International Business Administration

Kick-start your international career by joining our Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration – a degree taught in English with students from all over the world.

  • High quality Swiss tertiary education
  • Excellent student to lecturer ratio
  • Strongly focused on real-world practice in all courses
  • Mixed classes with domestic and international students
  • Pre-Bachelor Course for international students
  • Welcome Week, Buddy Programme and other services offered by our International Office
Bachelor International Business Administration


  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Business Administration
  • Specialisations Accounting & Controlling (DE)
    Banking & Finance (EN)
    Digital Business Management (EN)
    Digital Government (DE)
    Global Management (EN)
    Human Resource Management (DE)
    Innovation & Entrepreneurship (EN)
    Marketing (DE & EN)
    Sustainable Business (DE & EN)
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters), Part-time (8 semesters)
  • Start date Autumn: CW 38, with two induction days in CW37.
  • Application deadline 31.7. (guaranteed study place until 31.03.)
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language English
  • Location Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern
  • School Business School

Structure + Content

Our bachelor's degree programme in international business administration provides students with the perfect combination of theoretical study and practical experience. It ensures graduates can deal with the complex challenges they will encounter during their subsequent careers. Bachelor's degree graduates can go on to study for a Master of Sciences (MSc) or take other postgraduate courses.


Business administration requires sophisticated interdisciplinary and generalist skills and focuses on the analysis of companies and their interaction with their environment. As a branch of economic science, business administration assumes that resources and assets are fundamentally scarce and accordingly require efficient use. By investigating, describing, explaining and addressing real-world economic and business issues from a company perspective, business administration, contributes to maintaining and supporting companies in various everyday situations.

Learning outcomes

On completing the programme

  • you will have a firm grasp of the basics of business administration as well as expert knowledge in your chosen area of specialisation,
  • you will be able to recognise business issues in practice, analyse these issues, understand their interrelationships and resolve them,
  • you have skills that are particularly important in 21st century work environments: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking,
  • you will be capable of working efficiently and setting appropriate priorities,
  • you will have the ability to reflect on your own behaviour, be able to manage multicultural teams and deal with conflict,
  • you will be resilient and capable of adapting to new situations and requirements.

Study form and duration

The course is modular, i.e. the different topics are dealt with in separate modules. Upon completion of a module, students receive the corresponding ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System). An ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 30 hours.
A module for which 3 ECTS credits are distributed thus corresponds to a workload of 90 hours.

This workload is divided into teaching hours, preparation and follow-up work (independent studies), the processing of e-learning material, examination preparation, task processing and other examinations.

Full-time studies usually last for 3 years or 6 semesters. The workload is comparable to a full-time job. Lectures normally take place from Monday to Friday

Part-time studies usually last for 4 years or 8 semesters - longer with lower workload is also possible. Contact lessons during the first three semesters take place on Mondays and Tuesdays full day and occasionally on Saturdays until 16h00 at the latest. From the 4th semester onwards, the attendance depends on the modules you’ve chosen and your specialisation. Approximately 2.5 days are to be expected for contact lessons.

If you pursue a professional career while studying and can prove that you have applied what you have learnt at the Business School to your job, you can apply for credits towards your degree (max. 12 ECTS).


This specialisation is especially designed for students who want to work in financial management, auditing or controlling. After completing this specialisation, you will have knowledge of the latest accounting and tax standards and controlling systems. In addition, you will use state-of-the-art digital tools - and all this in cooperation with leading auditing companies.

With over 200,000 employees, the financial sector plays an important role in the Swiss economy. This specialisation gives you a sound basis in financial economics and financial management. It focuses on topics relating to asset and risk management. In addition, you will be prepared for an increasingly digital financial world by integrating quantitative methods and tools.

Digital transformation opens the opportunity to apply business knowledge to areas in which digital technologies will enable new business models in the future. The understanding of data, cloud services and algorithms is central for companies in the digital economy.

In the greater Bern area, the public sector plays an important role as both employer and customer. Basic knowledge of how the digital transformation is taking place in the public sector is a plus on the labour market. This specialisation deals with the changes and adjustments in the public sector triggered by digitalization. Digital Government focuses on digital democracy and participation, data and infrastructure as enablers of transformation, as well as innovation and the associated processes of change.

Nowadays all businesses are part of the world’s globalised economy and doing business and managing enterprises is a global issue. In this specialisation you will have the opportunity to develop what you have learnt at the Business School and integrate it into a global mindset, thus giving you the practical skills and experience to deal with the complexity of international markets and cultural diversity.

This specialisation is for students who are interested in personnel management not only in its traditional form but also in new forms of organisation and work. In three modules, you acquire specific HR  management skills, become familiar with various HR tools and instruments and critically reflect on their application. In exercises and training sessions you reflect on your own attitudes and behaviour. You will also learn how to deal with stress effectively.

Innovations are the engine of our economy and have the potential to solve social problems. It is often start-ups that change our lives with innovative products and services. In this specialisation, you will learn how to create value through innovation and make strategic decisions that benefit both companies and society.

