary autograph estates of Swiss authors, are located on the premises of the Swiss National Library (Schweizerische Landesbibliothek).

Master's Programmes at University of Bern

Search these programmes

Philosophisch-humanwissenschaftliche Fakultt

Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at University of Bern!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Other Degrees by University of Bern

University Location

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