Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland
Website: Founded: 1853 year Type of University:Public 43 place StudyQA ranking: 2049 pts. No. Students: 4500 Languages: English, French Phone: +41216932254
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EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university with students, professors and staff from over 120 nations. A dynamic environment, open to Switzerland and the world, EPFL is centered on its three missions: teaching, research and technology transfer. EPFL works together with an extensive network of partners including other universities and institutes of technology, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and colleges, industry and economy, political circles and the general public, to bring about real impact for society.

The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, English: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is a research institute/university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specialises in physical sciences and engineering. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology complex has three main world-rank missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level.

EPFL is regarded as one of the world leading universities, ranking 14th overall and 17th in engineering in the 2015 QS World University Rankings; 31st overall and 12th in engineering in the 2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

  • School of Life Sciences

    Primary mission of School og Life Sciences is to offer a pluri-disciplinary training to students, providing them with the opportunity to study biology jointly with engineering, basic sciences, and computer sciences.

    The School's research laboratories are grouped into 4 institutes, with strong cross-institute connections:

    • Brain Mind Institute (BMI)

    • Institute of Bioengineering (IBI)

    • Global Health Institute (GHI)

    • Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC)

    In addition to the main Lausanne campus, the school is present in the Campus Biotech in Geneva, which hosts initiatives such as:
    - the Human Brain Project (HBP), a project with a broad impact in the field of neuroscience within Europe but also worldwide, 
    - the EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics (CNP), a joint effort of the School of Life Sciences and the School of Engineering,
    - the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering
    Through ISREC, the School has launched a new partnership with the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) to create the Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne, which brings together basic and translational scientists and engineers to solve fundamental problems in cancer biology and therapy.


  • School of Engineering

    At the crossroads between mechanical engineering, electricity, microengineering and materials science, the School of Engineering (STI) boasts around 98 laboratories in its five institutes, one of which is interfaculty. It brings together a wide range areas of expertise including electronics, energy, signals treatment and transmission, microengineering, microsystems, new materials, new robotics, mechanical systems and bioengineering.

    With its 1380 employees, 1365 undergraduates, 644 Masters students and 687 doctoral candidates, and with an annual budget of 88 million Swiss Francs, the EPFL School of Engineering possesses the competence and the means to bring a broad range of multidisciplinary projects to a successful conclusion.

    The Dean presides over four sections and five research institutes, and sits at the head of the School Council. 

  • School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    The School of Computer and Communication Sciences IC is one of the main European centers for education and research in the field of Information Technology.
    Divided into two teaching Sections, Computer Science and Communication Systems, the School of Computer and Communication Sciences has three main missions: Education, Research and Tech transfer.

  • School of Basic Sciences

    The School of Basic Sciences is responsible for teaching and research in chemistry, mathematics, physics and related domains. A growing emphasis has been developing in fields at the interface between traditional disciplines, both within and outside of our School. Our interaction with the School of Life Sciences is particularly strong, as evidenced by jointly appointed professors, collaborative projects and shared infrastructure. To carry out our mission, we possess state-of-the art research facilities, support services and infrastructure

  • School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    The disciplines united in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) seek solutions to the most pressing problem of our time : guaranteeing a sustainable environment for humanity through a successful integration of human activities within the biosphere.

    In this context, we are deeply committed to producing solutions to meet a wide range of challenges, such as global warming, population growth, the formation of megacities, land use pressures, increased demand for energy and transportation, the need for improvement and maintenance of the built environment, ecosystems preservation, and the management of natural and man-made risk. These multi-faceted fields require long-term multidisciplinary research at an international level and conducted in terms of a creative interaction between art, science and engineering.

    Our range of courses includes studies for a Bachelor's or Master's degree in architecture, civil engineering and environmental engineering, postgraduate course cycles, and doctoral programmes. The originality of our teaching lies in the establishment of links between the disciplines in order to provide students with the tools required to design and build together.

  • College of Management of Technology

    Established in 2004, the College of Management of Technology (CDM) has an aligned focus on research and teaching in the areas of Management Science with close ties to Engineering and Technology. Moreover, it infuses the EPFL campus with an entrepreneurial spirit, encourages cross-disciplinary partnerships and undertakes a comprehensive approach to industrial issues and public policy.

    The College is composed of three institutes, the Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute (MTEI), the Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL (SFI@EPFL), and the Institute of Technology and Public Policy (ITPP).

    The CDM offers two Master programs - in Management, Technology and Entrepreneurship (MTE) and Financial Engineering (MFE) - as well as two Doctoral programs - in Management of Technology (EDMT) and in Finance (EDFI). These successful teaching programs ensure a promising first-class education to prepare students for leading careers in academia and industry. An assessment of the past four years has brought to light a steady increase in the number of applications for all degrees. The programs attract talented students from many faculties and sciences.

    Furthermore, the CDM additionally proposes three executive Master programs in partnership with other outstanding universities. The current offer covers executive Masters in Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems, Global Supply Chain Management and Management of Technology. The College plans to expand and diversify this portfolio in the near future.

