Study at BFH

Are you interested in studying at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Learn more today about our study opportunities and requirements.

Content + Structure

BFH gives you a modern, practice-oriented, research-based education and opens up a world of attractive career opportunities.

The difference between a University of applied sciences and University

Programmes at a university of applied sciences and university are equivalent, however have different strengths: universities of applied sciences mainly offer a practice-oriented, research-based, vocational bachelor’s education. In the arts, only universities of applied sciences offer bachelor’s and master’s qualifications; most of these culminate in a master’s degree. Universities focus on academic education that prepares students for numerous professions.

Course of studies

Degree programmes at BFH are entirely modular. You can study full-time or part-time alongside a job or childcare.

Full-time bachelor’s degree programmes generally last three years. The standard length of a master’s degree is one and a half to two years.

Most bachelor’s degree programmes can also be taken part-time. You spend eight to twelve semesters studying over at least four years. Some master’s degree programmes can also be taken part-time. Depending on the programme, the course length may be extended to a maximum of six or eight semesters.

You will study modules. These are self-contained units of study focusing on specific themes. A degree programme is made up of a variety of modules, some of which can be freely selected, that together form a coherent course of study.

There are compulsory, optional and elective modules: compulsory modules are obligatory; optional modules can be chosen from a predefined list, and elective modules can be selected to reflect your own personal interests. You complete your modules through contact hours (lectures, exercises) and self-study (independent and accompanied).

Each module is worth a certain number of ECTS credits.

We follow the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and in selected programmes, your learning outcomes are measured in credit points (ECTS credits). ECTS is the European system for the recording, transfer and accumulation of learning achievements.

One ECTS credit is equivalent to 30 student working hours. The workload amounts to 1,800 hours per academic year (full-time studies).

Full-time academic year

60 ECTS credits

Semesters full-time

30 ECTS credits

30 hours of work

1 ECTS credit

Bachelor’s degree programmes

180 ECTS credits

Master’s degree programmes

90 or 120 ECTS credits


At BFH, different fees apply for programmes and examinations.

Application (per application)*

CHF 100


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester)

CHF 750

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

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)

CHF 80

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

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

* plus CHF 10 processing fee if paying by paying-in slip/paper invoice.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application 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. This rule applies as of the 2018/19 autumn semester.

Grants, loans and other funding options

Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites, and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources of funding include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Information about the study

Are you interested in studying at the Bern University of Applied Sciences? Find out about application deadlines and further details about the degree programme on the website of the relevant degree programme.

Do you have questions about your studies?

If you have questions about your studies, the administration of the relevant degree programme will help you. For information on admission, the aptitude test or your registration, the student administration will support you.

Student Administration

Trans persons

Are you trans? Would you like to be addressed differently from what is stated on your official documents?

When you register, you can enter your everyday first name and the (binary) gender you identify with and upload the application form for students and aspiring students. This will allow us to address you correctly during the application process.

Further information and application form

Programme details

Check the website of the relevant degree programme for details on how to register:


Should you decide to withdraw your registration, you can notify us of your decision by e-mail. A verbal withdrawal of the registration will not be accepted.

Withdrawals deadlines

Beginning of studies in the autumn: 31 July
Beginning of studies in the spring: 31 January

The following deadlines apply to Bern University of the Arts students: autumn semester 15 June / spring semester 15 December.

If the notification is duly received, any semester fees already invoiced shall be cancelled and refunded as necessary.