Undergraduate Programs / Pre-Bachelor Foundation Program





This program allows students who are 17 or older and who have completed less than 12 years of formal education to earn up to an additional 60 credits in undergraduate courses in order to qualify for admission in our undergraduate degree programs. Refer to the undergraduate admission requirements for further details.


All courses are taught entirely in English at all campuses.


Depending on the number of credits attempted per quarter, the course selection and the course planning, full-time students may, for example, earn a Bachelor degree in either 3 academic years of 3 quarters each, for a total of 9 quarters of 20 credits each; or in 4 academic years of 3 quarters each, for a total of 12 quarters of 15 credits each. Earning credits during the summer quarter will speed up the studies. The additional requirements can be met in 1 academic year of 3 quarters of 20 credits each, or in 1 academic year of 4 quarters of 15 credits each.


Courses are scheduled from Monday to Friday between 8:30 and 18:30, typically in sessions of 3 hours each. Only Pre-Master leveling courses are scheduled at main campuses during the evening from 19:00 to 22:00. Refer to the course planning for further details on the availability of weekday and evening courses. Additional courses may be available online; additional academic policies and conditions will apply.


Courses are assigned a number of credits, indicating the estimated workload. Each credit equals up to 30 learning hours, including contact hours, exam hours, self-study hours and group-study hours. Contact hours vary depending on total student enrollments per course. The workload of a typical full-time undergraduate student amounts to 15 or 20 credits per quarter and to 450 or 600 learning hours respectively.

Program European Credits (ECTS) American quarter credits American semester credits
Bachelor 180 180 120
Associate 90 90 60
Certificate 30 30 20


Undergraduate courses are divided into core courses and specialization courses (relevant to a major or minor). Electives can be chosen from any of the scheduled courses offered at the undergraduate level. Specialization courses are scheduled based on enrollments and may not be available at all campuses. Specialization courses scheduled are available to all students also as electives. Refer to the program schedule for further details. Refer to the course overview for the list of available courses. Students are recommended to complete courses and earn credits at the highest level possible.

Program requirements

Switching to another program once the studies have started is possible as long as the program requirements are met by the end of the studies. Therefore, the decision to switch should be made as early as possible to avoid not meeting the program requirements within the intended program duration.

Formal education 11 years minimum
Courses (Pre-Bachelor) 30 credits / 6 courses
Courses (electives) up to 30 credits / 6 courses
Bachelor 60 + 180 credits
Associate 60 + 90 credits
Certificate 60 + 30 credits


Grading system

Students are assessed on a combination of attendance, participation, individual assignments, group assignments and exams. Assignments may include reading materials, term papers, reports, presentations, and others. The combination of these assessments provides students with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. The minimum passing grade is D (60%). In case of an FX grade, students have the option to request a second exam in order to obtain the minimum passing grade of 60%. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated on a 4.0 scale.

Percentage Grade Definition
90 to 99 A Excellent
80 to 89 B Good
70 to 79 C Average
60 to 69 D Poor
50 to 59 FX Unsatisfactory
0 to 49 F Fail
Percentage GPA Academic Honors
90 3.6 Summa Cum Laude
85 3.4 Magna Cum Laude
80 3.2 Cum Laude


Upon successful completion of the study program students receive an international private undergraduate certificate, diploma or degree awarded by the school’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, based on the recommendation of the faculty of the local campuses where credits were earned. Our study programs are based on and are fully compatible with the established European and American educational systems.


Because of the program's flexible structure and modular design, multiple starting dates are available in October, January, April, July and August. Refer to the academic calendar for the exact starting dates. Undergraduate programs are offered at all campuses. Refer to the program schedule for an overview of the campuses where certain majors and minors are offered. Refer to the admission section for details on how to apply. When applying, please adhere to the application procedures and guidelines.

Admission requirements

  • proficiency in the English language (refer to the admission section for further details)
  • high school diploma that allows access to higher education in the country of origin

Students who are 17 or older who have completed less than 12 years of formal education and who do not hold a high school diploma that allows access to higher education in the country of origin should earn up to an additional 60 credits in the Pre-Bachelor program.

e.g. Students who wish to earn an Associate degree and who are required to complete the Pre-Bachelor program will need to earn 60 + 90 credits.


Program options

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad option allows students to transfer for one or more quarters to another campus without experiencing program interruptions or extensions. Courses and programs remain fully compatible across all campuses, however not all majors and minors are available at all campuses. Refer to the program schedule for further details. Students may also study abroad with one of our academic partner institutions or propose another school, college or university and have their study abroad program approved for credit transfer.

Part-time Studies

The Part-time Studies option allows students with flexible working hours to complete courses that fit with schedule, including online courses, and to spread their studies over a longer period of time, earning fewer than 15 credits per quarter. Part-time studies are available only for students with a national passport or residence permit.

e.g. earning half the typical number of credits equals twice the duration of the full-time program

Accelerated Studies

The Accelerated Studies option allows students to increase the maximum number of credits per quarter, and to have previous relevant work experience and other successfully completed training programs evaluated for credit transfer.

Summer School

The Summer School option allows students to accelerate their studies by earning up to 20 additional credits per academic year. Summer school is available at main and satellite campuses only.

Private Tutoring and Private Coaching

The Private Tutoring and Private Coaching options allow students to schedule additional one-on-one sessions with professors or study coaches to catch up on missed contact hours or to receive additional academic support. Sessions are charged per hour and take place on-campus at a time that is convenient for both the student and professor or coach.


Global Bachelor program at UIBS and our academic partners
Global Bachelor program

Earn a global degree at UIBS by studying in Europe and Tokyo, and finishing with one of our academic partners in New York.

Dual Bachelor programs at UIBS and our academic partners
Dual Bachelor programs

Earn a second degree at UIBS for an additional 60 credits, or continue with one of our academic partners around the world.

Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan
Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan

Spend one or more quarters at our satellite campus in Tokyo, Japan and experience all the city and country have to offer.

Flexible Liberal and Global Studies at European College for Liberal Studies (ECLS)
Flexible Liberal and Global Studies

Consider alternative programs from our sister institution, European College for Liberal Studies (ECLS), including International Relations.


The one-minute animated introduction to UIBS
One-minute Introduction

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UIBS Student Interviews
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UIBS Professor Interviews
Professor Interviews

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UIBS Graduation Ceremony in Barcelona, Spain
2017 Graduation Ceremony

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