Qualifications, Grades, Credits

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University Continuing Education Qualifications

Master of Advanced Studies (MAS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) and Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) are university continuing education qualifications in line with the guidelines of the Qualifications Framework for the Swiss Higher Education Area and the Recommendations of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities. These qualifications are fully and transparently integrated into the Swiss Higher Education System.

Admission to MAS, DAS and CAS programmes usually presuppose an ETH Master’s degree or the equivalent, plus professional experience.

Before 2006 the terms Nachdiplomstudium [Post-Diploma Studies] (NDS) and Nachdiplomkurs [Post-Diploma Course] (NDK) were used. An NDS is equivalent to an MAS; an NDK is equivalent to a CAS.

Legal Basis

Continuing education at ETH Zurich is governed by the ETH Law, the Ordinance on Continuing Education (Weiterbildungverordnung) and the Organisational Continuing Education Regulations (Organisationsreglement Weiterbildung). Each programme has its own programme regulations.

‘Master of Advanced Studies’ and ‘Master of Business Administration’ are recognised academic titles which are legally protected.

A university continuing education qualification does not entitle the holder to pursue doctoral studies.

Accreditation and Quality Assurance

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich is a recognised national university. It is an autonomous institution of the Swiss Federation subject to public law and is a legal entity. ETH Zurich has the right to introduce degree programmes independently and to award the corresponding academic titles.

Continuing education is integrated into ETH Zurich’s quality assurance system.

Scope and Workload

The scope and workload of programmes are reflected in the form of ECTS credits according to the stipulations of the European Credit Transfer System. One credit corresponds to a workload of 25-30 hours.

Programme type MAS, MBA DAS CAS
ECTS credits
≥ 60 ECTS ≥ 30 ECTS ≥ 10 ECTS
Duration Part-time: 2 years
Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 1-2 years Part-time: 1-2 years
In general yes
Title of qualification
Master of Advanced Studies ETH /
Master of Business Administration ETH
Diploma of Advanced Studies ETH Certificate of Advanced Studies ETH
Type of qualification
Academic title
Diploma Certificate
Term before 2005
studium (Post-Diploma Study)
- Nachdiplom-
kurs (Post-Diploma Course)

Proof of Academic Achievement and Grading System

Completed MAS, DAS and CAS programmes and academic achievements may be given grades or pass/fail assessments. Where they are graded, ETH Zurich deploys a grading scale of 1 to 6, in quarter-grade steps. The pass grade for a performance assessment or overall performance is a 4 at least; the best grade is a 6.

Failed examinations and other academic achievements may be repeated once.

  Grade Description
6.0 - 5.75
  3.5 Insufficient
5.5 - 5.25 Very good
  3.0 Bad
5.0 - 4.75 Good   2.5 Bad to very bad
4.5 - 4.25 Satisfactory   2.0 Very bad
4.0 Sufficient   1.0  Not measurable

Documents of Completion

When a continuing education programme is successfully completed ETH Zurich issues the following documents. They are normally in the language in which the programme was held.

Programme type
Certificate Academic Record
Diploma Supplement
MAS / MBA Yes Partially Yes
DAS Yes Partially
CAS Yes Partially

Persons who attend the programme but do not earn the final qualification receive a transcript of records which lists the course units passed.

Originals, Copies, Translations

Certificates and transcripts of record are originals which are only issued once. If the graduate requests it (e.g., of the original gets lost) the Centre for Continuing Education will issue a copy, an attested copy or a notarised translation. Attested copies and copies have the same legal validity as the original document.

Signatures and Notarisations

Since 2012/2013 signatures on credentials, diplomas and certificates, and since Summer 2014 those on transcripts of record have generally no longer been signed personally but by machine.

If notarisation by the Federal Council is required (e.g. for a so-called Hague Apostille) an attested copy must first be ordered from ETH, or the certificate/transcript must have a signature in the original from the Centre for Continuing Education on its reverse side. This is because the Federal Council will only notarise documents with this original signature.

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