Study Programmes. Orientation for Students

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1 Study Programmes Architecture and Civil Engineering Engineering Sciences Natural Sciences and Mathematics System-oriented Natural Sciences Management and Social Sciences Orientation for Students

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3 Contents Foreword 3 ETH Zurich 4 Study Programmes 6 Degree Programmes Architecture and Civil Engineering 14 Engineering Sciences 28 Natural Sciences and Mathematics 42 System-oriented Natural Sciences 64 Management and Social Sciences 80 Specialised Master s Degree Programmes 88 Useful Information Campus Life 98 Living in Zurich 99 Orientation and Advisory Services 100 Registration for Study Programmes 102 Useful Internet Addresses 103 Alphabetical List of Degree Programmes 104 1

4 The 2 ETH Main Building in the city centre

5 Foreword Dear prospective students, We are delighted to present the options for studying at ETH to you! This brochure will give you a concentrated overview of our programmes, how they are structured, and which Bachelor s degree programme could lead to which Master s degree programme. All of our study programmes will provide you with the fundamental technical and scientific knowledge and skills necessary to enable you to make a long-term contribution in either a scientific or business role, or in an engineering profession. They offer plenty of scope for choice too, especially at Master s level, during which key principles are taught in the light of ongoing learning from current research projects. Our graduates build on this foundation, in an era in which much technical know-how rapidly becomes obsolete, to achieve long- lasting success. However, if you are to be equipped to take on future roles as leaders and decision-makers in the economy, in science and in society, you will need other expertise and skills, in addition to your sound technical knowledge. That is why we believe it is important for you to be able to think critically about what you have learnt, to gain experience from your own research projects and to develop team-working skills. ETH degrees are recognised worldwide. Numerous careers are open to our graduates, in many fields, in the rapidly changing world of industry and research. We look forward to shaping the future together! Sarah Springman, Rector 3

6 A University with a Worldwide Reputation ETH Zurich ETH Zurich is one of the world s leading universities specialising in science and technology. Founded in 1855, it now offers an inspiring research environment and provides a comprehensive education for its students, as well as creating jobs through the launch of spin-off enterprises. ETH Zurich is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. The university attracts over 18,500 students from more than 110 different countries. It also boasts some 500 professors, who engage in teaching and research activities in the fields of engineering sciences, architecture, mathematics, natural sciences, system-oriented natural sciences, and management and social sciences. ETH Zurich is regularly rated as one of the world s top universities in international rankings. Its outstanding reputation is underlined by the success of the 21 Nobel prize-winners who have studied, taught or conducted research at the university. In the 23 Bachelor s degree programmes and more numerous Master s and doctoral degree programmes, students acquire the qualifications necessary for successful professional careers. Countless scientists, engineers, teachers and business entrepreneurs started their careers at ETH Zurich. ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg Attractive locations Zurich (main location) ETH has two campuses in Zurich: the Zentrum (Central) campus with its historic Main Building encapsulates this university s long tradition, but it is also a vibrant place to socialise and study. Situated on the outskirts of the city is the modern Hönggerberg campus. This site leads the way in terms of forging links between science, industry and the general public, earning itself the European Culture Award for Science in

7 ETH Zurich Basel The Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) is based in Basel. Its proximity to biochemical and pharmaceutical companies offers scientists the perfect conditions for interdisciplinary research projects. Lugano ETH Zurich runs the state-of-the-art Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in this city in the canton of Ticino. Singapore ETH Zurich has strengthened its presence in one of the world s up and coming regions by setting up the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC). universities in Switzerland, but engineering sciences at university level are only offered at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. The ETH-Bibliothek (library) provides ETH Zurich with a global information network in the fields of science and technology. Its holdings comprise more than 7.5 million printed and electronic documents. Digitised documents are freely accessible on online platforms. Numerous ETH institutions and collections invite cultural exchange. For example, the Collegium Helveticum functions as a forum for the dialogue between science and art. The Collection of Prints and Drawings, the Thomas Mann Archive and the Max Frisch Archive are further examples of how ETH also endeavours to nurture the humanities. ETH Zurich works in close cooperation with many other institutions of higher education in a wide range of research fields. It is linked to numerous renowned universities around the world. ETH can thus offer its students the opportunity to acquire further specialised knowledge elsewhere, as well as intercultural experience. Degree programmes in natural sciences are also available at cantonal 5

