University of BernBern
The University of Bern is international to the core with top-class academics and a wide range of study programs in a location of outstanding beauty in Switzerland’s capital city.
Best minds in pursuit of knowledge
The University of Bern offers excellence in teaching and research across the board as a comprehensive institution. Its multitude of study programs range from the sciences to the humanities and beyond. With many internationally acclaimed strengths, highlights include climate science, space, medicine and sustainable development. Also welcome are international-exchange students looking to study abroad.
Our international nature is reflected in the diverse backgrounds of the people working, studying, teaching and researching at our university. Over half of our 500 professors joined us from reputable universities outside of Switzerland. Some 40 per cent of our PhD students are international. And our 18,500 students come from more than 100 nations.
A substantial number of Master programs are taught in English. These include climate science, computer science and life sciences, biomedical engineering, business, economics, mathematics and political, legal and economic philosophy. Nearly all doctoral programs and doctorates are available in English. While many Bachelors are taught in German, a large number offer courses or units in English.
Those especially interested in Masters and PhDs and students seeking a foreign-exchange program are encouraged to apply.
Once you join our university, a warm welcome is guaranteed with specially designed services to make you feel quickly at home. These will guide you through the practicalities of living and studying in Bern.
Switzerland can be perceived as an expensive place to live but this is not necessarily true. Our students enjoy very low tuition fees, subsidized cafeterias and free access to state-of-the-art sports facilities. They can also live in halls of residence.
Researchers benefit from our University’s strong focus on fostering the next generation of career academics. We offer dedicated support in crucial areas such as applying for research grants and career-planning. Subsidized access to our cafeterias and sports facilities are also available to researchers.
The University is centrally located in Bern, the Swiss capital, has a very high quality of life. As the Swiss capital, Bern is small but divine, providing all the advantages of living in a safe city with none of the stresses. English is spoken widely. Public transport is excellent and the city easily navigable by bike. Bern is green and a river runs through it: the Aare, whose glacial waters are inviting to strong swimmers and flanked by areas to hang out in.
Most of our buildings are in the lively Länggasse area with its historical architecture, cosy restaurants and cool bars. Bern’s main train station is a stone’s throw away and is the gateway to the rest of Switzerland – including the Alps – and other European countries. The medieval Old Town of Bern – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is nearby.
Among our notable alumni is Albert Einstein, who taught theoretical physics at our University after qualifying as a lecturer here in 1908. Einstein came up with the theory of relativity while living in Bern.
When our University awarded the title of professor to philosopher Anna Tumarkin in 1906, she became Europe’s first female professor to supervise and examine doctoral students.
Other famous ex-students include John le Carré, the bestselling spy novelist, and Kurt Wüthrich, the Nobel Chemistry laureate.
RESEARCH + TEACHING AREAS
- Computer Science
- Economics, Political Science
- Historical and Cultural Sciences
- Language Sciences, Literature, Communication Sciences
- Law, Criminology
- Mathematics and Natural Sciences
- Medicine, Pharmacy and Health
- Social Sciences, Social Work
- Sports and Physical Education
- Teacher Education, Special Pedagogy, Educational Science, Subject-specific Didactics
- Theology, Sciences of Religion
- Number of Bachelor programmes: 39
- Number of Master programmes: 72
- Number of PhD programmes: >41
- Number of programmes in continuing education: approx. 70
At a glance
FOUNDED IN 1834
12% INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
1005 CHF TUITION FEES/SEMESTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (2020/21)
2020 THE UNIVERSITY RANKING: 113
1 NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATE
ALBERT EINSTEIN QUALIFIED AS LECTURER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERN