I have been browsing for information on language requirements for universities in Switzerland, and on a page studyineurope.eu I accidentally read a quite interesting note about studying medicine in Switzerland. They say:

foreign students are not allowed to apply for study programs related to medicine, dentistry, veterinary and chiropractic in Switzerland

Now, I'm not interested in studying medicine, but I'm curious about this policy, because it seems unusual. Googling the topic gave me no results, so I thought I would ask it here. Do you know or have any idea why would they have such a bizarre policy?


1 Answer 1


In Switzerland, access to medicine, dentistry and veterinary is limited due to high demand (also for Swiss students). The test for admission is called Numerus clauses and it was introduced because the capacity of the universities are too low and demand too high. Basically they are allowed to test students if demand is more than 20% above capacity.

Regarding the information about foreign students, this does not seem to be the case. On the University of Zurich website (in German http://www.med.uzh.ch/Medizinstudium/humanmedizinstudium.html ) they state that everybody, Swiss and foreigners, have to take the test but in principle foreign students can study medicine at a Swiss university (at least according to UZH):

Zum Medizinstudium sind Schweizerinnen und Schweizer sowie Ausländerinnen und Ausländer, die bestimmte Zulassungskriterien erfüllen müssen, zugelassen

  • 2
    A new user (@Grace Vontobel) found this link, which suggests that only certain groups of foreigners are eligible. The largest group of eligible foreigners seem to be "EU nationals with a Swiss work permit." I do not know how easy it is to get a Swiss work permit, but certainly it seems like EU citizens may have an easier time than citizens of other nationalities (which may explain the German article that this answer mentions).
    – cag51
    May 31, 2021 at 5:10
  • @cag51 The link uses this link as reference: swissuniversities.ch/fileadmin/swissuniversities/Dokumente/… But this only talks about groups that enjoy the same privileges as Swiss citizens, not that foreigners are not allowed, it is a different thing.
    – Dr. Snoopy
    May 31, 2021 at 9:49

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