8 Internationally Oriented Study Programmes Study Programmes The study programmes at ETH Zurich provide sound academic knowledge, practical experience, and expertise in interdisciplinary cooperation as well as training in social skills and critical thinking. Programme structure ETH s programme structure is in line with the guidelines of the Bologna Declaration agreed upon by European education ministers, which outlines the Bachelor s/master s degree system. Students are awarded ECTS credits for their study achievements: one credit corresponds to approximately 30 working hours. They are also graded for the quality of their performance. The Bachelor s degree programmes expand undergraduates knowledge of basic subjects as well as imparting the theoretical and methodological fundamentals of the major subject. The Bachelor s degree is not regarded as a professional qualification. Each ETH Bachelor s programme is followed by at least one consecutive Master s degree programme, to which students may transfer without any additional requirements. Several specialised Master s degree programmes, mostly interdisciplinary in nature, are also offered. These are open to graduates with outstanding performance records from various Bachelor s degree programmes. They are subject to specific admission requirements and the number of places available is often limited. Master s degree programmes are intended to provide deeper and more specialised knowledge in the field of study. Students broaden their general education by attending compulsory lectures offered by the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS, see page 84). Bachelor s degree programme 6 semesters (180 credits) Consecutive Master s degree programme 3 4 semesters ( credits) possibly doctoral studies Specialised Master s degree programme 3 4 semesters ( credits) possibly doctoral studies 6

9 Study Programmes Bachelor s degree programme The Bachelor s degree programme comprises 180 credits and is designed to be completed in three years. The maximum duration of study is usually five years. The first year conveys the fundamentals of mathematics and those natural sciences related to the major (e.g. physics, chemistry and biology), and the basics of the major-specific subject. It concludes with the first-year examinations. Students starting Bachelor s degree programmes in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or Computational Science and Engineering in the 2016 autumn semester have the option to complete their first-year examinations in two parts. In the following four semesters, the theoretical and methodological knowledge of the major is expanded. Students may focus on specific subjects in the form of electives and project work and conclude with a Bachelor s thesis if applicable. Further study achievements are tested primarily in the form of semester performance assessments (some of which are grouped into examination blocks), independently written papers and presentations. The Bachelor s degree programme is at first conducted in German. In the second and third years, some lectures may be delivered in English. Structure of the Bachelor s degree programme First-year studies (60 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, possibly Biology Major-specific basic subjects First-year examinations Second- and third-year studies (120 credits) Major-specific subjects, electives, project work, possibly Bachelor s thesis, Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) subjects Semester examinations (some grouped in blocks), written papers Title: Bachelor of Science ETH, or Bachelor of Arts ETH for the Public Policy (Professional Officer) programme 7

10 Study Programmes Master s degree programme The Master s degree programme comprises study achievements amounting to 90 or 120 credits, and is designed to take three or four semesters, or up to a maximum of six to eight semesters respectively. The Master s degree programme offers students the opportunity to deepen their education in a subject area which they themselves determine. After attending lectures and practicals for two to three semesters, students carry out their first independent research work, written up in a Master s thesis. Many programmes are supplemented by an internship of several months carried out outside the ETH domain. Students may select one or more consecutive Master s degree programmes and, in many cases, one or more specialised Master s degree programmes. Each consecutive Master s degree programme is linked directly to a particular Bachelor s degree programme in terms of content. The specialised Master s degree programmes centre on a specific topic taught from an interdisciplinary perspective with an international focus. A few specialised Master s degree programmes, the so-called Joint Master s programmes, are offered in cooperation with Swiss and foreign universities. Most of the Master s degree programmes are taught exclusively in English. This helps to prepare students for entering the international world of work and training in science and technology. Structure of the Master s degree programme 3 or 4 semesters (90 or 120 credits) Lectures, semester papers, project work in core courses and electives, possibly an industrial placement Semester examinations, written papers Master s thesis (3 8 months) Title: Master of Science ETH, or Master of Arts ETH for the Master s degree in Comparative and International Studies and the Master s degree in the History and Philosophy of Knowledge possibly doctoral studies 8

