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Studying an LLM (Master of laws) Program in Switzerland

Find LLM programs in SWITZERLAND

LLM in SwitzerlandSwitzerland is a country with an undisputed reputation for quality, precision and excellence, whether we’re talking about pharmaceuticals, chronographs, banking or education. Switzerland has some of the most highly regarded higher education institutions in the world and is ranked among the top ten countries with the highest quality of life in the world, making it a magnet for foreign students.

It is a country that welcomes the world, as host nation to several well known international humanitarian and sporting organisations such as the International Labour Organisation, the International Intellectual Property Organisation, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations, FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee, the World Trade Organisation and the World Economic Forum that meets annually in Davos.

Not surprisingly, many of the LLMs on offer in Switzerland tend to have a strong international focus.

Reasons to study your LLM in Switzerland

Switzerland is a small country with a population of only 8.7 million, but it makes a big impact on the global academic stage, especially in legal education.

With a Civil Law system, and with both national Federal Law and local level State Law, the legal system in Switzerland will be familiar to many students from countries like the United States and France. Switzerland is home to many international organisations, and this makes it a popular place to study and work for those who wish to work for international NGOs or the UN. 

Here we take a look at some of the main reasons to choose to study your LLM program in Switzerland.

1. International organisations 

Networking is an important part of your transferable skills and a brilliant way to meet people in organisations or industries that you wish to work in after you've completed your LLM program. Switzerland and Geneva, in particular, is home to a large number of international organisations, especially NGOs, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders International. This means that studying in Switzerland will bring you closer to these organisations and the opportunity to network with their employees. 

2. English speaking courses

Many universities in Switzerland offer LLM courses in English often with a focus on international legal issues, such as International Trade Law or Business Law. The University of Zurich offers an LLM course in English specialising in International Business Law. The University of Fribourg offers LLM specialisations in International Business Law and International Arbitration Law, and the Geneva Academy offers an LLM in English in International Humanitarian Law. 

3. Learn other foreign languages 

If you choose to study an LLM program in Switzerland that is taught in English, then it is a good idea to gain some other language skills while you are there. Depending on the part of Switzerland you choose to study in you will find the official language will either be French, German or Italian, and laws are issued in all three languages. Even though your course might be taught in English, improving your foreign language skills always looks good on your CV. 

4. Explore Europe

Switzerland is located right in the middle of the European continent. This means that you will easily be able to travel to other parts of Europe and experience other cultures while you live and study in Switzerland. Despite not being a member of the EU there are travel agreements between Switzerland and EU countries that make crossing the borders easy. You'll even find some people commute across national borders on a daily basis. 

5. Strong academic reputation

Most of Switzerland's law schools feature in the top 200 law schools in the world – making them the ideal choice for LLM students wanting to further their legal prospects and career.

Here are the top law universities in Switzerland.


Swiss University


ETH Zurich


University of Bern


University of Geneva


University of Zurich


University of Lausanne


University of St. Gallen


Where should you study your LLM in Switzerland?

Most of the main cities in Switzerland have universities or other higher education institutions, providing a wide choice. The University of Zurich is the largest university in the country and it offers a range of joint and double Master of Laws degrees in partnership with other globally recognised universities such as King’s College London, University of California Berkeley, University of Hong Kong, University of Strasbourg and University of Lausanne. The University of Fribourg offers an LLM in Cross-Cultural Business Practice, a program that is now more relevant than ever in this era of globalisation.

At the prestigious Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva you can study for a Masters in International Law. University of Basel offers Masters in Business Law, Corporate and Tax Law, Finance Law and International Law. These programs are offered in English, some with a bilingual option in either German or French. At the University of Bern, LLMs offered in English include Business and Law, International Law and Economics. Other LLMs are on offer at Bern in German but do check with the institution to confirm whether the courses in German are available in English. The University of Geneva is Switzerland’s second largest university and offers a comprehensive LLM in International Dispute Settlement. The duration of the LLMs vary, with some lasting a year and others two years. 

Admission requirements

A first degree in law from recognised universities is the basic requirement, with certain specialisations accepting other relevant qualifications such as degrees in economics, international relations or finance. Language proficiency is essential; check to confirm whether the course you’re applying for requires you to be bilingual. If you’re applying to a degree taught in English and your first degree was not conducted in English, you will be required to provide international test results to prove your proficiency. Whether you only recently learned English, or you consider yourself fairly fluent, read our useful advice and on language requirements. We also have some general information on the application process.

Tuition fees and living costs

The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss franc (chf.) The country’s high quality of life is reflected in the high cost of living and there isn’t much of a difference in living costs from city to city. As a rough estimate, students can expect to pay anything between 500chf and 900chf for student digs, depending on whether it’s shared or private. After factoring in groceries, transport and utilities, monthly living costs could hover around 2,000chf.

Tuition fees vary, with LLM courses costing up to 33,000chf for the year. Some institutions apply a surcharge to students with foreign qualifications. Check out our page on fees, funding and student bursaries.

Visa requirements for international students

Most Swiss universities advise international students to find out what the visa requirements are from the Swiss embassies in their country. Students from the EU or EEA (European Economic Area) are exempted from student visas, though some applicants from newer EU member states may have to meet a few requirements. Generally, visa requirements would involve demonstrating the ability to maintain yourself adequately during your course.

All students – including those who do not need visas – are required to register at the local registration office in the municipality where their school is located within 14 days of arrival. After registration you will be issued a residence permit and an identity card. To register you will need to provide proof of admission to an institution, confirmation of the address you have secured in Switzerland (such as a tenancy agreement) and proof of funds. Health insurance coverage is also mandatory for all students, whether from the EU / EEA or international.

Find LLM programs in SWITZERLAND

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Featured Institutions

University of St GallenUniversity of St Gallen

University of ZurichUniversity Zurich Faculty of Law

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university are being charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.