Recognition of study achievements (Master's degree programme)

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You are expected to complete your entire Master’s degree programme at ETH Zurich.

Before submitting a request for recognition of previous study achievements, i.e. for a waiver of additional ETH requirements, please check the following points:

  • Credits earned at another institute of higher education (domestic or foreign) prior to enrolling at ETH Zurich, cannot be transferred to a Master’s degree programme.
  • Since auditors at ETH Zurich cannot earn credit points for courses attended, courses taken as an auditor are not eligible for recognition (not applicable to special students (Fachstudierende), exchange students, and guest students).
  • Credits earned at ETH Zurich can, in general, only be transferred if they haven’t already been used for an academic degree (exceptions may apply, see "Special cases").
  • Credits are only transferred upon written request of the student; there is no automatic credit transfer.
  • There is no entitlement to credit transfer.
  • If a request for recognition of study achievements has been submitted and approved, then all exams, including failed ones, which correspond to the study plan will be added to the maximum permitted number of exam attempts.
  • The maximum permitted study time will be reduced by one semester for each 20 credit points transferred.
  • Special rules apply to the transfer of "GESS –
    Science in Perspective" credit points.


When can I submit a request?

You may submit a request for recognition of previous study achievements, i.e. for a waiver of the additional ETH requirements, once you have completed your registration and when the exam results of all relevant study achievements are available.

Attention: Your request must be submitted no later than four weeks after the start of your ETH Master’s degree programme.

Programme deadlines not affected

The deadlines for undertaking performance assessments and for completing your studies are not affected by submitting a request for recognition. Until the Admissions Office has confirmed a change in writing, you still have to take the courses, register for exams and sit the exams by the given deadlines.

How do I submit a request?

Submit your request in writing (emails not accepted), together with supporting documents, to the Admissions Office. Please include the following:

  • A written request which includes your name, address, ETH student number, reasons for the request, and your signature.
  • A copy of your complete ETH transcript listing all passed and failed course units (a simple copy is sufficient).
  • Evidence showing that the credit points designated for transfer were not already used for another academic degree. Examples of accepted documents include an ETH Bachelor’s transcript or an Academic Record of the University of Zurich. Please note: ETH Zurich transcripts can be submitted as a simple copy, transcripts from other universities have to be submitted either in the original or as a certified copy (certified by a notary public, or by the registrar’s office of the university).
  • In special cases (see below), if required, a complete official transcript (original or certified copy).
  • In special cases (see below), if required, relevant contents of courses attended at other universities.
  • Proof of payment of the CHF 50.00 processing fee (the fee will not be reimbursed if the request is denied or withdrawn).

Only one request may be submitted per Master’s degree programme. Any further requests will not be considered.

What happens next?

The Admissions Office checks that your submitted documentation is complete and forwards it to the Director of Studies of the respective degree programme. The Director of Studies decides which study achievements may be recognised or waived.

The evaluation procedure may take up to eight to twelve weeks. The Admissions Office will notify you in writing of the outcome. The Admission Office will also notify the Examinations Office which will record the changes in your transcript of records.

Special cases

Dual recognition of ETH credit points

In certain special cases credits obtained for an ETH Zurich Master’s degree, or a degree of continuing education, may be used towards an additional Master’s degree. These exceptions are usually defined in the respective Master’s programme regulations. In these special cases, recognition of previous study achievements is given as a waiver, i.e. on your performance overview only the total number of transfer credits will be listed, not the individual courses and grades.

Waivers and alterations of additional requirements

Additional requirements for admission are binding. Alterations need to be confirmed in writing by the Admissions Office.

The additional requirements were laid down by the Admissions Committee and tailored to your previous education. By signing the registration form you confirm acceptance of these additional requirements. A subsequent request for an alteration or reduction of additional requirements is unlikely to be granted and needs to be well-founded.

Outgoing mobility students

ETH students who plan to obtain credits within a student exchange programme at another university are required to arrange a possible credit transfer with their ETH department prior to departure. The Admissions Office is not responsible for exchange student credit transfers.

Incoming mobility students

Students who obtained credits at ETH Zurich within a student exchange programme may submit a request for recognition of previous study achievements according to the above guidelines for Master’s degree students, as long the ETH credit points were not already used towards their degree at their home university.

Special students at the University of Zurich

ETH Master’s students who obtain credits at the University of Zurich as special students (Fachstudierende) should contact their Student Administration if they wish to transfer credits. These credit transfers are not handled by the Admissions Office.

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