11 Student exchange programmes The increasing internationalisation of the job market is addressed in the wide range of exchange programmes on offer during the study programmes. ETH Zurich has exchange agreements with numerous universities both within and outside Europe, making it possible for students to spend one or two semesters studying abroad either during the third year of the Bachelor s degree programme or during the Master s degree programme. There are also exchange opportunities available within Switzerland, with EPF Lausanne a good choice for this. Such an exchange always requires some extra effort and expense, but it also offers experiences valuable for both personal and professional development. More information can be found on the Student Exchange Office website: The academic year The academic year is divided into two semesters of 14 weeks each, beginning in mid-september (calendar week 38) and mid-february (calendar week 8) respectively. Degree programmes only commence in autumn. Doctoral studies Doctoral studies can follow on from all Master s degree programmes. They involve the first independent research work qualifying graduates for subsequent scientific employment, and the resulting doctorate is normally essential for a professional career in the field of natural sciences. Doctoral studies generally take three to four 9

12 Study Programmes years to complete, and for ETH graduate students involve paid positions as research assistants (see Doctorate ). Teaching qualifications Students of biology, chemistry, geography, computer science, mathematics, physics and sports may study for a teaching certificate which qualifies them to work in the Swiss Gymnasien (uni versitytrack secondary schools, akin to grammar schools). Several Master s degree programmes also offer teaching certificates qualifying holders for positions in vocational schools, specialised secondary schools, and universities of applied sciences and other institutes of higher education (see ). Continuing education opportunities The Centre for Continuing Education offers additional qualifications in the form of the Master of Advanced Studies programme and certificate courses (e.g. Business Management, Development and Cooperation or Medical Physics see ). 10

13 Study Programmes Admission requirements Bachelor s degree programmes: The requirement for admission to a Bachelor s degree programme is the Swiss Matura, an equivalent foreign qualification, the Swiss Passerelle university entrance examination or graduation from a federally recognised Swiss university of applied sciences. If these prerequisites are not satisfied, the candidate may sit an entrance examination. Citizens of non- Germanspeaking countries must submit a certificate of competence in German in accordance with the ETH Zurich Admissions Ordinance. Master s degree programmes: The requirement for admission to a consecutive Master s degree programme is a Bachelor s degree from ETH Zurich or EPF Lausanne in the same discipline or an equivalent Bachelor s degree obtained in Switzerland or abroad. Certain stipulations apply to graduates of Swiss universities of applied sciences who wish to enter a Master s programme in the discipline of their first degree. Acceptance on a Master s degree programme may, depending on the student s background, involve an application procedure. It may also be subject to additional requirements: the acquisition of additional study achievements via attendance of course units from the ETH Bachelor s degree programme. Admission to a specialised Master s degree programme is subject to special conditions (see page 88). What does it take to study successfully at ETH? Many factors determine educational success. One of the most important is undoubtedly motivation. Students with a clear educational goal have a good chance of successfully completing their selected programme. In addition to possessing a sound overall education and a general interest in science and technology, it is also important to: have an aptitude for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology be open to new ideas be creative show team spirit focus on the overall picture be a networked thinker be persistent A good knowledge of English is required. An increasing number of courses in higher semesters are taught in English, while most of the Master s degree programmes are taught exclusively in English. More information about study programmes at ETH can be found at: Studies Bachelor Studies Master 11

14 ARCHITECTURE AND CIVIL ENGINEERING 12

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16 Comprehension and Design of Structured Living Spaces Architecture and Civil Engineering Society is making increasing demands on the quality of our living and working spaces and our infrastructure and mobility systems. At the same time, our vital soil, water and air resources are becoming scarce and increasingly at risk. Experts from the fields of architecture and civil engineering seek technically, economically and ecologically balanced solutions to address these issues. Architects design and realise residential, office and industrial buildings. Here they seek creative solutions to satisfy the manifold requirements of both the individual and society at large. Civil engineers plan and construct infrastructure in the residential, commercial, industrial, transport and energy fields that must be both safe and meet sound technical, economic and ecological requirements. Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Architecture Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Geomatic Engineering and Planning Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Architecture Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Geomatics Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems 14

17 Architecture and Civil Engineering Environmental engineers use their interdisciplinary knowledge and diverse skills to apply engineering technology to the sustainable management and, if necessary, rehabilitation of such vital resources as water, soil and air. Geomatic engineers monitor and visualise our living spaces. The geodata they process are used for navigation, securing property boundaries, issuing early warnings of imminent natural disasters, and planning and implementing building projects. They also play an indispensable role in various other applications. Graduates of the ETH Master s degree programme in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems deploy their broadly based education in the fields of spatial and transport planning. Interdisciplinary aspects and an insight into entrepreneurial thought processes are constituent parts of all of these study programmes, in addition to subject-specific knowledge. Specialised Master s degree programme Integrated Building Systems see page

18 The Creative Search for a High-quality Architectural Environment Architecture Studies Bachelor Architecture does not only involve construction. It also comprises a search for creative solutions which address the conflicting issues of building, living and working requirements, aesthetic priorities and maintaining a good quality of life in the structured environment. Career profile Architects use architectural resources to create, alter and preserve a structured environment to fulfil the expectations and address the conditions of both the individual and society. In the broad field of construction, their area of responsibility involves analysis, creative thought and action, and negotiation. They reflect on the needs of society and convert these into a structured environment. They respond to changes in conditions and design far-sighted strategies to manage change. Architects either work independently or as employees in architectural offices. They are also employed in construction companies, administration and large businesses, and work in the fields of design, art and culture. Programme structure The Bachelor s degree programme in Architecture is divided into three areas which run through the entire programme. The first, comprising architectural design and construction and the fundamentals of art and creativity, is the main focus. The second covers the scientific and technical disciplines, and the third humanities and social sciences and mathematics. Bachelor s degree programme The aim in the first year of study is to develop the perceptive and creative faculties, impart the methodology of architectural design, and provide a grounding in the natural sciences, technology and the humanities and social sciences. This basic knowledge is expanded in the second and third years. Six months of work experience in the field of architecture must also be completed to obtain a Bachelor s degree. Master s degree programme The aim of the Master s degree programme is to expand the knowledge acquired in the Bachelor s degree programme, and to foster an increasingly independent and individual approach to 16

19 Architecture Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) Courses in design and technology: Visual Design, Drafting, Construction Courses in technology and natural sciences: Structural Engineering, Building Technology, Ecology, etc. Courses in the humanities and social sciences: Mathematical Thought, Sociology, History of Art and Architecture, Law, Economics, etc. Seminar weeks 6 months work experience in the architectural field Master s degree programme (120 credits) working, the development of integrative thought and creative faculties and the handling of larger-scale architectural assignments. To obtain a Master s degree, proof of external work experience lasting at least six months must be provided. Design Specialisations, elective projects Electives, seminar weeks Master s thesis (10 weeks) 6 months work experience in the architectural field The Bachelor s degree in Architecture entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programme in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems without any additional requirements. 17

20 Planning, Decision-making, Building Civil Engineering Studies Bachelor It is difficult to imagine our everyday lives without bridges, tunnels, hydroelectric power plants, road and rail networks, or residential, office and industrial buildings. All of these are subject to increasingly higher demands on standards and functionality because our modern society requires reliable, efficient and safe infrastructure. Career profile Civil engineers are highly sought-after specialists who perform demanding tasks in the service of our society. They are more than just cool-headed, smart designers and constructors. While taking the environment into account, they must ensure that buildings and installations are planned functionally, built cost-effectively and can be economically operated and maintained. They work closely with architects, environmental engineers, geomatic engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, economists, lawyers and other specialists to provide essential bases for political decision-making processes. They work in engineering offices and construction companies; for federal, cantonal and municipal authorities; in power supply and transport companies; and in research and education. Bachelor s degree programme The curriculum begins with the fundamentals of mathematics and natural sciences, and a basic knowledge of engineering. These core competences are subsequently expanded and the foundations laid for the Master s degree programme. The Bachelor s degree programme concludes with a Bachelor s thesis. Master s degree programme The Master s degree programme builds upon the knowledge acquired in the Bachelor s degree programme. Students select two out of six possible subject areas (see box). A large range of electives supplement these, making it possible to either specialise further or to broaden out into a wider area of knowledge. Independent project work and seminar papers reinforce the scientific work, and foster the working methods expected in civil engineering. Topical construction projects or research topics are commonly used as examples. 18

21 Civil Engineering Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Mechanics, Computer Science, Physics, Geology, etc. Subject-specific fundamentals: Selected from the fields of geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transport systems, hydraulic engineering and water resources management, process engineering and materials Social science subjects: Law, Business Administration, Systems Engineering Project work, field courses, Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme (120 credits) Choice of two specialisations from: Construction and Maintenance Management Geotechnical Engineering Structural Engineering Transport Systems Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management Materials and Mechanics Electives, seminar papers and project work Master s thesis (16 weeks) The Bachelor s degree in Civil Engineering entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programme in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems without any additional requirements. 19

