Courses and examinations
The academic year is divided into two semesters: the autumn semester (from September to December) and the spring semester (from February to May) of 14 full weeks each. There are three annual examination sessions: winter (January-February), summer (June-July) and autumn (August-September). Enrolments in examinations must be completed by the deadline and in the ways established by the Faculty; instructions will be sent to the students by e-mail.
At the end of each semester’s design work there will be a critique which will have the value of an examination.
The Academy, to secure Europe-wide parity, adopts the European system for assessing university studies, known as the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Students gain the ECTS credits for each course only by passing the relevant examination.
At the end of each semester the student is required to have gained a pass in a design examination plus theoretical subjects for a total of 30 ECTS.
For more details, students are referred to the Rules of Study at the Academy.
Attendance at interactive teaching activities (design studios, seminars, workshops) required by the Rules for Study is usually compulsory.
Faculty members who make attendance at courses compulsory as a condition for taking the examination must inform students. Other requirements may be prescribed by the Faculty Board.
The student card gives access to courses, the libraries and other university facilities. Staff are authorized to ask students to produce their cards at any time.
Smoking is forbidden in all public spaces indoors, including the corridors. The Academy’s regulations apply generally, as well as specific instructions from staff.
The student’s card gives access to the design studios 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Rights and requirements
of attendance and access
The courses are open to auditors, but practical exercises, seminars and design studios are not, with the exception of special cases decided by the Academy, which will also fix a limit to the numbers in each class. The Academy establishes at the start of each semester the courses that are open to auditors. The fee is Frs. 200.– for each course of 24 h (for AVS beneficiaries the fee is reduced by 50%). Students regularly enrolled in other Swiss universities are exempted from the fee.
The Academy does not issue attestations of attendance for auditors, except in cases governed by special agreements with specific institutions.
Students who have been enroled for at least two semesters at a Swiss or foreign university and are participating in a program of mobility recognized by the Faculty may be admitted for one or more semesters with the status of guests. Visiting students remain enroled in their universities of origin where they pay fees. The recognition of courses and examinations is regulated by agreements with their university of origin. Students who are not participating in an exchange program are not accepted as visiting students.
Students may apply for leave of absence abroad lasting one semester or more if due to prolonged illness, maternity, military service or similar justifiable reasons. Leave allows them to remain enrolled, preserving their status as students for bureaucratic reason, and to pay lower fees, but not to take part in any of the teaching activities. Leave of absence is not necessary for attendance at other universities for one or more semesters or for the periods of professional practice (work experience) prescribed by the plan of studies.
Leave of Absence
The official teaching language is Italian, but individual lectures, courses or design studios and their relevant examinations may be conducted in English, in particular in the MSc cycle. A working knowledge of English is desirable and may be prescribed by the Rules for Study. By specific request made in good time, and with the agreement of the faculty member responsible for each examination, the examinations may be taken in other languages.
For students who are not native Italian speakers, the Academy organizes intensive courses in Italian which take place before the academic year. Other courses are offered during the semesters. Various institutions organize courses in Italian for the purpose of attending university courses.