Fulbright U.S. Student Program


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12 Fulbright/Swiss Government Study/Research Grants

For applicants to Switzerland, applications to IIE represents the first step in a two-phase process. Please include only documentation as specified here and as relevant to your application. Following the October 15th deadline, applicants will be shortlisted for the second phase. Applicants that are shortlisted will be required to provide additional documentation to the Swiss Embassy in Washington. Documentation requested in the Scholarship summaries on SERI'S website will be required under the second phase and are not to be submitted to IIE. This documentation will be specifically requested from applicants if they are shortlisted for a Fulbright/ Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship grant.


At Swiss universities, most courses at the Master's level and higher are held in either English or bilingually in English and the local national language: German, French, or Italian. A working knowledge of the local Swiss national language is recommended to facilitate a well-rounded experience. Depending on your research project, a fluent command of the national language may be required.

Grant period:

9 to 12 months of full time research or study; the grant is not renewable.

The academic year in Switzerland is divided into two semesters. Classes are held starting in the fall from the third week of September to the third week of December, and in the spring from the third week of February to the fourth week of May.

Candidate profile:

Candidates at all degree levels will be considered.  Preference is for candidates who will be under 35 years of age at the beginning of the grant.

Switzerland offers 10 academic research scholarships to excellent students who have a clear research goal. Applications within the framework of a cooperative program between the candidate's home academic institution and an academic institution in Switzerland have some priority.


Academic candidates should not have lived in Switzerland for more than one year before the beginning of the grant.


Candidates must establish an affiliation with a host professor who is willing to supervise their research at one of the 12 public Swiss universities. In general, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for conducting research at Swiss universities, with two exceptions: research candidates applying to ETH Zurich or the University of Basel must hold a Master’s degree. You may apply to only one Swiss public university in your grant application.  Additional information on Swiss public universities may be found at swissuniversity.ch

Arts candidates:

In addition to the 10 grants mentioned above, additional grants are offered in the fine arts, music, and performing arts through a worldwide competition. Applications in the Arts may be accepted for a research project or Master's study at a recognized Swiss art or music school, which may include Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences.

Grantees may study at any cantonal university of applied sciences or recognized music academy, conservatory, or art school. Some music academies and conservatories may require an audition in Switzerland before admission is finalized. The applicant must receive written confirmation from a professor at the chosen educational institution that the project is feasible at that institution, or that admission for a specific Master’s program will be granted.

Grant benefits:

The scholarship is currently valued at 1,920 Swiss Francs per month, plus health insurance coverage.

The scholarship does not include tuition or any other study fees. At present, ETH Zurich and most universities (EPFL being one exception) waive tuition fees for scholarship holders, but often require payment of tuition for postgraduate courses. If tuition is not waived, the grantee must arrange payment. Tuition at Swiss universities is low, compared to the U.S.

Grantees pay their own travel expenses to Switzerland; the Swiss Government grant pays a fixed amount for the return trip at the end of the scholarship period.

Selection process:

IIE conducts the first screening of candidates and makes recommendations to the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) for final selection. In addition to the general Fulbright application, recommended candidates must also complete a Swiss Government grant application, which will be sent by IIE to recommended candidates in December. Both Fulbright/IIE and Swiss Government/FCS grant rules apply. 


Grantees are welcome to bring dependents to Switzerland. However, no dependent allowances will be offered, and no visa support will be provided for dependents.

1 Seydel Fellowship

This fellowship is made possible by contributions from the Paul B. and Mildred Seydel Foundation.


See above.

Candidate profile:

The award will be available for graduating seniors in all fields of study.  Preference, however, will be for candidates in the sciences.


Candidates must arrange their own placements at any cantonal university, Swiss federal institute of technology, or recognized music academy, conservatory, or art school.  It is not necessary to have finalized affiliation arrangements at the time of application.  However, Seydel Fellows must submit evidence of affiliation before award of the grant is finalized.


The Seydel Fellowship provides funding for international travel, a monthly living stipend, and the cost of Swiss health insurance.

General comments:

All graduating seniors who apply to Switzerland are automatically considered for the Seydel Fellowship.  No additional forms or special application processes are required.

I am a....

Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.  All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses.  Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student you would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts.  Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for Fulbright Scholar Program.



U.S. Professor

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award you will need to apply through CIES.

Non U.S. Professor

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and a professor interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United States you would need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country.  Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.