ETH Zurich Scholarships for International Students

Switzerland proudly boasts beautiful vistas, world-famous chocolate, and epic skiing mountains but it is also known as a haven for international students. In most cases, if you are looking to study abroad, you will find the fees vastly increased, sometimes by thousands. However, Switzerland is an exception. At most public universities, the fee for international students is the same as the fees for national students.

ETH Zurich welcomes 23,420 students from over 121 countries as well as celebrating 21 Nobel prize winners including Albert Einstein! If you are still struggling to afford the costs of living and fees, ETH Zurich offers several scholarships for postgraduate students to assist with your finances.

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ETH Zurich Scholarships

Postgraduate Scholarships at ETH Zurich

1. Excellence Scholarship and Opportunity Programme (ESOP)

  • Scholarship Amount: tuition fee waiver and living expenses for three of four semesters
  • Eligibility Criteria: an excellent undergraduate degree result (top 10% or grade A equivalent)
  • Degree Offered: Masters
  • Scholarship Link

There are 60 of these scholarships at ETH Zurich which offer the chance to study on any master’s course and live in Switzerland for absolutely nothing! Not only will your full study and living costs be covered, but awardees will also receive mentorship and connections to the ETH Foundation network. The Foundation funds important technological research to improve lives all over the world.

The school is looking to award this scholarship to prospective students who have accomplished substantial academic success, achieving grades within the top 10% of their bachelor’s degree or equivalent to a grade A.

Although, the application process for the award is quite challenging. Along with a grade transcript, a motivation letter, and letters of recommendation, hopefuls will need to submit a 500-word Pre-Proposal for a master’s thesis. If this sounds daunting, do not worry, they offer a structure for the thesis pre-proposal here.

2. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists (research scholarship)

  • Scholarship Amount: a monthly stipend which differs depending on your country
  • Eligibility Criteria: hold a minimum of a master’s degree and be nominated by an academic mentor
  • Degree Offered: research PhD
  • Scholarship Link

If you are considering pursuing research in Switzerland after completing a master’s degree, this scholarship may just give you the helping hand you need. The Swiss government offers a monthly maintenance grant to students from a range of over 180 countries. It is specifically aimed at international young researchers who have already completed a master’s degree or a Ph.D. and are looking to continue their research.

As these ETH Zurich scholarships are so highly coveted, applicants will need to be nominated by an academic mentor or supervisor to be considered. ETH Zurich provides some information about getting in touch with a supervisor on their website.

Successful applicants will be chosen based on three conditions, their personal profile, the quality of their research project, and the potential for future research cooperation. However, specific details of how to apply and the amount of money available to you do differ depending on your home country. Be sure to explore the specific documents on the website.

3. Scholarships for International BSc and MSc students

  • Scholarship Amount: a secondary source of finance based on your situation
  • Eligibility Criteria: enrolled on a BSc or MSc course and achieved excellent results in your first year
  • Degree Offered: Bachelors or Masters
  • Scholarship Link

This scholarship at ETH Zurich is aimed at supporting existing students who may be experiencing financial hardship. So, if you are an international student currently at ETH Zurich, and have passed all your first-year exams, then consider applying. This is also the case for students studying for a bachelor’s degree. Although it does not cover the entirety of your expenses, you will be provided with financial support if you can prove, through a series of documents, that you need it.

4. Fulbright/Swiss Government Open Study/Research Awards

  • Scholarship Amount: monthly stipend for 12 months and 900CHF towards airfare
  • Eligibility Criteria: US-based students studying a research doctorate
  • Degree Offered: Ph.D.
  • Scholarship Link

If you are an American student looking to study at ZTH Zurich, then consider applying for the Fulbright scholarship. Fulbright are one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world and they look to connect American students with other countries in the hope that positive relationships will be formed. All Fulbright scholars also receive sickness and accident health benefits, 24/7 access to a support line, and 12 months of non-competitive eligibility hiring status within the federal government.

They are looking to award this ETH Zurich scholarship to excellent students who have a clear research goal. They even specify that students intending to continue in academia will be given priority. Those who are lucky enough to receive this scholarship will be invited to attend the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs pre-departure orientation where they can meet other recipients of the award and prepare to study abroad together.

To apply for the Fulbright scholarship, you will need to fill out an application on their website and through the Swiss government website. You will also be responsible for contacting a professor at ZTH Zurich to supervise your research. Information regarding contacting a professor can be found on their website.

5. Scholarships for Doctoral students

  • Scholarship Amount: Ph.D. salary covered for three months
  • Eligibility Criteria: enrolled doctoral students experiencing financial difficulties
  • Degree Offered: Ph.D.
  • Scholarship Link

These doctoral scholarships are intended to assist currently enrolled Ph.D. students with their finances. Although the money is only redeemable for a maximum of three months, there is an allowance of up to 2613CHF ($2,866). To acquire this ETH Zurich scholarship, your supervisor will need to write a letter explaining why you require the funds.

ETH Zurich offers more scholarships which are available through the Scholarship page on the website. There is also a scholarship calculator tool that asks specific questions about your circumstance to assist you in finding the most suitable grant.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.