Biology is an exciting field to dive into; it is a rollercoaster ride where you can learn of the origins of the earth and mankind through traces and fossils found in the land and seas. We can even tell how old a tree is by the number of rings in its trunk! Getting in tune with our environment lets us revisit the past, cherish the present, and hope for the future.

Switzerland is among the best places to study biology. The country features rich natural landscapes as it lies in the heart of the alps. Crystal clear lakes, snowcapped mountains, expansive meadows, and the ethereal Northern Lights bring joy to any nature enthusiast.

Switzerland is also a strong advocate for sustainability and sustainable use of resources. Most of its universities pledge to support sustainability acts. In this article, we discuss some of the best biology universities in Switzerland. Let’s take a deep dive and see which university is the right match for you.

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Top Universities for Biology in Switzerland

1. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Recognized as one of the best biology universities in Switzerland, ETH Zurich heavily focuses on pursuing studies in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. It is a public research university and is a member of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and significantly contributes to Switzerland’s progress among the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

In all of Europe, ETH Zurich ranks as the second-best university, just behind Oxford. It also charts highly in subject rankings, placing first for the earth and marine sciences.

The Department of Biology equips undergraduate and graduate students with the necessary conceptual knowledge and practical skills to lead in the field of biological and life sciences. The department is further divided into institutes for each field of biology, such as microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular systems biology.

The department delves into research of various complexities and overlap among the different fields. Students and faculty alike are interested in looking into cellular health, tissue function, the onset of diseases, or the interrelationship of lifeforms across biological systems.

Undergraduate students are introduced to the fundamentals of natural sciences, and core subjects on the different fields of biology help them find a field they are passionate about. Elective courses and research help cement the students’ understanding and appreciation for biology, whilst preparing them for higher education in the master’s program.

On the other hand, Masters’s students have 10 major options to choose from, ranging from cell biology, ecology, and evolution, to microbiology and immunology. Graduate students are not limited by their choice of major, and are still capable of securing careers relating to other majors as the direction for teaching for every major is similar, and the subject areas covered are broad.

2. University of Zurich

The University of Zurich boasts the largest student population among all Swiss universities. It also features the most number of course offerings, with seven faculties to oversee the teaching for natural sciences, veterinary medicine, human medicine, and mathematics to name some.

The University of Zurich offers undergraduate degree programs taught in German. Suitable for international students aiming to perfect their German at the same time earning a degree, the university also provides graduate studies taught in English.

The Department of Molecular Sciences features dedicated research groups in the fields of development, neurobiology, cell biology, and systems biology. The department regularly collaborates with ETH Zurich in conducting research and various seminars concerning biology.

The department also offers a competent Ph.D. program for aspiring doctorates. The program features a broad range of subjects, from systems biology, neuroscience, epidemiology, and biostatistics, to biomedical ethics and law. Earning a Ph.D. is among the best ways to secure your future in the working world of biology, regardless of the specialization you choose to work in.


The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL, is among the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. Worldwide, EPFL ranks as the 14th best higher education institution.

EPFL specializes in engineering and technology, but it features different schools and institutes for other disciplines. Biology majors who wish to study in EPFL shall be accommodated by the School of Life Sciences.

The School of Life Sciences integrates biology, computer science, and engineering to make way for life sciences engineering. Life sciences engineering prepares students to tackle the problems of biology through computer-accurate, digital methods. With how technology is only advancing as life goes on, the future leaders of life sciences must be innovative and tech-savvy professionals for neuroscience, bioengineering, and disease studies.

Undergraduate and graduate students are accommodated in the life sciences engineering program. Undergraduates cover all foundations of biology and engineering, whereas graduate students are presented with 7 specializations to choose from. These include computational biology, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, and neuroengineering.

4. University of Geneva

The University of Geneva is part of the League of European Research Universities and the European University Association. It features over 600 courses of study in different fields like the sciences, law, social sciences, humanities, and medicine. However, the University of Geneva significantly excels in research in the life sciences, physics, and astrophysics.

The University of Geneva is also home to various national centers of excellence, such as those for genetics and chemical biology. It serves as a great educational foundation for aspiring biology students with easy access to cutting-edge equipment, facilities, and quality references.

The Section of Biology from the Faculty of Science facilitates course offerings for biology and its subfields. It is further divided into departments for botany and plant biology, cell biology, genetics and evolution, and molecular biology.

The University of Geneva is among the best biology schools in Switzerland, offering biology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, the bachelor’s degree is taught in French. The university delivers graduate studies in English to accommodate its foreign student population.

A master’s in biology at the University of Geneva can be completed without students selecting a specialization. Should they choose to specialize, available areas are biodiversity and systematics, molecular plant sciences, genetics, development and evolution, and bioinformatics.

Scientists and professionals entering the University of Geneva for a Doctorate can expect to work with the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science. The university offers a range of Ph.D. programs, such as a doctorate in life sciences and neurosciences.

5. University of Basel

The University of Basel is Switzerland’s oldest university, and among the oldest-surviving higher education institutions around the world. The university is best known for the Basel University Library, which houses some of the most important documents of the country. It is known to be an outstanding school for biology.

The University of Basel features course offerings for a wide range of disciplines such as psychology, medicine, law, and sciences. Above all, the university takes pride in accommodating the Biozentrum, a research and training center for students and faculty specializing in biomedicine and other related fields.

The University of Basel features an undergraduate biology program taught in both English and German. Whereas graduate students can study with English as the medium of instruction.

The university’s life science program features several Masters’s programs in ecology and animal biology. Meanwhile, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute run specialized degree programs in epidemiology. Students interested in studying health risk factors and coming up with feasible solutions can choose to get a Masters’s in either epidemiology or infection biology.

The Biozentrum, another center of national excellence within the university grounds, facilitates a Master’s program for molecular biology. If you are interested in studying and experiencing work for the fields of biochemistry, immunology, and genetics, perhaps this internationally regarded degree is for you.

Finally, the Faculty of Medicine oversees the Masters in biomedical engineering. Students coming with a background in medicine can find the program essential as they maneuver their way around nanotechnology, medical imaging, and biomaterials.


I hope this article on the best public health universities in Switzerland was informative and helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!