Marketing and communication are undergoing a fundamental change, particularly as a result of the digital transformation of companies and our society. This specialisation gives you insight into the conceptual and strategic issues surrounding companies' communication with their customers and stakeholders. You will also explore how companies choose their communication channels and the type of content they publish.This specialisation is especially aimed at students who want to acquire digital marketing skills in a diverse and interdisciplinary environment.

The specialisation deals with the topics corporate sustainability,
sustainable demand and circular economy. The modules are designed not only to appeal to students who are already interested in business' impact on our environment, but also to attract others to the subject. In this specialisation you will explore the strong links between environmental sustainability and many other areas, such as international management, innovation, entrepreneurship and digitalisation.

Additional information

The BFH Business School has numerous partner universities all over the world. Exchanges include studying up to a maximum of three semesters (one exchange semester and a two-semester double-degree programme) at another university. The courses you take during your exchange are usually credited towards your degree at your home university.

Our International Office provides a wide range of support if you want to study abroad.

For more information please visit International Office.

Certificate of Global Competence

In addition to the bachelor's degree, you can also acquire the "Certificate of Global Competence". It offers you the opportunity to provide evidence of your intercultural competence.

Career Services

We accompany and support you with a range of services relating to job seeking with our Career Services. Look out for more information when you enrol at the Business School.

Diploma thesis + Projects


In the last year of the degree you will write a bachelor’s thesis. Many students choose a topic closely related to their specialisation.

Eligibility + Entry

Applicants with the following qualifications and work experience will be accepted onto the degree programme.

Our business administration programme is mainly designed for those who already hold a basic qualification in business.
Applicants with the following qualifications will be accepted:


• Vocational Baccalaureate (Berufsmaturität) with a (Swiss) Federal 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

• Gymnasial Baccalaureate (gymnasiale Maturität) plus one year’s full-time work experience in one of the related professions/fields

• Specialised Baccalaureate plus one year’s full-time work experience 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

All other countries

• Equivalent foreign qualification (as per swiss universities regulations) plus one year’s full-time work experience in one of the related professions/fields

Before applying for a study place at our university, please contact the Swiss Embassy in your country to inform yourself about the processes and regulations when applying for a study visa. In some countries school diplomas and university degrees need to be signed by a notary before submitting them to the Swiss Embassy. The duration of this notarial certification process can take up to 10 weeks. For such countries you also need to provide copies of the witnessed certified documents together with the other application documents to the BFH Business School.

Auditors and guest students

It is possible to take part in modules without doing the whole degree. You will find all information including the application form here.

Language prerequisites

Since our International Programme classes are taught in English, applicants must have a good command of English. You should have no problems following the courses if have a good grade in a vocational baccalaureate (Berufsmaturität) or in your gymnasial baccalaureate (gymnasiale Maturität). For all interested students who have a non-Swiss educational background, we expect an English level of at least B2 and recommend a level of C1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Preparatory courses

We offer the following preparatory courses in summer (CW 32-37):

  • Business accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Mathematics

The preparatory courses are held in German.

We recommend that part-time students attend the preparatory courses for business and financial accounting just before the 3rd semester.

The enrolment as well as the detailed timetables and contents will be published around the end of April.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the course administration.

Pre-Bachelor Course

Our International Business Administration Pre-Bachelor Course is offered to all our incoming IBA students. This course extends over three weeks in August before the degree programme starts. The goal is to prepare international students for life and study at a Swiss University of Applied Sciences and so increasing your chances of success. 

You will be given more information on Pre-Bachelor Course together with a registration form after matriculation. 

Qualification + Career prospects

As the holder of a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, you will possess well-founded knowledge in various aspects of business and will be well equipped for a professional career.

Degree + Title

Students who successfully complete our bachelor’s degree programme are entitled to use the title Bachelor of Science BFH in International Business Administration with Specialisation in [major in specialisation]. (Title abbreviation: BSc BFH [in International Business Administration])

This bachelor’s degree is recognised nationally and internationally. It is a university degree and entitles the holder to enrol in consecutive master’s degree programmes at other universities in Switzerland or abroad.

Career prospects

The bachelor's degree programme provides the cornerstone of a successful career in business. You will acquire broad general knowledge in the field of business administration and further develop your knowledge and skills by selecting a field of specialisation during your final semesters.

On successful completion of our degree programme, you will be able to manage demanding tasks and take on management and leaderships roles in the private sector, public administration or non-profit organisations.

Depending on your specialisation you will also be ready to work in fields such as controlling, finance, accounting, strategic planning, corporate development, marketing and sales, communication, HR management and logistics.

In addition to all this, the International Programme’s immersive English environment will give you the English and cross-cultural skills which are highly valued in today’s job market.

Related postgraduate degrees

  • Master of Science in Business Administration specializing in Corporate/Business Development
  • Master of Science in Business Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Digital Business Administration

Circular economy in the concrete industry with neustark. Co-funded by a BFH Business School Graduate.

Application + Practicalities

If you think you would like to study at Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), then please do not delay. Register now! By registering online you’ll easily be able to see the progress of your application process.

You may only apply for our bachelor’s degree programme via the online application form.