22 Sustainable Resource Management Environmental Engineering Studies Bachelor Water, soil and air are becoming increasingly precious as populations increase. The goal of environmental engineers is to manage these vital resources in a sustainable manner and to rehabilitate them wherever necessary. Career profile Environmental engineers produce well-founded technical solutions drawn from the engineering sciences in the following fields: water supply, wastewater disposal, exhaust air and solid wastes rehabilitation of polluted soil and water analysis, evaluation and monitoring of environmental risks and reduction of environmental pollution noise prevention sustainable use and management of natural resources They collaborate closely with civil, geomatic and process engineers, economists and social scientists. They work mainly in the fields of water resources management, prevention of water pollution, water supply and wastewater treatment, recycling and waste disposal engineering, soil protection, and air and noise pollution control. They work in planning offices, companies, public administration and research institutes; in the field of risk management in insurance companies and banks; and in development collaboration projects. Bachelor s degree programme The Bachelor s degree programme provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of mathematics and the natural and engineering sciences. A small project in the second semester gives some insight into practical problems. Laboratory work also familiarises students with the necessary analytical and experimental methods. Additional knowledge is acquired in an elective module (see box). This section of the programme concludes with an independent Bachelor s thesis. Master s degree programme Building on the basic knowledge acquired in the Bachelor s degree programme, the Master s programme expands students subjectspecific knowledge in a course made up of modules from the fields of water resources management, urban water management, ecological systems design, air quality control and waste management, hydraulic engineering and soil protection (see box). This course is supplemented by a broad range of electives. Two semesters of training in specialist and computer laboratories provide an insight into practical work, and a project, together with the six-month Master s thesis, offers the opportunity to approach a subject- specific topic in an applied or research-oriented manner. 20

23 Environmental Civil Engineering Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Mechanics, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, etc. Subject-specific fundamentals: Hydrology, Hydraulics, Urban Water Management, Ecological Systems Design, Water Resources Management, Air Quality Control, Earth Observation, etc. Social science subjects: Law, Business Administration, Systems Engineering One elective module chosen from: Soil Protection, Environmental Planning, Civil Engineering, Energy In addition: laboratory course, Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme (120 credits) Choice of one module from: Urban Water Management Environmental Technologies Resources Management Hydrology and Water Resources Electives, laboratory course, project work Master s thesis (6 months) The Bachelor s degree in Environmental Engineering entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programmes in Environmental Sciences or Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems without any additional requirements. 21

24 Measuring, Analysing, Visualising Geomatic Engineering and Planning Studies Bachelor Geomatic engineers present our living spaces in the form of digital models. They use all kinds of different measuring systems, data sources and methods to record, analyse and visualise spatial information. Without them, everyday life would simply be unimaginable and it would be impossible for us to deal with major challenges such as climate change, urbanisation or nutrition. Career profile Geomatic engineers are specialists in recording and visualising spatial structures and changes. Their activities range from global assignments, such as investigating changes in sea level, right through to very small-scale jobs, such as performing geometrical inspections for shipbuilding or plant construction projects. At regional and local level, their tasks may include producing maps of a specific area, finding suitable sites for wind turbines or controlling a tunnel boring machine with extreme precision. In the field of planning, they deal with the sustainable development of settlements, landscapes, transport and infrastructure designed to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. They work independently or as sought-after experts employed by organisations such as engineering offices, industrial companies or IT system manufacturers, or in public administration, research, development and education. Bachelor s degree programme The programme begins by teaching the fundamentals of mathe matics, the natural sciences and engineering, before moving on to specific areas of core expertise in preparation for the Master s degree programme. Elective modules, electives and a Bachelor s thesis give the students their first opportunity to focus on specific subject areas. Master s degree programme During the Master s degree programme, the students deepen their knowledge and skills in two of the four subject areas offered (see box). An interdisciplinary project and a 16-week Master s thesis project provide the opportunity for students to approach a topic they have chosen from their areas of specialisation in an applied or research-oriented manner. After obtaining the Master s degree, graduates may acquire the Swiss federal licence for cadastral surveyors. 22

25 Geomatic Engineering and Planning Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Geology, etc. Subject-specific fundamentals: Geodetic Metrology, Higher Geodesy, GIS, Photogrammetry, Cartography, Planning and Transport, etc. Social science subjects: Law, Business Administration, Systems Engineering Elective modules: Geodesy and Geodetic Metrology, GIS, Photogrammetry and Cartography, Spatial Development and Environmental Planning, Transport Field courses, electives, Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme in Geomatics (120 credits) Choice of two specialisations from: Engineering Geodesy and Photogrammetry Space Geodesy and Navigation GIS and Cartography Planning Electives, project work, Master s thesis (16 weeks) Master s degree programme in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems (120 credits) The Master s degree programme offers a broadly based education in the fields of transport planning and systems, spatial development and use, urbanism, environmental planning and infrastructure development. With help from a tutor, students draw up their own individual curricula. Electives, project work and a 16-week Master s thesis supplement the courses offered. The Bachelor s degree in Geomatic Engineering and Planning entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programme in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems without any additional requirements. 23

