Documents issued by ETH
Students receive the documents listed below from ETH Zurich. These documents either verify successful completion of the degree or the interim academic status, or supply an overview of academic achievements for students who withdraw from their studies without graduating.
Untiered degree programmes
In ETH Zurich’s earlier untiered degree programmes, studies concluded with a final Diploma.
To register for the final diploma examinations students were first required to pass the first and second interim diploma examinations. Only passing the final diploma examination signified attainment of the Diploma (an academic record in German with the corresponding details, plus a separate Diploma certificate).
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students who successfully conclude their studies at ETH Zurich receive a final academic record in German together with an English translation (‘decree translation’), a Diploma Supplement (in German), a standardised ranking document and a degree certificate in a Swiss national language.
The final academic record for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes and most new continuing education programmes consists of a first section which lists performance assessments with pass grades according to the structure of the corresponding programme regulations, plus a separate addendum which documents further performance assessments.
Since Autumn Semester 2013 all final performance assessment attempts in the context of Bachelor’s/Master’s degrees, Teaching Diplomas and the Teaching Certificate have had to be listed either in the academic record (if they have been passed and belong to the curriculum of the corresponding degree programme) or in a separate addendum (additional performance assessments with pass grades where courses were attended out of interest, and any failed final performance assessments). Academic records of diplomas from untiered programmes have no separate addendum.
The ETH Zurich Diploma Supplement (bilingual German/English document) describes the graduate’s degree programme, ETH Zurich and the Swiss school system. An additional section describes all performance assessments undertaken which are listed in the academic record and the addendum. There is no Diploma Supplement for untiered programmes.
The overall average final grades of the programme are listed in a separate ranking (bilingual German/English document). As a comparison the average and the standard deviation of the final grade for one year’s class of the same degree programme are also documented. Rankings are only provided for degree programmes whose regulations take into account overall average grades (those of Teaching Diplomas or Teaching Certificates, for example, do not).
The diploma or the Certificate (for programmes comprising a maximum of 30 credits such as the Teaching Certificate programme (in German)) is a separate document in a Swiss national language which among other things verifies the title obtained. Graduates of Certificate programmes do not earn a title.
Doctoral graduates receive a doctoral degree certificate. Because a Master’s degree is a prerequisite for entering a doctoral programme, ETH does not issue doctoral graduates with a transcript. For the same reason there are no prescribed (compulsory) courses for doctoral students. Depending on the programme, however, performance assessments undertaken at ETH Zurich may be listed in a transcript of records.
Continuing education, teacher training courses
Those completing a continuing education programme (including both MAS/DAS/CAS programmes and Teaching Diploma/Teaching Certificate programmes) also receive completion documents. These usually contain no ranking details, and may be ‘diplomas’ or ‘certificates’ depending on the programme.
The first important hurdle in the academic curriculum is the first-year examinations (formerly the first interim diploma examinations) at the end of the first year of the Bachelor’s degree programme.
The results of the first-year examinations are announced in a separate academic record and listed in the final academic record of the Bachelor’s degree. They are provided in German and not translated.
A transcript of records confirms the student’s current academic status during his/her studies. It is not a graduation document in the sense of the final academic record. It lists no overall average grade.
The transcript of records may be issued as an original in either German or English. However, it is only valid with stamp and signature (original or imprinted).
For visiting students and ETH students leaving ETH Zurich of their own accord the transcript of records has the same significance as a final academic record.
Depending on the programme, performance assessments during doctoral studies at ETH Zurich may be listed in a transcript of records.
No transcripts of records can be issued for the former untiered degree programmes.
Students who are excluded from an ETH Zurich Bachelor’s/Master’s or Teaching Diploma/Teaching Certificate programme because they can no longer acquire the required credits or their maximum duration of studies has expired receive a ‘transcript of records for non-graduating students’ in German and an English translation of this.
The transcript of records for non-graduating students declares the reason for exclusion and contains information on legal redress.
Unique copies, translation
The German original of the final academic record and of the transcript of records for non-graduating students, the diploma and the certificate are unique copies which are only issued once.
If a «copy» of one of these is required, e.g. if the original is lost or for an application, the ETH Academic Services will issue a transcript (involving costs) or a certified copy at the request of the person involved. This transcript (or certified copy) has the same legal validity as the original document.
A photocopy without individual certification by ETH Zurich, or a scan, has no legal validity.
Original signature, certification
Diploma documents and certificates ( since 2012/13) and academic records (since summer 2014) are generally no longer signed in the original, but are imprinted with the signature of the officiating person.
If certification by the Federal Chancellery is required – e.g. for a so-called «Hague Apostille» – a transcript (involving costs) must first be ordered from ETH or the academic record must be certified with an original signature by the ETH Zurich Academic Services (depending on the document, by the Registrar's Office, the Doctoral Administration or the Centre for Continuing Education). This is because the Federal Chancellery will only certify with its signature documents with original signatures.
An ETH diploma or certificate is normally written in a Swiss national language. At the recipient’s request the ETH Zurich Rectorate will produce a translation in another Swiss national language or in English. This certified translation has the same legal validity as the original document.
The exception is diplomas/certificates for teacher training programmes. These are only produced in German and are not translated.
Academic records for Bachelor’s/Master’s degrees, teacher training and continuing education programmes are issued in a German original and are simultaneously accompanied by an English translation. They are not translated into another Swiss national language. At the request of the recipient a transcript may be issued.