In Switzerland, the 26 Cantons are responsible for compulsory education. This is the reason why the schools have different school calendar, education structure, curriculum, number of lessons per subject and teaching methods.

The Cantons and the Confederation are responsible for post-compulsory education.

The compulsory education starts at the age of 4 and last 11 years, or starts at the age of 6 and last 9 years (depending on the Canton) and includes:

  • 8 years of primary level, including 2 years of kindergarten. (In Canton Ticino are 7 years of primary level);
  • 3 years of lower secondary level. (In Canton Ticino are 4 years of lower secondary).

The language of instruction is dictated by the region where the school is located: German, French, Italian or Romansh. During the compulsory education, besides English, students learn a second official language of Switzerland.

The grading scale is from 1 to 6, where 6 = best grade, 4 = sufficient, below 4 = insufficient.

Swiss education system



YES Study programmes

Study programmes

YES Types of schools

Types of schools

YES Admissions guide

Admissions guide

YES useful info

Useful info