Academic Year

How long are UBIS semester?

UBIS has three 16-week semesters per year. Each semester is divided into two 8-week modules (there are six 8-week modules per year).

How many entry dates are there per year?

6 for graduate and undergraduate students.

Click here for dates.

How many courses does a student have to take per year?

Students need to take the equivalent of two semesters of studies per year to be considered full time, which means a minimum of 12 courses per year. These classes are normally during the academic year, which is Modules from September through April.

Students who wish to Fast Track their studies would take the maximum number per module (3 courses or 18 per year).


What time of day are courses offered on-ground?

Depending on the students enrolled in on-ground courses, they are either in the evening or during the day. Courses which have a heavy concentration of working students are more frequently offered in the late evening, while courses that have more students who do not work can be offered during daytime hours.

What areas does UBIS offer studies in?

International Business & International Relations

What levels of studies does UBIS offer?

Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctorate programs are available.


When can students take time off?

Students who arrive in Switzerland on a student visa from UBIS must study at least 6 months before they can take time off of their studies. If those students arrive and study over the summer in Modules C and D, then they cannot have time off until the end of the following Academic year (Module C of the next calendar year).

Students who wish to take one module off of studies must notify the Registrar at least 2 weeks before the start of the next module. There is a CHF50 fee to maintain status as a UBIS student during that official leave of absence from active studies. Students do not have to pay this fee during summer (May-August) This option is available exceptionally during the normal academic school year (Aug 30-end of April) for students who do not have a student permit through UBIS.

Students who wish to take more than one module off in a row must inform the registrar of their intended module of return as well as pay their full fees for the next term in advance and pay a fee per module they are not enrolled to be allowed to stay on an official leave of absence.

UBIS is only closed officially over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays. The UBIS office is closed on the official Swiss and canton of Geneva Holidays.

Program Entry Requirements

What previous studies do I need to have for undergraduate entry?

Undergraduate candidates must have the equivalent of an American high school diploma or 5 British O-levels/IEGSC’s from their home country for undergraduate entry.

What previous studies do I need to have for graduate entry?

Graduate candidates must have the equivalent of a 4-year American Bachelor’s degree or have completed a diploma with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits in their program of studies from their home country, or have taken the necessary prerequisite courses for the Master’s program of their choice. If this is not the case, they may be required to take courses in any of the areas where they are missing basic knowledge before being allowed to take graduate-level courses in that area. There are up to 10 of these classes that could be required.

What previous studies do I need to have for Industry Specific Program entry?

Candidates must have a University degree (Bachelor or Master) and a proficient level of English.

Applying to UBIS

How to Apply for the Industry Specific Program

Complete the enrollment form and return it to Admissions by scanning and sending it by email to admissions@ubis-geneva.ch.

How to Apply for Undergraduate and Graduate Program at UBIS

First, complete the application form and return it to Admissions by scanning or attachment and then send the original copy by mail.

Second, make sure that you have all the required documentation as listed below prepared. Send scanned copies with your application and send the originals or certified copies with the original application form.

Documents listed are required for and have to be submitted simultaneously for evaluation purposes:

    • Completed Admission Application Form (signed)
    • CV / Resume indicating both complete education and any work experience in reverse chronological order
    • Bank Statement showing at least CHF 9000 or equivalent (only for on-ground students needing a visa or permit)
    • Official Certified transcripts and diplomas, with a certified translation if not originally in English, of secondary education and any University education followed or completed
    • Photocopy of a valid passport, if available
    • Study Plan indicating why student chose Switzerland, why Geneva, why UBIS, what the student plans to study, how long it will take, what degree(s) the student intends to achieve, and the student’s plans to leave Switzerland after completing his/her studies (only for on-ground students needing a visa and/or permit)
    • TOEFL or other standardized English Placement Exam

Third, you will need to make payment of the application fee of CHF100. If you are in Geneva, you can bring all the paperwork and the payment to the main office. If you are not in Geneva or coming to the office is not convenient, payment can also be made in the following manner:

Your CHF100 application fee payment can be made either through PayPal over the internet (Please see the UBIS website for instructions: https://www.ubis-geneva.ch/payment/) or by bank transfer to the following account:

    • Bank Name: UBS SA
    • Bank Address: Rue de Rhone 8 CH-1204 Geneva Switzerland
    • IBAN: CH27 0024 0240 8546 4701 E
    • Sort code: 240
    • Account Holder: UBIS SA-University.of Business and International Studies

Fourth, be sure to notify of your choice of format (on-line or on-ground) and your intended starting dates.

How long will it take to hear back from Admissions after I apply?

If your application and all supporting documents are complete when submitted, on average a student hears back from Admissions within a week. An electronic copy of papers will be sent first to the student’s email address followed by signed copies being sent by registered mail.


What kind of accreditation does UBIS have?

UBIS operates under the authorization of the “Service de I’ Enseignement Prive, Department de I’lnstruction publique”, the Swiss Cantonal authority that over-see the private education sector in Geneva.

Besides, UBIS is certified by eduQua, (a national certification body) and is also the first Swiss Educational institution to be certified by ISO 29990 for its Executive programs.

UBIS offers international programs designed by following the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS).

UBIS is also a member of the European Council for Business Education (ECBE) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS).

In 2013, UBIS became an official associate member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

Moreover, UBIS is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). IACBE is nationally recognized by the Council for High Education Accreditation (CHEA).

IACBE is the leader in mission-driven and outcomes-based programmatic accreditation in business and management education for Participant-centered colleges and universities throughout the world.

UBIS now has over 40 university partners around the world in more than 30 different countries. These partnerships provide our Participants with the opportunity to study in a richly diverse learning environment and to expand their networks through UBIS’s global alumni community.

The future of people management is a central strategy for UBIS. It is the ethos in which we prepare our Participants so that they may overcome global challenges, predict the economic climate of tomorrow and anticipate the real needs of the corporate sector. For this reason, UBIS is part of the Federation des Entre-prises Romandes (Swiss Employers Association); as well as; FutureWork Forum (FWF), a global think tank of more than 20 independent consultants devoted to reviewing, researching, reporting and responding to issues around the future of work.

Pursuing its mission of bringing academics closer to the business community, UBIS looks to expand its partnerships with corporations and entrepreneurs worldwide. UBIS will also continue to seek alliances with like-minded universities and academic institutions: Providing more Participants with the opportunity to benefit from a Swiss education, develop their professional and academic profiles and improve their overall chances for future success.

In the Year 2015 UBIS MBA program has obtained the 7th position in the Global MBA Ranking of the CEO magazine. CEO Magazine is dedicated to providing emerging, middle and senior managers with the most up-to-date and informative research data available.

Transfer Credits

Will UBIS accept credits earned at another school?

In general, as long as your undergraduate grades are equal to an American “C” “2.0” or 75% or better, and graduate grades are equal to an American “B” 3.0 or 85% or better and the courses actually apply to the course of studies at UBIS and the course applies directly to your program of studies, the answer is normally yes. However, transfer credits will neither be evaluated nor calculated until the Admissions Office receives the student’s completed application form, all supporting documents, and the application fee has been paid, to ensure that all necessary information is available at the time of evaluation.

Acceptance of transfer credit is always a decision of receiving institutions. UBIS does not guarantee transferability. Any student interested in transferring UBIS credit to another university should check directly with the receiving institution.


Will UBIS diploma/credits be recognized by other schools?

No school can promise that another school will recognize or accept transfer credits, a degree, or a diploma issued by another academic institution, except if there is already an affiliation between the two schools. Otherwise, it is always a smart move to make sure to ask the school which will need to accept credits or a degree from UBIS in advance of starting your UBIS studies. In general, UBIS credits and diplomas have been well received by other schools and the number of our semester abroad students is growing.


UBIS costs

  • BBA and BAIR On-ground: 54,000 CHF
  • BBA and BAIR Online: 39,000 CHF
  • MBA and MAIR On-ground: 25,000 CHF
  • MBA and MAIR Online: 20,000 CHF
  • Doctorate: 32,000 CHF

Are scholarships available?

  • UBIS is a small, private university with limited funding available. Being that UBIS feels every student deserves an education, UBIS has made a policy decision to help as many students as possible, rather than to offer a few students a large amount towards their studies. Therefore:
    • Recipients of UBIS financial aid may not receive more than one scholarship/grant at a time
    • Scholarships/grants are limited in size
    • Scholarships/grants only apply to tuition

    A student who accepts a UBIS scholarship or grant confirms with his/her acceptance that he/she can find the funding necessary to pay all other expenses.

    In general, financial aid is not automatic, must be applied for and supporting documentation must be presented. Financial aid for need based awards does not automatically cover the entire period of a student’s studies. Such recipients are required to reapply before the expiry date.

    All financial awards require that a student earn and keep a passing GPA; a minimum of a C (2.0) average for undergraduates and a B (3.0) average for graduates. All students receiving financial aid must enroll for and complete a minimum of 18 credits (6 courses) per year.

    UBIS offers two forms of financial aid to its students:

    • Scholarships- financial aid based on academic merit
    • Grants- financial aid based on financial need

    Academic merit is evaluated through the presentation of a student’s transcripts and diplomas. Undergraduate students with a GPA of B+ (3.3) and Graduate students with a GPA of A- (3.5) can be considered for academic merit-based scholarship awards. These awards are granted for the entire length of studies, on the condition that an acceptable GPA is kept over the entire study period.

    Financial need is established through the country of origin. Financial need awards are granted only after a student has exhausted all other possible sources of aid and still requires financial assistance for his/her studies. Students requesting financial need-based grants must submit copies of their own or their sponsor’s income tax reports for the most current year and/or salary sheets of the same with an evaluation of the student’s needs compared to what is available. It is the student’s responsibility to present the necessary documentation to show the extent of his or her need. Financial need-based grants require yearly renewal.

    The following financial aid awards are available:

    Academic Excellence Scholarships: 10% available based on a student’s GPA.

    • For undergraduates: 10% = B+ (3.3) GPA
    • For graduates: 10% = A- (3.5) GPA

    Students wishing to apply for a scholarship must submit a completed UBIS application form, all required supporting documents, pay the application fee (this is not wavered for scholarship applicants) and submit a letter explaining the reasons behind the scholarship request and supporting documentation with that letter. Scholarship eligibility will be determined at the time of acceptance. No scholarships will be allocated to students who have not applied for and been accepted into UBIS in either a graduate or undergraduate program.

What is the cost of living in Geneva?

An approximate minimum cost of living in Geneva is as follows:

  • Accommodation: CHF 950.-
  • Food: CHF 500.-
  • Medical Insurance (compulsory according to Swiss law): CHF 100.-
  • Transport: CHF 100.-
  • Other: CHF 150.-
  • Total per month: CHF 1,800.-


What language does UBIS teach in?

All courses in UBIS are taught in English.

Do students have to have a TOEFL/IELTS/TOEIC score?

All teaching at UBIS is done in English and it is for this reason that all students are required to present proof of their English ability as part of the application process.

The most common standardized English exam accepted by UBIS as proof of English capacity is the TOEFL exam. UBIS requests the following scores:

  • TOEFL Paper 550 or better
  • TOEFL Internet 78 or better

Other standardized English exams accepted by UBIS as proof of English capacity are:

  • IELTS 6.0 or better
  • TOEIC 690 or better

On ground students who have not yet achieved this score or an equivalent with a similar exam, will still be accepted at UBIS, but may need to complete supplementary EFL (English Foreign Language) studies simultaneously to or before commencing university studies. This will incur extra cost and time.

For students who are arriving on-ground for their studies, the possibility exists of being tested upon arrival. However, in order to not have any unpleasant surprises, it is recommended to take a standardized exam prior to arrival all the same, particularly as the Swiss Embassy at which you apply may require you submit it as proof of sufficient language skills at the moment of visa application.

On-line students must submit their original results of the exam score to the UBIS Admissions office or have them sent to UBIS directly from the testing company.

Please note that for TOEFL test, the institution code (DI) for UBIS is 3274.

How to prepare the English Test?

A variety of practice materials exists to help test takers prepare for the TOEFL iBT Test.

These include free sample questions, practice tests, interactive skill-building programs, and detailed tips and information for understanding more about the TOEFL iBT Test.

There is also a TOEFL TV Channel on YOUTUBE. Teachers and students can create short videos with tips on learning English, preparing for the TOEFL Test and studying abroad.

Sample questions and preparation material can also be found on http://www.ets.org/toefl.

Information on the TOEFL Online Speech Sample Service can be found on the website. You just need to fill out the application form for this free service.


How do I get my textbooks?

UBIS students on-ground and online are responsible for getting the necessary books for their courses. UBIS Library only orders books for online students who have a full scholarship.

A few weeks before the beginning of every module/session UBIS on-ground and online students receive an email from the Students Advising Center with the following information:

  • The book corresponding to the course
  • The ISBN reference and/or the link where they can buy the book (e.g. Publisher’s website, Potomac’s Library, etc.)

UBIS teachers for on-ground courses are responsible for getting an Inspection copy for their course directly from the publisher. To order an Inspection copy the teachers need to have a UBIS email address provided by the Associate Dean, Mr. Vincenzo Pallotta.

