International Business Administration

Prepared for an international career: our bachelor’s degree programme in International Business Administration, conducted entirely in English, will provide you with a sound basis for working in globally active companies. You will build knowledge of current entrepreneurial, social, political and technological challenges and join a network of students from around the world. You will also make an active contribution towards a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between companies and their global environment.

This degree programme is conducted exclusively in English. 

Begin your studies this autumn!

Degree programme in English only

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Business Administration with specialisation in (area of specialisation)
  • Specialisations Banking & Finance (English)
    Digital Business Management (English)
    Global Management (English)
    Innovation & Entrepreneurship (English)
    Marketing (English, German)
    Sustainable Business (English, German)
    Accounting & Controlling (German)
    Digital Government (German)
    Human Resource Management (German)
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters)
    Part-time (8 semesters)
  • Start date Autumn: calendar week 38 and one induction day in calendar week 37
  • Application deadline 31 July (place guaranteed until 31 March)
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language English
  • Location Bern
  • School Business School

Focus areas

A Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration will transform you into an interdisciplinary all-rounder: you will learn to manage and use scarce resources and assets efficiently. Your experience in researching, describing, explaining and tackling real economic and business issues will prepare you to support and guide international enterprises.

What you will gain with your degree

A bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration prepares you for management and leadership roles in the private sector, public administration or in non-profit organisations, whether in Switzerland or around the world.

Our many areas of specialisation allow you to choose a specific focus for careers in financial controlling, finance, accounting, strategic planning, business development, marketing and sales, HR management or starting your own business.

Specialisations

Tailor your degree course to your interests, beyond your advanced studies. You can choose two areas of specialisation alongside basic modules to compile your individual portfolio.

You

  • will gain a solid understanding of financial economics and financial management, particularly in the areas of wealth, asset and risk management.
  • will use the quantitative methods and tools integrated in your training help prepare you for an increasingly digitalised world of finance.

You

  • will bring to bear your business expertise on areas where digital technologies are paving the way for new business models in the future.
  • will gain a thorough understanding of data management, cloud services and algorithms, key components of the digital economy.

You

  • will have the opportunity to apply your foundational understanding of management, expand your areas of expertise and build a more global mindset.
  • will gain practical skills as you negotiate the complexities of international markets and different cultures.

You

  • will learn how to create value through innovation and make strategic decisions that benefit both business and society.

You

  • will gain a sophisticated understanding of consumers and their response to strategic and tactical marketing decisions.
  • will acquire a robust skill set to navigate this diverse and interdisciplinary field.

You

  • will learn about sustainability issues and how they are linked to such diverse fields as international management, innovation, entrepreneurship and digitalisation.

You

  • will become versed in the latest accounting standards as well as current developments in the area of taxes and controlling.
  • will learn to implement a host of digital tools – all in cooperation with Switzerland’s top auditors.

You

  • will address the changes and responses in the public sector triggered by digitalisation.
  • will gain expertise in digital democracy and participation and learn how data and infrastructure can power transformation, innovation and related processes of change.

You

  • will gain occupational competencies in the field of human resource management, learn about suitable tools and instruments and critically evaluate their application.
  • will also reflect on your own ways of thinking and acting as well as how to deal with challenges.

Combining theory and practice in research projects

Teaching, practice and research are closely interlinked. During your studies, you may gain experience in a range of research fields. In modules paired with practical work, you will develop and reflect on your own performance using the knowledge acquired during your studies.

Overview of research and research projects at the Business School (in German)

Career prospects

With a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration, you will be prepared for a career as a specialist or manager in an internationally active company.

After graduating, you will be a generalist with a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between business and society. Your experience with intercultural cooperation will be a major plus as you enter the national and international labour market.

Ready for leadership and expert roles?

You will have great job prospects with a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration.

Depending on your area of specialisation, you may find work in financial controlling, finance, accounting, strategic planning, business development, marketing and sales or HR management.

By working closely with international students, the programme will equip you with the language and intercultural skills that are critical in today’s labour market.

Further study – Master of Science in (Digital) Business Administration

With a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration, you may enrol in a master’s degree programme at BFH. Depending on the programme, you will continue to prepare for a demanding and fulfilling career. You may later enter management, become a digital change-maker or take on a central role for the digital future of your company.

See Master of Science in Business Administration
See Master of Science in Digital Business Administration
See Master of Science in Business Information Technology

Duration + content

In the bachelor’s degree programme in International Business Administration, you can focus fully on your studies or pursue them part-time while you work. If studying part-time, you can take on a 50–60% workload.

Full-time or part-time?

Both are possible: full-time students typically complete the programme in three years (or six semesters). The workload is comparable to a full-time job. Lectures are usually held from Monday to Friday.

Part-time students typically complete the programme in four years (or eight semesters). Extensions are possible. During the first three semesters, instruction takes place all day Monday and Tuesday, with occasional Saturday lessons that run until no later than 4pm. Starting in the fourth semester, attendance depends on your chosen modules and area of specialisation.

During Special Weeks and exam periods, certain obligatory sessions may be held from Monday to Saturday. There are no obligatory sessions held during lecture-free periods. 

Study plan

The degree programme is modular in structure, meaning different topics will be addressed in various modules.

During your foundational studies, you will attend modules on basic business concepts, intercultural skills and business English. Beyond a handful of elective modules during your advanced studies, you will have the opportunity to build your own individual profile from a large number of optional, elective and specialisation modules.

Full-time curriculum

Full-time curriculum for bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration Enlarge image

Part-time curriculum

Part-time curriculum for bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration Enlarge image

Additional opportunities

We partner with numerous top universities worldwide. You may study abroad at another university for one or two semesters. Courses taken during your exchange can be credited towards the Swiss degree, pending approval by the head of your degree programme.

