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Neuroscience Center Zurich

Admission MSc IDB

Application Deadline and Process

The MSc IDB is open to students with a Bachelor’s degree in the following disciplines: neurosciences, biology, biomedicine, biochemistry, biotechnology, health sciences, electrical engineering, engineering, physics, pharmacy, computer sciences, psychology, chemistry, or mathematics. It is committed to the ALBA declaration for equity and inclusion.

The MSc IDB is not open to candidates with a background in Medicine/Nursing/Veterinary medicine.

APPLICATION DEADLINE for the Fall Semester:

  • By January 1st of the starting year (Time Zone: Zurich; CET)

Please note that this application deadline is specific to the MSc IDB and different from the semester application dates for University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Your application will only be evaluated after the deadline. Applications submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered.

Please note that it is currently not possible to apply for a start of the program in the Spring Semester.


1 - Submit the electronic application form (below) which requires the following documents in English:

  • Curriculum vitae (resume)
  • A max. one-page motivation letter stating the reasons for your interest in this program
  • Full details about your Bachelor’s degree including the complete transcript of academic records and a short description of the courses (e.g. from the course catalogue), with learning outcomes and associated creditsThe full description of courses ensures a better evaluation of your application.
  • For non Swiss citizens: A short financial statement describing how you plan to cover your living expenses in Switzerland while enrolled in the program (no bank details needed)

In this application form you are required to provide the following information:

  • At least one referee contact information: name, position, phone, e-mail (no reference letters). After the initial short listing of submitted full applications, we will contact the referee(s) of the students still under consideration, if required. This might take up to 8-10 weeks after the application deadline. We will not answer queries concerning our communication with the referee(s).

For further questions please see our FAQ page

2 - The evaluation process will take approximately 2-3 months, starting with the application deadline (January 1st). If you are selected then the University Zurich admission office will get in touch with you to initiate the formal registration process. Please note that the UZH admission office will ask you to submit most of the documents again.

Important Information


Evaluation and Overall Qualification

Please note that the admission committee cannot evaluate the admission chances of any individual candidate before submission of a full application (as defined above). We regret that we cannot respond to any inquiry about the likelihood of being admitted in the program.

The overall qualification is evaluated by the admission committee, while missing knowledge and competences of the candidates will stipulate additional requirements or conditions by the Faculty of Science of UZH.

As a general rule, the selection is very strict and applicants might be required to take extra courses depending on their curriculum to (1) qualify for or (2) complete the MSc IDB program if some knowledge and competences are missing, which may prolong the total duration of the studies at UZH/ETHZ. 

(1) Should this be the case, the university will require that all additional courses be completed as conditions ("Bedingungen") prior to the start of the master's program (preparatory phase).

(2) Should this be the case, the university will require that all additional courses be completed as additional requirements ("Auflagen") during the master's program.  

Prior knowledge and competences equivalent in content and level to those of Bachelor modules of UZH or ETH are listed below. This includes additional coursework in the fields of:

A) Neurobiology, Physiology and Anatomy

a. Fundamentals in Neurobiology (min. 3 ECTS credits): e.g. IDB 143 course

b. Fundamentals in Physiology and Anatomy (min. 5 ECTS credits): e.g. BME 235 course

B) Molecular and Cell Biology

a. Fundamentals in Cell biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  (min. 9 ECTS credits): e.g. BIO 111, BIO 112, ETH 752-0100-00L courses

b. Laboratory practice in biology (min. 3 ECTS credits): e.g. IDB 201 course

C) Quantitative Methods

a. Fundamentals in Mathematics (analysis, linear algebra, stochastics)  (min. 10 ECTS credits): e.g. MAT 182, MAT 183 courses

b. Statistics and Data Analysis (min. 10 ECTS credits): e.g. STA 120, BIO 144 courses

c. Neuroinformatics/Programming (min. 5 ECTS credits): e.g. BIO 134 course

D) Cognitive Psychology (min. 3 ECTS credits): e.g. ETH 701-0721-00L course

Extra course requirements will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Attribution to case (1) or (2), if applicable, will depend notably on the number of supplementary courses required by the Faculty. Ideal candidates should have at least 3/4 of the equivalent knowledge/competences listed above.

Admission is possible for students with a Bachelor’s degree in relevant disciplines (i.e. as listed at the top of the page) from a University of Applied Sciences or from a foreign university having a world ranking greater than 1000 (, with a minimum average grade of 5.0 (based on the Swiss Grading System). If you are a graduate of a German or Austrian Fachhochschule (University of Applied Science), you need a grade average not worse than 2.0 (based on the German/Austrian system) to be eligible for admission.

Financial support for foreign students

It is your responsibility to secure your own financial support. There are currently no fellowships offered by the University or the Swiss State for international students without a Swiss Bachelor's degree. You can find some information about fellowships offered by other countries for studies in Switzerland on our FAQ page
Find more information about financial support at University of Zurich Student Financial Aid Office.  

Start Application Process

Start application process (closed; will open again in the Fall 2024)