Documents required for online application:

Domestic applicants:

  • Passport-sized photo
  • Copy of passport or ID (back and front)
  • CV/Resumé (in simple tabular form)
  • Baccalaureate certificates and record of marks (if not yet received, a letter of confirmation from the school or a semester report/certificate)
  • EFZ (Federal VET Diploma) with grades (if not yet received, a letter of confirmation from the school or a semester report/certificate) - in the case of having undertaken or undertaking an apprenticeship
  • Work reference/s with experience documented including details on duties, scale of employment in percentages and exact dates of employment period/s
  • Ex-matriculation confirmation, if you have already attended a Swiss university of applied science

International applicants:

  • Passport-sized photo
  • Copy of passport or ID (back and front)
  • CV/Resumé (in simple tabular form) 
  • College / University certificates (as required by swiss universities)
  • Work reference/s with experience documented including details on duties, scale of employment in percentages and exact dates of employment period/s

Online registration: Study start autumn semester 2022

If you have obtained qualifications from other universities or equivalent institutions of higher education based in Switzerland or abroad or have evidence that you possess excellent English language skills, you can apply before the start of your degree programme for recognition of these qualifications. Applications will only be assessed after admission to a degree programme. 

Please click on the ‘Qualification recognition’ check box during your online registration. The following additional documents must be submitted after successful registration:

  • Proof of successfully completed course module(s) (certificates)
  • Module description(s)
  • Curriculum

Degree programme application deadline

31.7. (guaranteed study place until 31.03.)

Request for credit recognition
of excellent English language skills

15.8. (Before starting your studies)

Deadline for cancellation of application


Official start of semester


Induction week

2 days in calendar week 37 (compulsory)

Course commencement (classroom lessons)

calendar week 38

The dates of block weeks and examination weeks can be found in the academic calendar:

The dates of block weeks and examination weeks can be found in the academic calendar: Enlarge image

External people may participate in courses as a guest (with no credits given) or as an auditor (with credits). The costs amount to CHF 100 per 1 ECTS-Module and is subject to availability.

Application deadline

Spring semester: 20 December
Autumn semester: 15 July


Application (per application)* / Matriculation

CHF 100.–

Tuition fee (per semester)

CHF 750.–

Tuition fee for intemational students* (per semester)

CHF 950.–

Performance assessment (per semester)

CHF 80.–

Material fees (per semester)

CHF 95.–

Voluntary contribution to the student body (per semester)

CHF 15.–

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

CHF 24.–

Costs for study trip (approx.) 
Please note:
only for Master of Science in Business Administration and 
Master of Science in Digital Business Administration

CHF 1000 - 3000.–



* 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. This rule applies as of the 2018/9 autumn semester.
In addition to the above costs, charges will also be levied for various study-related resources, such as photocopies, literature/books and internet access. Students will also be expected to have a Notebook computer and broadband internet access at their disposal. Students who leave the programme in mid-semester will be required to pay the full fees and charges for the semester.


There are legal stipulations that provide for scholarships for those studying at Bern University of Applied Sciences. Very helpful information on the scholarships available in Switzerland can be found at


Want to know more?

We organize Information Events/Open Days for the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. You will find the information here as soon as possible.

Student advisory service

If you have any questions regarding admission, study contents or the compatibility of studies, career and private life, you can contact the Student Services.

Student Services

Bern University of Applied Services
Access Point
Brückenstrasse 73
3005 Bern

Phone  +41 31 848 34 00


Opening hours during the semester


Monday to Friday 8.00 to 16.00 h
Closed Wednesday from 12.30 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday closed

Telephone hours

Monday to Friday 8.00 to 12.30 h, 13.30 to 16.00 h
Wednesday not served from 12.30 noon
Saturday/Sunday closed

Opening hours buildings

Monday to Friday 7.00 to 18.30 h
Saturday 7.00 to 13.00 h
Sunday closed

Location(s) + Facilities

The campus at Brückenstrasse 73 in Bern is in the Marzili quarter, within walking distance of Bern's old town and the main railway station.

Getting here

  • Brückenstrasse can be reached from Bern train station in 10 minutes on foot. 
  • From Bundeshaus-West, the Marzili funicular railway travels down into the Marziliquartier located on the river Aare. Brückenstrasse is located 450 meters away from the station at the bottom of the line. 
  • In the evenings (from 20.37), the number 30 bus runs between the train station and the Marziliquartier (Dampfzentrale stop). 

Directions by car: 

  • Take motorway exit 12 Bern-Ostring and travel towards Zentrum. On Freudenbergerplatz, turn right on to Ostring. At the roundabout, take the second exit on to Thunstrasse. At Thunplatz (roundabout), take the second exit on to Jungfraustrasse. At the end of Jungfraustrasse, take a left on to Marienstrasse. Take the right turn on to Schwellenmattstrasse. Travel over the Dalmazibrücke bridge, take the fourth exit on the roundabout on to Aarstrasse, make a right turn on to Brückenstrasse. 
  • We regret that no parking spaces can be provided for students.


Bern University of Applied Sciences
Business School
Brückenstrasse 73
CH-3005 Bern

Phone        +41 31 848 34 00

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