We also offer double degree programmes with selected universities. You will spend your final year of studies at the partner university and graduate with a degree from both institutions.

The «Certificate of Global Competence» gives you the opportunity to gain skills in the areas of inter- and transculturalism as part of your regular studies.

The «Certificate of Engagement» provides proof of the time and effort you dedicated to the BFH Business School.

The supplementary «Certificate of Engagement in Sustainability» recognises your social commitment and additional effort put into expanding your knowledge and skills pertaining to sustainability.

You may participate in the Business School mentoring programme during your studies.

More information: Mentoring programme

Admission requirements

There are many paths leading to the Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration programme. The prerequisite is basic training qualifications in business. The head of the degree programme makes the final admissions decision.

Your entry requirements

You will be admitted to the programme:

  • with a vocational baccalaureate with a federal vocational education and training (VET) diploma in one of the related professions/fields or one year of full-time employment in one of the related professions/fields

  • Gymnasial baccalaureate plus one year of full-time employment in one of the related professions/fields

  • Specialised baccalaureate plus a yearlong, full-time internship and/or employment in one of the related professions/fields

  • PET (professional education and training) college qualification with a Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (VET/EFZ) in one of the related professions/fields or one year’s full-time work experience in one of the related professions/fields

Applicants from abroad must have an equivalent degree (as per the swissuniversities regulations) plus one year of full-time employment in a related profession/field.

List of related professions

Before applying to BFH, please check with the Swiss embassy in your country about regulations and the process of applying for a student visa. In some countries, school and university degrees must be notarised before they can be submitted to the Swiss embassy. The notarisation process can take up to 10 weeks. When applying to BFH Business School from these countries, you must include copies of the certified documents with your other application forms.

Language skills

Instruction is conducted in English.

Students should demonstrate at least B2-level proficiency, though we recommend C1.

Supplementary information on admission

We offer preparatory courses in: 

  • company accounting
  • financial accounting
  • Mathematics

Preparatory courses are conducted in German. 

Preparatory course details and registration

The pre-bachelor’s degree course runs for three weeks in August and September (calendar weeks 34–36, before the programme begins). The aim of the course is to prepare international students for living and studying at a Swiss university of applied sciences.

The language of instruction is English. 

You will receive further information on registering for the course after enrolment. 

Have you completed some studies at another university in Switzerland or abroad and/or do you have an excellent command of English? Before starting at BFH, you may request a credit transfer and equivalency assessment. This request will only be considered after your admission to the programme. 

When registering online, please tick the box «Requesting credit transfer». The following supplementary documents must be submitted after registration:

  • Proof of completed modules (certificates)
  • Module descriptions
  • Curriculum

Further information is available by contacting business@bfh.ch .

Application

Secure your place early.
You can always submit any missing documents later.

Application deadlines

Application deadline: 31 July (place guaranteed until 31 March)
Start date: calendar week 38
Induction day (compulsory): first day of calendar week 37 
Request for credit transfer: 15 August
Deadline to withdraw application: 31 July

Start your studies in autumn!

Apply by 31 July (place guaranteed until 31 March). 

If you need to apply for a visa, please register by the end of March. 

Brief explanation of online application

Online applications only.
Our Online Application Guide explains how it works, step by step.

Application documents

You will need to make PDF or JPG copies of the following documents:

Mandatory requirements:

  • ID or passport
  • Photo that meets international passport requirements

Other documents (certificates, etc.)

  • Diplomas and leaving certificates (e.g. vocational baccalaureate/specialised baccalaureate with grades, university entrance qualification, Abitur or upper secondary level qualification)
  • Swiss federal VET certificate with grades (if available)
  • Employer references and/or internship certificates
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Additional documents may be required, depending on your educational background

The costs for the programme comprise application, tuition and examination fees plus the cost of course materials and excursions.

Fees

Application (per application)* / Matriculation**

CHF 100.–

Tuition fee (per semester)

CHF 750.–

Tuition fee for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950.–

Performance assessment (per semester)

CHF 80.–

Material fees (per semester)**** CHF 95.–

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)             

CHF 24.–

Voluntary contribution to the student body (per semester)

CHF 15.–

*plus CHF 10 processing fee for payment via payment slip / paper invoice.
**If the registration leads to enrolment, the registration fee will be credited as the enrolment fee.
***International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein.
****excl. costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, consumables, etc.

There are two ways to finance your studies: loans and grants. More information here:

Advice + information

Still have questions about the programme? The head of the degree programme, programme assistants, lecturers and students will be able to answer your questions at one of our information events

Advice

Choosing a degree programme is an important decision in planning your professional career. We are happy to conduct a personal consultation with you, during which we can discuss your goals, answer questions and clarify the requirements for your desired programme.

Information event

Visit one of our information events and find out all about the degree programme, the admission requirements and your career prospects. Our students will share their experience of life at the university.

Location + facilities

Pursue your bachelor’s degree on our ‘green campus’ in Bern’s Marzili district, situated directly on the Aare River with a view of the Parliament Building.

Marzili

Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern

We generally recommend travelling by bus or on foot.

There are no parking spaces available for students. Please use the public parking facilities.

Travel by bus and on foot:

  • Brückenstrasse is an approx. 10-minute walk from Bern railway station.
  • The «Marzilibahn» funicular descends into the Marzili district from the upper station (Bundeshaus-West). Brückenstrasse is around 450 metres from the lower station.
  • In the evening (from 8.37pm), bus line 30 runs between the railway station and the Marzili district (Dampfzentrale stop).

Facilities

Our green campus offers a wide range of facilities.

  • Library: self-checkout is available to students around the clock.
  • Cafeteria: the cafeteria is open to students year-round. There is a full range of food and drink on offer during the semester, while vending machines are available during breaks.