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ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich

the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). It is a member of Top Industrial Managers for Europe network.

Established: Type: Staff: Students: Location: 1855 Public 9,049 15,093 Zurich, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland 47°22′35.10″N 8°32′53.17″E / 47.3764167°N 8.5481028°E / 47.3764167; 8.5481028Coordinates: 47°22′35.10″N 8°32′53.17″E / 47.3764167°N 8.5481028°E / 47.3764167; 8.5481028 Urban IDEA League, TIME, IARU

Campus: Affiliations: Website:

ETH Zürich Zentrum ETHZ Location: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland ETH Zürich (German: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich is a science and technology university in the City of Zürich, Switzerland. Locals sometimes refer to it by the name Poly, derived from the original name Eidgenössisches Polytechnikum or Federal Polytechnic Institute. Like its sister institution École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, it is an integral part of the ETH Domain that is directly subordinate to the Federal Department of Home Affairs. ETH is ranked among the top universities in the world. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and ETH was founded in 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and opened its doors in 1855 as a polytechnic institute (Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule). It comprised in the beginning six departments: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and a catch-all department for mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences. ETH is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas the University of Zurich is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time, because the liberals pressed for a "federal university", while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, with the goal of giving liberal thoughts no refuge. In the


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beginning, both universities were co–located in the buildings of the University of Zurich. In 1909, the course program of ETH was restructured to that of a real university, from its early, very schoolish agenda, and ETH was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

ETH Zurich
recent Nobel Laureate is Kurt Wüthrich who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2002. In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and a ranking published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences. In the survey CHE ExcellenceRanking on the quality of Western European graduate school programmes in the fields biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent graduate programmes in all considered fields, the other two being the Imperial College and the University of Cambridge.

Admission and education

Interior skylights in the main building Since 1993 ETH Zürich, the EPFL, and four associated research institutes were joined and administered together as the "ETH Bereich".

ETH is regularly ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings placed ETH as the best university in Switzerland and on the main European continent, among the top 5 European universities, and among the best 25 of the world (e.g., in 2008, rank 24 in both the Times and Shanghai ranking, see Ranking Overview). Historically, ETH achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 21 Nobel Laureates who are associated with ETH, counting only graduates of ETH and Professors who have been honored for their work at ETH. The most Students and locals in ETH front courtyard ETH is not selective in its undergraduate admission procedures. Like every public university in Switzerland, ETH is obliged to grant admission to every Swiss citizen who took Matura. However, most applicants from foreign countries are required to take either the reduced entrance exam or the comprehensive entrance exam; an applicant can be admitted to ETH even without any verifiable educational records by passing the comprehensive entrance exam.


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There are no obligatory examinations during the first academic year which is divided into two semesters. However, the actual selection process takes place in the summer shortly after the second semester. Students have to pass the block examinations of courses of the first year, called the Basisprüfung. If the weighted average score is not sufficient, you are required to retake the entire Basisprüfung which usually means that you have to resit through the first year. More than 50% of the students fail the Basisprüfung on first try and many of them choose to drop out after the failure. The structure of examinations in higher academic years is similar to the Basisprüfung, but with a higher success rate. The regular time to reach graduation is six semesters for the Bachelor of Science degree and three further semesters for the Master of Science degree. The last semester is dedicated to writing a thesis. Education at ETH tends to be theoretically oriented with a high amount of mathematics involved throughout the courses. The main language of teaching in undergraduate studies is German while English is lingua franca in Master’s studies and graduate studies.

ETH Zurich
that was unique to him. It emphasized bold and clear massings with a detailing, such as the rusticated ground level and giant order above, that derived in part from the work of Andrea Palladio and Donato Bramante. During the construction of the University of Zurich, the south wing of the building was allocated to the University until its own new main building was constructed (1912 – 1914). At about the same time, Semper’s ETH building was enlarged and also got its impressive cupola. Buildings in the Centre: • HG • CHN • CAB • CLA • IFW • ETZ

Science City
In the year of ETH’s 150th anniversary, an extensive project called "Science City" for the Hönggerberg Campus has begun with the goal to transform the campus into an attractive district based on the principle of sustainability. Buildings on the Hönggerberg campus: • HCI: Mensa • HDB • HEZ: Gasverflüssigung • HIL: Mensa • HIP • HIT: Physics Library (E floor), WoKa Mensa (E floor), Astronomical Physics (J floor), Theoretical Physics (K floor), in use since around August 2008 • HIK • HIR • HIG • HIQ • HKK: Kinderkrippe • HPR: Hönggerberg Physics Restaurant (Mensa) • HPF: Solid State Physics • HPG • HPH: Hörsaal • HPI: Shop, Bistro/Bar • HPK: Particle Physics • HPV: Physics Student room (F 7.1) • HPW • HPS: Sport Centre, opening was at 2nd March 2009 • HPT • HPZ • HPP • HXA • HXB • HXC • HXD

ETH Zürich has two campuses. The main building was constructed in the 1860s in the heart of the city, and when the university grew, it spread out into the surrounding quarters. Its Zentrum location consists thus of various buildings and institutions throughout Zurich, firmly integrating ETH in the city. The main building is right across the street from the University of Zurich.