26 Architecture and Civil Engineering Which Degree Programme is Right for Me? A Comparison The Architecture and Civil Engineering degree programmes are characterised by being highly structured at Bachelor s level, with more choice only available at Master s level. On the engineering degree programmes, basic subjects such as mathematics, physics, computer science and, in some cases, chemistry are taught in the first year, and then from the second year there is a greater concentration on more programme-specific technical subjects. For architecture, on the other hand, the basic principles focus far more on creative design and the humanities. Whichever programme you choose, motivation and staying power are key deciding factors. However, it is also important to check whether the basic combination of subject areas appeals to you (see the following diagrams). You should also ask yourself questions such as the following: Do I like solving puzzles? Or can I imagine using mathematics, mechanics or IT to build or develop something? Or do I have an instinctive feel for shape? Are my creative skills more suited to designing buildings? Detailed information about the Architecture and Civil Engineering degree programmes can be found at Studies Bachelor 24

27 Distribution of Subjects Distribution of subjects during the first two years of the Bachelor s degree programme Discipline 1 Architecture 2 Civil Engineering 3 Environmental Engineering 4 Geomatic Engineering and Planning 4 Distribution of subjects Mathematics Physics and mechanics Computer science Chemistry Biology Humanities and social sciences Course-specific subjects Drafting 25

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30 The Basis of Our High-tech Society Engineering Sciences Whether for transport, communication, industry or medicine, our high-tech society needs efficient products and production processes: without them our current standard of living would be inconceivable. Engineers are responsible for their development. Engineering graduates are free to roam a vast and international world of activity. They work in industrial companies, research and development, or as product and sales managers, e.g. in the fields of energy, mechatronics, biomedical engineering and micro and nanosystems. They may be responsible for logistics and planning in the service sector, or work as consultants and marketing experts. Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Bachelor s degree programme Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Computer Science Materials Science Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Master s degree programme Mechanical Engineering Process Engineering Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Computer Science Materials Science 28

31 Engineering Sciences Banks and insurance companies are also interested in engineers, for example as analysts or damage experts. Engineers educational options are correspondingly broad. They are always based on solid mathematical and scientific fundamentals. Apart from the classical engineering disciplines of mechanical engineering, process engineering, electrical engineering and information technology, computer science and materials science, increasing numbers of specialised study programmes are being developed. The Master s degree programme in Management, Technology and Economics, for example, offers holders of Bachelor s degrees in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering and Information Technology a chance to focus on economics and management. Many other specialised Master s degree programmes offer students interdisciplinary further education in specialist areas. Specialised Master s degree programmes Biomedical Engineering Biotechnology Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Energy Science and Technology Micro and Nanosystems Neural Systems and Computation Nuclear Engineering Robotics, Systems and Control The specialised Master s degree programmes are described on pages

32 From Nanorobots to Aircraft Engines Mechanical Engineering Studies Bachelor A sound technological basis and a wide horizon provide the basis for the work of mechanical engineers at the interfaces where electronics, computer science, mechanics, thermodynamics and chemistry meet and where products, systems and processes are developed, calculated and planned. Career profile Mechanical engineers develop many varied products, ranging from tiny microsensors for medical technology and highly efficient energy plants to applications for automotive and aviation engineering. They use computers to design new machine tools or construct wheelchairs that can climb stairs. In the process engineering field, for example, they control industrial, biotechnical or chemical processes. They also assume management tasks in companies, work as quality or risk assessment experts in the service industry (evaluating fire and explosion hazards, for example), draw up production forecasts, and work in the field of strategic consultancy. Their professional environment is internationally oriented. Bachelor s degree programme In the first three semesters, basic theoretical knowledge of mechanical engineering is acquired in compulsory subjects. From the fourth semester onwards, students attend electives in their main areas of interest. In the fifth semester, they select one focus area or a focus project in which to expand their knowledge. In the sixth semester, they write a Bachelor s thesis. A five-week workshop placement in an industrial company is another component of the Bachelor s degree programme. Master s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering At the start of the Master s degree programme, students collaborate with a professor (their tutor) to draw up an individually designed curriculum. This consists of core subjects closely linked to the selected specialist field (e.g. sustainable energy use, mechatronics, product development, robotics) plus transdisciplinary subjects, which can be chosen from the entire range offered at ETH Zurich or the University of Zurich. The programme is completed by a twelve-week industrial placement, a semester project and the Master s thesis. 30