UBIS teachers for online courses receive all necessary information about books from the Assistant Dean on line, Mrs. Svetlana Mitereva.

How can I get books on-line?

You can locate the textbook you need for your course by selecting the correct session (we call our Modules A, B, C, D, E and F, but they call them Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) and then checking the code of the course you intend to take. Once you click on submit and wait patiently a minute or two, a list of the books available for sale will appear. You will have a choice between new and used textbooks as well as ebooks, which can be viewed on-line over a period of 3-12 months depending on the company. You can then make your selection and pay by credit card.

If you prefer to look elsewhere, other on-line book vendors are:

– http://www.amazon.com (US site, and if you are in or near Europe, it will be faster to select a UK site; it takes about 1 month to receive books from the US)

– http://www.amazon.co.uk (UK site and, if you are in or near Europe, will have faster delivery as long as you make sure that you buy from a UK bookseller)

– http://www.alibris.com (US site, and if you are in or near Europe, it will be faster to select a UK site; it takes about 1 month to receive books from the US)

– http://www.alibris.co.uk (UK site and, if you are in or near Europe, will have faster delivery as long as you make sure that you buy from a UK bookseller)

All websites will require payment by credit card.

Are there any specific technology requirements to attend UBIS?

Technology is interactive and students can access their learning material 24/7, which meets our student population needs. The students learn by doing, researching, and receiving immediate feedback.  Delivering synchronous and asynchronous training for new and established instructors; providing educational technology assistance, one-on-one and group support, and day-to-day instructional guidance to faculty members.
Additional information regarding specific technology requirements can be found in the UBIS Student Handbook.


What Visa do I need? (For non-Schengen Countries)

  • For Industry Specific program (short term), students need a Schengen Visa
  • For Undergraduate and Graduate programs, students will need a student Visa

What Visa do I need? (For Schengen Countries)

Information regarding the Schengen Visa application:

  • The visa application must be submitted to the Swiss Embassy/Consulate covering your place of residence.
  • A visa application submitted to a Swiss Embassy/Consulate not covering your place of residence may be turned down if the reasons for submission to that Swiss Embassy/Consulate seem unclear.
  • The application form can be filled in in German, French, Italian, English or Spanish.
  • You must have sufficient financial resources to cover your cost of living in Switzerland; as a rule, an amount of SFr. 100.– per day is considered sufficient.
  • The Swiss Embassy/Consulate may demand a declaration of sponsorship
  • A visa without explicit authorization by the responsible authorities allows only a temporary stay in Switzerland.
  • You may enter Switzerland only during the period of use specified in your visa.
  • The maximum duration of your stay in Switzerland is specified in your visa.
  • You may not take up employment during your stay in Switzerland nor take up studies exceeding a period of three months without the required permit.

How do I get my Visa?

Please note that the admissions department will help you to process your visa and it takes 2-4 months from when you apply at the embassy to have your answer. Please find hereafter the step by step procedure.

Step 1 Make sure you are accepted to UBIS and have paid your full fees for at least one full term (Please note that the Swiss are more inclined to grant visas to students who have made larger payments and expect you to be able to show CHF30,000 in available funds). Therefore, it is recommended to pay your first full year of studies in advance; all fees except the CHF100 application fee will be refunded in case of visa refusal).

Step 2 Contact the nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate of your country of residence to find out what is required for students from your country to submit when applying for a visa. Be aware that embassies have the right to demand any paperwork they wish, so do your best to supply everything as requested promptly. Please contact the UBIS Admissions Office if you are required to present attestations from the school or further documentation for any reason.

Step 3 Prepare the following to present as well as any supplementary paperwork that is required by your local Embassy/Consulate:

Standard Requirements By Consulates/Embassies to Apply for a Visa:

