< Back to country

10 Fulbright/Swiss Government Open Study/Research Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
12 Months
Award Profile

Up to 10 Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are available for research or a Ph.D. degree program in all disciplines, and for research or a master's degree program in the Arts.

All U.S.-based applicants for the Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships will first apply for the scholarship through the Fulbright Program. Once IIE has conducted the first phase of the selection process, the semi-finalists will be required to complete an additional application in paper form and submit this to the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships (FCS) in December 2018, according to the instructions in the link provided below.

Both Fulbright and Swiss Government/Federal Commission for Scholarship (FCS) grant rules apply.

Grant Period

12 Months

Maximum of 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.

Pre-Departure Orientation


All grantees are required to attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. in June or July as a condition of their grants.

Candidate Profile

Switzerland offers 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.

Applicants proposing to pursue master's programs in Switzerland are ineligible for consideration, except in the Arts. 

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Recommended - Novice

Additional Information: German, French, or Italian language proficiency is recommended, though not required. However, depending on your research project, a fluent command of one of the national languages may be required. At Swiss universities, a number of courses at the master's level and higher are held in either English, or bilingually in English and the local national language. For all candidates, a working knowledge of the local Swiss national language is recommended to facilitate a well-rounded experience.

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: Yes


Graduate degree enrollment will only be considered for applicants proposing to enroll in a Ph.D. program, except for students in the Arts, who may apply for a Ph.D. or master's degree program.

Candidates are responsible for arranging their own affiliations with a host professor who is willing to supervise their research at one of the 12 public Swiss universities. Applicants should include a letter of affiliation with their application. 

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 have completed a master's degree by December 2018. Applicants may only apply to one Swiss public university in their grant application.  Additional information on Swiss public universities may be found at http://www.swissuniversities.ch/en/.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition

The scholarship does not include tuition or any other study fees. At present, some universities 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 in comparison to the U.S.


Applicants currently living in Switzerland, or those who will be resident for more than one year preceding the beginning of their grant, are ineligible for consideration. 

Applicants proposing master's degree programs (except in the Arts) are ineligible for consideration.

Arts applicants applying for a master’s degree program are ineligible if they already have or will have completed a master’s degree by the grant start date.

Arts candidates

Up to two grants are available for candidates 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.

Applicants in the Arts must be at the bachelor’s degree level. Arts applicants with an MFA are not eligible to apply.


The Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship program provides a monthly stipend, and grantees receive up to 1,000 Swiss Francs for airfare upon successful completion at the end of the grant period.


Dependent support is not available

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website