33 Mechanical Engineering Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics Basic courses in engineering: Product Development, Control Engineering, Thermodynamics, etc. Area of focus: Biomedical Engineering; Design, Mechanics and Materials; Energy, Flows and Processes; Mechatronics; Microsystems and Nanotechnology; Production Technology; Management, Technology and Economics or a focus project Electives, workshop placement, engineering tools, Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering (90 credits) Master s degree programme in Process Engineering (90 credits) Master s degree programme in Process Engineering The Master s degree programme is similar in structure to the Master s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering, but the core subjects come from the field of process engineering and cover essential chemical and biological processes. Graduates of the Bachelor s degree programme in Chemical Engineering are also admitted to this programme without any additional requirements. Specialisations (selected individually) Transdisciplinary subjects, semester project, industrial placement, Master s thesis project (6 months) Structured similarly to the Master s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering (specialist courses from the process engineering field) The Bachelor s degree in Mechanical Engineering entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programme in Management, Technology and Economics without any additional requirements (see page 80). 31

34 Purpose-made Electronic Intelligence Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Studies Bachelor Electronic components form part of all modern systems such as hybrid and electric vehicles in the field of mobility, for example, or mobile phones in the telecommunications sector, photovoltaic plants or wind turbines in the energy supply industry, or various diagnostic and treatment systems in the world of medicine. Every intelligent device is based on the inventiveness of electrical engineers. Using a continuously expanding range of components, they develop and lay the foundations for the society of the future. A Master s degree programme in Electrical Engineering offers all kinds of career opportunities. Electrical engineers work in research and development in many industrial companies both at home and abroad, for example in audio technology, mechatronics, cryptography or biomedical engineering. Keywords here are smartphones, hearing aids, navigation satellites, industrial robots and renewable energies. Thanks to the versatility of the ETH programme, your professional skills will also be in demand in additional areas such as public companies, the automotive industry and the medical and service sectors. Many challenging jobs for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology graduates are also found in sales, marketing and management. Career profile Many of the fruits of electrical engineering influence the way our society functions. By taking a degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, you will acquire the knowledge and skills you need to build a successful career in a wide range of different fields relating to information processing, electronics and energy supply. Bachelor s degree programme The first two years of the degree programme focus on building a solid foundation and are dominated by mathematics and physics even in the basic electrical engineering courses. From the very first semester, the theory is supplemented by practical skills acquired through compulsory practical sessions and small group projects or an industrial placement. In the third year of the programme, electrical engineering students can specialise in a focus area of their choice and supplement this (see box) with electives. 32

35 Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science Basic courses in engineering: Networks and Circuits, Digital Circuits, Signals and Systems, Electromagnetic Fields and Waves, Electronic Circuits, Semiconductor Devices Core subjects for specialisation: Communication, Computers and Networks, Electronics and Photonics, Energy and Power Electronics Practicals, projects, seminars, electives Master s degree programme (90 credits) Master s degree programme Students each select their own range of subjects from five areas of specialisation, in consultation with a supervising professor (tutor). The Master s degree programme also includes two semester papers and is rounded off with a six-month Master s thesis. Areas of specialisation (as for the Bachelor s degree programme, plus Systems and Control): courses chosen individually in consultation with a tutor Two semester projects (14 weeks part-time) and a Master s thesis (6 months full-time) The Bachelor s degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology entitles graduates to progress to the Master s degree programme in Management, Technology and Economics without any additional requirements (see page 80). 33