  • Three application forms fully signed by the applicant. Applications which are not duly completed, dated and signed will not be accepted.
  • Visa application form: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise/visumantragsformular.html
  • Student must indicate e-mail address and a contact phone number in case additional information is required.
  • Four recent passport photos per applicant (Very strict requirements please consult the details on the embassy web page).
  • Three copies of the applicant’s valid passport.
  • If, applicable, proof of residency in the country from which the application is made.
  • Three copies of confirmation/registration letter from the university in Switzerland.
  • Three copies of confirmation of payment of school tuition fees.
  • Proof of financial resources, i.e. recent bank statements (3 copies each) equal to CHF9000 or more in account after payment of school’s tuition.
  • Three copies of previous diplomas and school certificates.
  • Three copies of a resume (biographical data, schools attended, etc.).
  • The price of postage if the student is permitted to submit his/her passport by mail.
  • The M form from the canton of Geneva and required supporting documentation (this will be required of you after your file has been passed to the canton of Geneva for processing if you do not submit it with your original application) http://www.ge.ch/etrangers-confederes/fr/doc/m4-1-formulaire-non-ue.pdf
  • The E form from the canton of Geneva and required supporting documentation (this will be required of you after your file has been passed to the canton of Geneva for processing if you do not submit it with your original application) http://www.ge.ch/etrangers-confederes/fr/doc/e4-1-complement-etudes.pdf
  • The O from form the canton of Geneva and required supporting documentation (this will be required of you after your file has been passed to the canton of Geneva for processing if you do not submit it with your original application) http://www.ge.ch/etrangers-confederes/fr/doc/o4-1-prise-en-charge.pdf Be sure to include a copy of the passport of the person who is your official financial sponsor.
  • The promise, in French, to leave Switzerland at the end of your studies, signed with the intended date of departure included.

Step 4 Apply for your visa in the format required by your embassy. BE SURE THAT YOU GIVE IN ALL REQUIRED PAPERWORK. Visa applications will be refused by the embassy if the application is incomplete.

Be sure to ensure that the M, E & O forms and promise to leave Switzerland are accepted and sent with your documentation. Be sure to scan and send a copy of everything, especially the M, E & O forms, your financial sponsor’s passport and your promise to leave Switzerland as well as all supporting documentation that you submit to the UBIS Admissions Office.

Be aware that the most common reasons why a visa is refused are as follows:

Official Reasons Listed By Swiss Consulates for Visa Refusals

  • A false/counterfeited/forged travel document was presented.
  • The purpose of the stay could not be ascertained.
  • The person’s intention to return to his/her country of origin could not be ascertained.
  • Proof of sufficient means of sustenance in relation to period and form of stay or means to return to the country of origin or transit was not provided.
  • An alert has been issued to refuse entry by
    • The SIS
    • The national registrar
  • One or more Member State(s) consider the student to be a threat to public policy, international security, public health, or the international relations of one or more of the member states of the European Union.

Step 5 Inform UBIS Admissions when and where you have applied and what the Embassy told you about your application and when you will be informed of the decision. Be sure to scan and send copies of all documentation submitted to the Embassy to the UBIS Admissions Office.

Step 6 When you receive answer from the Swiss Authorities, please inform UBIS Admissions Office immediately; be sure to scan a copy of any letter to the UBIS Admissions Office, since Admissions may need to email information to the Swiss Police in Geneva or fax confirmation of your enrollment with UBIS and payment of your fees to the Embassy before they will release your visa request. Be sure that you have your original receipt from UBIS of your payment with you when you go to get your visa as many Embassies will require that you present it before they will release the visa to you. Make sure you send a scanned copy of your visa to the UBIS Office once it has been stamped in your passport.


Can students work in Switzerland during their studies?

Students who are studying at UBIS and who are from the European Union may work part-time with a student permit. However, the main purpose of the permit is to study, not to work. Therefore, Switzerland limits the amount of time a student may work during his/her studies. Students from the European Union, who are working more than 15 hours per week, can switch to a work permit (permis B avec activité lucrative). Students who are from a country which is not part of the European Union are not permitted to work, unless they are enrolled in a program, which requires them to complete an internship as part of their studies. Further information can be provided by the School’s administration.

Can students have an internship while studying at UBIS?

As UBIS teachers are usually active in their profession, they are great contacts for UBIS students looking for work experience in their program area. Students who are participating in the Stepping Stone program will be required to complete an internship or project as the final step for the first and third levels of the program. These internships can last from 3-6 months each time and be either paid or unpaid. Students who are not participating in the Stepping Stone program may be allowed to take on shorter paid or unpaid internships with permission of UBIS.

Will a UBIS diploma enable a student to work in Switzerland after graduation?

Switzerland expects students to come to Switzerland only temporarily. Students are required to sign letters agreeing to leave the country after their studies have been completed.

Should a student locate a job while in Switzerland during his/her studies and an organizations wishes to hire the student as a full-time employee after graduation, the student must still leave the country.

During this time the company or organizations will apply for and receive authorization for the student to receive a work visa before being allowed to return to Switzerland.