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Student Financial Aid Office

Financial Support

Financial Support

Basic facts

It's possible to study even if your family has limited money at their disposal. The main requirement is that university education is suitable for you. In most cases, you've already proven this with a general qualification for university entrance.

The government or the canton is obligated to provide financial support, and the UZH and private institutions can also help. This support is usually provided as a scholarship and sometimes as a loan. Scholarships only have to be paid back in exceptional cases, (for example if they were obtained unlawfully), while loans always have to be paid back.

Financial support comes with certain conditions. Conditions can be the length of your studies or your place of residence. The progress you make in your studies is also important. All the requirements for cantonal scholarships can be found in the relevant scholarship laws and regulations of your parents’ canton of residence. This information is available online.

The conditions and procedure for receiving support from UZH can be found below.

Basic Conditions for International Students

As an international student, you cannot apply for financial support for your Bachelor's studies until you have successfully completed the first year of the Bachelor's degree program, and only if you are entitled to financial aid in principle. Prospective international students at Master's level can only apply for support if they have a Swiss Bachelor's degree.

Procedure for receiving financial support from UZH

  1. Get an overview
    Acquaint yourself with the options for student financing at UZH. They are described on this page below:
    Scholarships, Hardship loans, Loans, «Pecunia» one-time loans and Excellence Scholarships.
  2. Explore options based on your degree level
    Check the requirements for the degree in question.

    Prospective Students
    Bachelor Students
    Master's Students
    Doctoral Students and Advanced Studies Students (CAS/DAS/MAS)
  3. Submit an application
    Fill out the relevant application forms thoroughly and correctly and submit them on time:
    Applications & Deadlines


  • For first-time students
  • Enrollment at UZH
  • Parents’ income (taxable income at the federal level) does not exceed CHF 86,000* and their net worth does not exceed CHF 300,000 (according to state and municipal tax).
    *Income limit increases by CHF 6,000 for each additional child who is completing their initial education.
  • All other financing sources have been exhausted (parents, own earnings, cantonal scholarships, scholarships from country of origin).
  • An application has already been submitted at the scholarship office of your parents’ canton residence or the scholarship office of your home country (for students from Germany, an international BAföG application). It is not necessary for the student to have received a decision on these applications when they apply for a scholarship at UZH. Any amounts awarded can be taken into consideration later on.
  • Good academic performance at the University of Zurich, completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Hardship loan

Hardship loans are available if you are enrolled at the University of Zurich and are in an acute financial emergency without any debt. You can apply for an interest-free hardship loan without any bureaucratic red tape. Applications are usually processed within a few working days. You must be able to plausibly guarantee that the amount will be paid back within six months.

Short-term loans are intended to bridge financial gaps, for example when waiting for funds from a cantonal scholarship, and are not meant for paying off debts. If these loans are not paid back on time, they will immediately be sent to a debt collector.

Maximum amount per application is CHF 6,000
Hardship loans can be applied for a maximum of one time per semester. There are no deadlines for these applications.


Loans can be granted to Swiss students and students with C permanent residence permits. They are intended to cover general cost-of-living and studying expenses if no scholarships are possible or to supplement any scholarships that have been awarded.

These loans are interest free for the first year after completing your degree or dropping out of a program. After that, an interest rate of 1% will be applied. The Student Body Loan Association of the University of Zurich offers two forms of loans: regular loans and one-time loans («Pecunia»).

The Student Body Loan Association of the University of Zurich caps the total loan amount at CHF 36,000 per recipient, regardless of the type of loan. This figure is CHF 24,000 for Bachelor’s students.

Regular loans and the «Pecunia» one-time loan can be accumulated over the course of your studies; hardship loans can also be accumulated within a semester (as an exception).

«Pecunia» one-time loan

«Pecunia» one-time loans can be granted to Swiss students and students with C permanent residence permits. They are intended to cover the cost of special one-off expenses. You can only obtain a Pecunia loan one time during your studies at UZH

  • Do you need money for a rental deposit?

  • Did your laptop kick the bucket?

  • Are you planning to do a semester abroad but can't work during that time?


  • You can obtain an amount between CHF 1,000 and CHF 4,000.

  • Your parents’ financial situation will not be assessed.

  • We only need your application form and a certificate from the debt collection register.

  • You will receive notice of the decision within 2 weeks of submitting your application.

Regular loans and the «Pecunia» one-time loan can be accumulated over the course of your studies; hardship loans can also be accumulated within a semester (as an exception).

Excellence Scholarships

As part of a pilot project in the fall semesters of 2022 and 2023, the University of Zurich offered a total of twenty excellence scholarships for outstanding Bachelor's students.

An excellence scholarship began with the start of the Master's program and included a total of CHF 30,000 over three semesters for a master's program with 90 ECTS credits, and a total of CHF 40,000 over four semesters for a Master's program with 120 or more ECTS credits.

Based on the evaluation results from the pilot project, the Executive Board made the decision in February 2024 not to perpetuate the excellence scholarships. The decisive factor was the assessment that sufficient foundation capital cannot be ensured in the long term in the future.

The Executive Board congratulates the recipients on receiving the scholarship and wishes them a successful future!

Weiterführende Informationen


Postal address
University of Zurich
Student Financial Aid Office
Rämistrasse 71
CH-8006 Zurich

Monday and Thursday 14.00 – 15.00h
Phone: +41 (0)44 634 22 04