  • College of Humanities

    The SHS teaching program is compulsory for all EPFL students. There is no admission of non-EPFL students to the SHS courses. It offers students a great freedom of choice, from around 120 courses that cover a wide range of humanities and social sciences.

    During the first year of Bachelor, all students attend a course entitled 'Global Issues'.

    For their second and third Bachelor years, students choose from numerous SHS courses. To facilitate their choice, these courses are organized into six tracks that match student interest areas.

    At Master’s level, students continue their studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences for the first two semesters.

    CDH brings together teachers from EPFL and partner institutions to offer a wide variety of courses, details of which can be found in the course catalogues. Learn more about the structure of SHS teaching and about the CDH.

The roots of modern-day EPFL can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris and John Gay, the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only eleven students and the offices was located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganised and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d'ingénieurs de l'Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l'Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL, like ETH Zurich, is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these beings Bachelor, Master or PhD students. As EPFL first became a federal institute under its current name in 1969, with a student body of then less than 1500, the university is included in the Times Higher Education list of top 100 universities under 50 years old. The environment at modern day EPFL is highly international with the school now attracting top students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

The top rank under 50 (Times Higher Education)

The Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 Rankings is a ranking of the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old. EPFL was ranked 1st in 2015.

The most international university in the world (Times Higher Education)

EPFL was ranked 1st as the most international university in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2014and 2015.

The number of students attending studying at EPFL has been rising heavily since EPFL was formed in 1969 under its current name. In 1969 EPFL had roughly 1400 students, that number had grown to 2367 by 1982, 4302 by 1997 and now 9921 students in 2014. Within the student body, 112 different nationalities are represented. In the period from 1982 to 2014 the female proportion of the student body has increased from 12% to 27%. The proportion of female students is lowest at the School of Computer Science and Communication, 15%, and highest at the School of Life Sciences, 49%.


The Festival Balélec is a music festival organised annually at the EPFL campus.

The school encourages the formation of associations and sports activities on campus. As of 2012 more than 79 associations exist on campus for recreational and social purposes. In addition, the school has its own monthly newspaper, Flash. Included in the 79 associations are

  • AGEPoly is the Student's Association of the EPFL. The purpose of AGEPoly is to represent the EPFL's students, defend the general interests of the students and inform and consult its members on decisions of the EPFL Direction that concern them.

  • The Forum is an EPFL student association responsible for the organisation of the Forum EPFL. The Forum was founded in 1982 as a platform for exchange and meeting between the academic and professional communities. Today, the Forum EPFL is one of the largest recruiting events in Europe.

  • UNIPOLY is the EPFL Association for Sustainable Development, the Association works to create awareness of sustainable development on campus and in western Switzerland. UNIPOLY is part of the World Student Community for Sustainable Development, an international network of student organisations for sustainable development consisting of EPFL, ETH Zurich,Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Tokyo, University of Fort Hare, University of Nairobi, Chalmers, and University of Yaounde.

Music festivals

Several music festivals are held yearly at EPFL. The most important one is the Balélec Festival, organised in May. The festival welcomes 15,000 visitors to around 30 concerts. Other smaller festivals include Sysmic organised in November by the students of the Department of Microengineering, hosting two stages for local and national bands, and Artiphys, organised by the students of the Physics Department.


EPFL students and employees, and simply curious persons: the EPFL Library offers you services on its premises at the Rolex Learning Center every day from 7:00 to midnight and up to 24/7 for electronic collections.

Opening hours:
7 days a week, 7:00-24:00
Services (requested book pick-up, registration…) : Mon-Fri, 8:00-20:00

The Research Office in short

The Research Office is attached to the Vice-Presidency for Academic Affairs (VPAA). It works in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice-Provost for Research, the Research Commission (CR), and the central administration of EPFL.
The Research Office has the following missions:

  • Support and advise EPFL researchers regarding obtaining research funding

  • Assist with the operationnal management of large institutionnal projects

  • Manage the allocation of the internal EPFL funding, as well as the purchase and management ofscientific equipment and facilities shared between several units

  • Support the Vice-Provost for Research with the development of regulations and procedures to ensure the execution of EPFL's strategic research projects

The Research Office also serves as the secretariat of the Research Commission.


Volleyball, ball hockey, Rugby, inter-team competitions, badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, discotecas, yoga, exercise at the gym.

Clubs and groups 

University chorus, Symphony orchestra of the University of Lausanne, theater group, photo, audio-visual center, society of Protestants and Catholics, the Association of foreign students

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne on map:
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Study mode:On campus Languages: English French
Local:$ 1.38 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.38 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 15, 2024 43 place StudyQA ranking: 573 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English French
Local:$ 1.38 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.38 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 15, 2024 43 place StudyQA ranking: 1398 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English French
Local:$ 1.38 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.38 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 15, 2024 43 place StudyQA ranking: 728 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English French
Local:$ 1.38 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.38 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 15, 2024 43 place StudyQA ranking: 1408 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English French
Local:$ 1.38 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.38 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 15, 2024 43 place StudyQA ranking: 1234 You need IELTS certificate