Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship: Eligibility and How to Apply

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship is open to international students who have completed a bachelor’s degree, master’s, or a PhD programme. The Swiss Confederation awards these scholarships yearly to enhance research cooperation and international relations between Switzerland and other countries.

The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) is responsible for the selection process. Studying in Switzerland allows you to gain exposure to the global market. Find out how you can make your dream a reality.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists. Source: SBFI SEFRI SERI Youtube Channel

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for Masters and PhD Applicants

If you are a researcher in any field and have a master’s degree or higher, you are eligible to conduct research at the doctoral or postdoctoral level in Switzerland.

If successful, you will be qualified to undertake research or pursue your studies at the two Swiss federal institutes of technology, the four research institutions, and Switzerland’s cantonal universities. Moreover, it would be best if you were recommended by an academic advisor in one of these higher learning institutions.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for Arts Applicants

Art Scholarships are available to students intending to pursue their first master of art degree in Switzerland. If you qualify, you will be eligible to study at any Swiss university of the arts or conservatory.

Who is eligible for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship?

1. Applicants must have a good command of the English language.
2. Applicants who have stayed in Switzerland for more than one year since the beginning of the scholarship are not eligible.
3. Applicants who have benefited from a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship programme are not eligible for a second scholarship.
4. Qualified candidates are required to move to Switzerland during their grant period.

How to apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship?

You need to prepare the following documents to begin the application process. 

  • A typed and printed FCS application that is duly signed.
  • A CV showing your academic credentials and awards.
  • A research proposal based on the FCS research proposal form (should be a maximum of 5 pages).
  • A letter from a host professor at the selected Swiss University confirming their reasons for supervising the research.
  • A CV of the academic host professor.
  • A signed FCS medical certificate.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • Motivation letter (should not be more than two pages).
  • Copies of certificates and transcripts from previously attended institutions, starting with the most recent. If the documents are not in English, the applicant should attach attested translations in English.
  • Two copies of your passports. If you’re a dual national, attach both passports. If already in Switzerland, attach a copy of the residency permit.

The application form is available in your country’s Swiss Embassy office.

For example, suppose you want to apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship in Nigeria. You can get the application form from the Nigerian Embassy of Switzerland, 157 Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II 900003 Abuja, Nigeria. The email address to submit your questions concerning the applications in Nigeria is [email protected]

For all other applicants, check that your country is eligible for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.

What is the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship amount?

This scholarship is a fully-funded scholarship. It provides eligible applicants with a monthly stipend of CHF 1,920. The program does not offer family allowances, although you can enjoy a housing allowance amounting to CHF 300.

If you are not from an EFTA or EU country, the scholarship programme will cover your health insurance and give you a lump sum flight allowance at the end of the scholarship. As a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holder, you will also enjoy sightseeing tours, dinner parties, and support services organised by the program.


Once you apply, the Swiss national authorities will make the preliminary selection. The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) then decides to shortlist the selected applicants.

The FCS assesses your candidate profile, research proposal, and ability to participate in research programs in the future.

Swiss Universities Accepting the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship Applications

The University of St. Gallen

The University of St. Gallen offers two scholarships: the Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund and the Excellence Scholarship.

If you are a foreign-language student seeking to pursue an English-language postgraduate degree, you might want to apply for the Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund. However, a certified undergraduate degree is mandatory for this program. 

On the other hand, the Excellence Scholarship is reserved for international students enrolling at the University of St. Gallen. The Starr International Foundation Scholarship awards you up to CHF 20,000 per year, while the Excellence Scholarship will offer you CHF 22,808 for the academic course.

IMD MBA Scholarships

You are best suited to apply for the IMD MBA scholarships if you have excellent academic records and a solid professional background. This scholarship is designed to help students who have struggled financially to pursue their education.

If you are a woman and come from a society that discriminates against women, consider applying for this lucrative scholarship. The scholarship is based on pillars of equality, diversity, and competitiveness.

EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne) Excellence Fellowships

The EPFL Excellence Fellowships target international students intending to enrol for postgraduate studies. The scholarship program awards you approximately CHF 16,000 per academic year. In some cases, you may also receive housing allowances.

As a scholar, you have flexibility in choosing your discipline, which allows you to select a degree that aligns best with your interests and career goals. If you have an extensive history of participation in different educational activities, you have a competitive edge over other applicants.

Why Study in Switzerland as an international student?

Switzerland is a country that enjoys a well-earned reputation in the world of education. Not only do you have access to high-quality educational opportunities, but there are also different scholarship programs. If you want to study in Switzerland, be sure to prepare yourself financially or, better still, apply for the right scholarship program.

There you have it, folks! There is no better time to apply for the Swiss Scholarships. This is the best time to get familiar with the application process. To learn more about the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, visit the programme’s official website.

The deadline for submissions is usually in October each year. However, the application deadline varies, so check your country’s Swiss Scholarship application package. 

You can access study abroad scholarships available to international students to learn more about other scholarship opportunities. You can find study abroad scholarships, such as the Commonwealth Masters Scholarship, Scholarships for Accounting Students, and Chevening Scholarship on our website.

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