ETH Hoenggerberg with the new HIT building Because this geographic situation substantially hindered the expansion of ETH, a new campus was built from 1964 to 1976 on the Hönggerberg in the outskirts of the city. The last major expansion project of this new campus was completed in 2003; since then, the Hönggerberg location houses the departments of materials science, architecture, civil engineering, physics, biology, and chemistry.

Main building
The main building of ETH was built 1861 to 1864 under Gustav Zeuner; the architect, however, was Gottfried Semper, who was a professor of architecture at ETH at the time and one of the most important writers and theorists of the age. Semper worked in a Neo-classical style


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• HXE: Loch Ness Bar (Tuesday & Thursday), before 2009: Sport facilities (Rowing, Walking, Fitness) • HZA • HZB • HZC • HZD • LRR: Lerchenrain • LRO • LRN • LRL • LRI • LRG • LRA • LHV: Lerchenrainhalde • LHT • LHX • LHZ

ETH Zurich

ETH HPS building

Student life
ETH students were found to be the busiest students of all institutions of higher education in Switzerland [1]. The undergraduates’ tight curriculum consists of as much as twice the number of lectures as comparable courses of other Swiss universities. ETH has well over 100 student associations. Most notable is the VSETH (Verband der Studierenden an der ETH) which comprises all department associations. The associations regularly organize events with varying size and popularity. Events of the neighboring University of Zurich are well-attended by ETH students and vice versa. The VSETH organizes events of greater public attention, such as the Polyball, the Polyparty and the Erstsemestrigenfest, the first two housed in the main building of ETH. Sometimes, the annual Erstsemestrigenfest takes place at extraordinary locations, for example the Zurich Airport. All freshmen enjoy special treatment at that event.

ETH Hönggerberg from the south, looking at the five "fingers" of the HCI and behind the high HPP building.

ETH HIT building from inside The annual Polyball (German Wikipedia) is the most prestigious public event at ETH, with a long tradition since the 1880s. The end of November, the Polyball welcomes around 10000 dancers, music-lovers and party animals in the extensively decorated main building of ETH. The Polyball is the biggest decorated ball in Europe. The amicable rivalry between ETH and the neighbouring University of Zurich has been cultivated since 1951 (Uni-Poly). There has been an annual rowing match between teams from the two institutions on the river Limmat. There are many regular symposia and conferences at ETH, most notably the annual Wolfgang Pauli Lectures, in honor of former ETH Professor Wolfgang Pauli. Distinct lecturers, among them 24 Nobel Laureates, have held lectures of the various fields of natural sciences at this conference since 1962.

ETH HPT Tree in Winter

ETH HIT F 21 Seminar room As of 2008, ETH Zurich comprises the following departments: Architecture and civil engineering • Architecture (D-ARCH) • Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (DBAUG) Engineering sciences

ETH HIL, HIP, and HIT buildings


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• Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) • Computer Science (D-INFK) • Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (D-ITET) • Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-MAVT) • Materials Science (D-MATL) Natural sciences and mathematics • Biology (D-BIOL) • Chemistry and Applied Biosciences (D-CHAB) • Mathematics (D-MATH) • Physics (D-PHYS) System-oriented natural sciences • Agriculture and Food Sciences (D-AGRL) • Earth Sciences (D-ERDW) • Environmental Sciences (D-UWIS) Other sciences • Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) • Management, Technology and Economics (D-MTEC) Budget 2008 (CHF mil.) ETH Domain Institutes of technology • ETH Zurich • EPF Lausanne Federal Laboratories • • • • PSI Empa EAWAG WSL

ETH Zurich

1’939,0 994,0 488,0 238,0 86,3 49,9 49,1

Notable alumni and faculty
ETH Zurich has produced and attracted many famous scientists in its short history. More than twenty Nobel laureates have either studied at ETH or were awarded the Nobel prize for their work achieved at ETH. Other alumni include scientists who were distinguished with the highest honours in their respective fields, amongst them Pritzker Prize and Turing Award winners. Academic achievements aside, ETH has been Alma Mater to many Olympic Medalists and world champions.

• Science and technology in Switzerland • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne- EPFL). • Category:ETH Zurich alumni • Category:ETH Zurich faculty • Disney research • University of Zurich • List of universities in Switzerland • List of forestry universities and colleges • 2000 Watt society • serec (Swiss Electromagnetics Research & Engineering Centre)

References External links
• • • • • • • • • • • ETH Zürich ETH juniors- Official Junior Enterprise of ETH Zurich PSI (Paul Scherrer Institute) EMPA (EMPA, research body of ETH domain) UniPoly rowing match Polyparty Polyball United Visions (campus TV) VSETH (student association) SOSeth (student association) Webcams at the ETH

Master programs
• Master of Arts in Comparative and International Studies (MACIS) • Master of Advanced Studies in Finance • Master of Science in Computer Science

See also
Swiss federal institutes of technology and research (ETH domain)

Retrieved from "" Categories: University associations and consortia, University research collaboratives, Educational institutions established in 1854, ETH Institutes, ETH Zurich, Technical universities and colleges, Universities in Switzerland, Zürich This page was last modified on 13 May 2009, at 10:06 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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