36 Technologies which Change Our Lives and Work Computer Science Studies Bachelor Invisible yet indispensable: computer science is omnipresent in our daily lives. Whether it is in smartphones, air traffic control, stock market transactions, industrial plants or tsunami early warning systems, without computer science the modern world would come to a halt. Career profile In computer science, it s all about information, or rather the scientific and technical ways of processing, storing, transmitting and presenting information and, ultimately, imparting knowledge. In addition to technical knowledge, creativity and social skills are also very important. Computer scientists are often globally active and collaborate on projects with other experts. Here they act both as specialists and consultants and perform management functions. They operate in very diverse areas of society, which include science, administration, medicine, transport, the environmental sector and finance. Thus computer science is an important mainstay of modern society. Bachelor s degree programme During the first year of the programme, students acquire knowledge of the fundamentals of mathematics and the natural sciences as well as of systematic programming and its fundamental concepts (data structures, algorithms and parallel programming). In the second year, students become acquainted with the core areas of computer and software systems, theoretical computer science and computational science. In the third year they deepen their knowledge in selected areas and build a foundation for the Master s degree programme. The Bachelor s thesis completes the programme. Master s degree programme During the Master s degree programme, students may either deepen their knowledge in one of the areas of computer science listed in the box to the right or design their own study programme in General Computer Science via a combination of different specialisation areas. The programme concludes with a six-month Master s thesis. 34

37 Computer Science Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Digital Technology, Physics Basic computer science: Programming, Algorithms, Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, Networks, Databases, etc. Specialisations: Computer and Software Systems, Theoretical Computer Science, Computational Science Seminar, Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme (90 credits) Possible specialisations: Theoretical Computer Science, Information Security, Software Engineering, Information Systems, Distributed Systems, Visual Computing, Computational Science Inter-focus courses Electives in computer science Elective courses Master s thesis (6 months) 35

38 Materials for Our Future Materials Science Studies Bachelor New materials are factors crucial to the performance efficiency, effectiveness, quality and environmental friendliness of products and processes in every modern branch of industry and field of practical application. Career profile Research, development, production, testing and life cycle analysis are only some of the areas in which materials scientists are active. They work in research and development laboratories, production or technical marketing. They make the connection between the micro structure and structure of materials on the one hand, and the macroscopic properties of the products made from these materials on the other. This demands a sound scientific education and an understanding of issues relating to process engineering, economics and ecology. A willingness to cooperate on an interdisciplinary level with experts from all these fields is essential. Bachelor s degree programme In the first four semesters of the Bachelor s degree programme, the fundamentals of materials science, chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology are taught. The last two semesters are dedicated to specialising in materials science subjects (metals, polymers, ceramics, materials in biology and medicine, composites). An industrial placement or a twelve-week university research project during the lecture-free period and a Bachelor s thesis supplement the teaching, together with numerous exercises, seminars and practicals. Master s degree programme In contrast to the clearly structured and, in some ways, strictly regimented Bachelor s degree programme, students at Master s level have the option either of specialising heavily in something that interests them personally, or, alternatively, taking advantage of the full range of materials science courses on offer and training as a materials science generalist. The Master s degree programme combines the opportunity for in-depth study as a generalist with options for individual specialisation, which means that it can be tailored to suit students specific interests perfectly. The learning 36

39 Materials Science Bachelor s degree programme (180 credits) General basic courses: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology Materials science subjects: Metals, Polymers, Ceramics, Materials in Biology and Medicine, Composites Seminars, practicals Industrial placement or university research project Bachelor s thesis Master s degree programme (120 credits) Core and elective subjects Two projects, Master s thesis (6 months) experience is enriched by projects carried out outside teaching sessions. The programme is completed with a Master s thesis, the work for which is carried out independently in one of the numerous research groups. 37

40 Engineering Sciences Which Degree Programme is Right for Me? A Comparison The Engineering Sciences degree programmes are characterised by two highly structured years at the beginning, followed, with the exception of Materials Science, by a third Bachelor s year which allows considerable freedom of choice within the framework of the specialist courses that are available. In the first year, the basic subjects of mathematics, physics and computer science are taught, with varying weightings, and then later the foundations are laid for the specific field of study. Whichever programme you choose, motivation and staying power are key deciding factors. However, it is also important to check whether the combination of subject areas appeals to you (see the following diagrams). You should also ask yourself the following questions: Do I enjoy using mechanics to build things? Or do I have more of a flair for computer science and IT? Or am I more interested in chemical questions relating to industrial development and production? Detailed information about the Engineering Sciences degree programmes can be found at Studies Bachelor 38

41 Distribution of Subjects Distribution of subjects during the first two years of the Bachelor s degree programme Discipline 1 Mechanical and Process Engineering 2 Electrical Engineering and Information Technology 3 Computer Science 4 Materials Science 4 Distribution of subjects Mathematics Physics Chemistry Computer science Electrical engineering Biology Mechanical engineering Materials science 39

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