Master in Architecture

The Master education in Architecture lasts two years and must be supplemented with an additional period of 9 consecutive months of internship.
A total of 120 ECTS must be obtained. Entry into the program is only possible in the fall semester.
Instruction occurs mainly in Italian, but courses in English are also offered. Proof of English language proficiency is not required to enter the MSc program.
Please note that candidates who already have a Master Degree diploma in Architecture will not be admitted.

Master Info Day

30 November 2023, h 10 am.
8 March 2024
Mendrisio Campus

Register Now!

Master Eligibility for admission

The MSc degree is open to students who have trained under the new European Regulations, as well as students who have completed their university education on the basis of the previous regulations. The conditions of admission are as follows.

  • Students who have obtained the title of BSc at the Academy, at ETHZ or at EPFL: access is automatic, provided the conditions of the Regulation of Studies and the examinations of the Academy have been complied with.
  • Students who have graduated BSc from another university: access is not automatic and is subordinated to their possession of the necessary educational credits and to availability of places. The Mobility Commission evaluates each application in relation to the curriculum of studies of the Academy. The following Bachelor’s degrees are not considered valid for admission to the MSc courses: Interior Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, Construction and Civil Engineering or BSc degrees conducted by telematic education (e-learning).
  • Students who have graduated under the previous regulations in another university: access is not automatic and is subordinated to their possession of the necessary educational credits and to availability of places. The Mobility Commission evaluates each application in relation to the curriculum of studies of the Academy.
  • Students possessing an Arch. diploma SUPSI or from other Swiss University of Applied Sciences  (FHS, HES) may enrol in the MSc course by accumulating at least 30 educational credits as defined by the Academy. The Academy reserves the right to examine the candidate’s specific curriculum.

How to apply

To enrol in the Master of Science course applicants with UE/AELS nationality and applicants that do not need a study visa for Switzerland must apply on-line from December by 15 April.

Applicants that need a study visa for Switzerland must apply on-line from November by 15th February. More Information at this link.

Applicants with a Bachelor in Architecture obtained from a Swiss Polytechnic or from a Swiss SUP/HES must apply on-line from December by 1 June.


The Università della Svizzera italiana-Academy of Architecture warns against false intermediaries, agents and “preparatory workshops” that promise an easy access to the study program.

USI-Academy of architecture has no intermediaries whatsoever in these roles.

In case of doubt please contact [email protected]


Application procedure

Applicants will be informed of the result of the application by email. If applicants are accepted, the acceptance will be formalized by a letter of admission from the Faculty.
To confirm their intention to enrol, applicants are required to pay the enrolment fee as indicated and in accordance with the procedure described in the letter of admission. To complete the enrolment, at the start of every academic semester, it is necessary to enrol in accordance with the procedures described in the letter of admission.

  • A. International students who need a study-visa to enter CH
  • B. International students who do not need a study-visa to enter CH, International students with European passport, Swiss students with foreign university credentials
  • C. Students with Swiss Bachelor in Architecture EPFL and ETHZ
  • D. Students with a Swiss Bachelor from HES/FH and SUPSI (recovery of 30 Ects)



A B C D  
Entry semester




Fall or Spring


Online application group A plus fees 

CHF 200.-





Online application group B plus fees


CHF 200.-




Online application group C and D Fall semester plus fees



No fees

No fees


Online application group D Spring semester plus fees




​No fees








Skype-interview for selected students



Not requested

Not requested


Admission decision by e-mail expected by

Early April



Fall semester: July
Spring semester: early December


Letter of confirmation and instructions expected by

2 weeks after payment of the tuition fees of the Fall semester


End July

/ Early August

Fall semester: end July / early August
Spring semester: early December


Payment of the tuition fees of the semester expected by

April / May


July / August

Fall semester: July / August
Spring semester: January


Start of the lectures

Mid September

Mid September

Mid September

Mid September
Mid February



Semestral fee

The semestral fee is 4,000.– Swiss francs. Students who were legally domiciled in Switzerland (including Liechtenstein) when they received the qualification that gained them admission to the Academy (matriculation) will benefit by a reduced fee of 2,000.– Swiss francs, because the Academy receives a contribution from their Canton of residence.
Fees should be paid at the start of each semester by the date announced. Admission and retaining enrolment are conditional on the payment of fees. Fees should be paid at:

Postfinance, La Posta
6500 Bellinzona, Svizzera

a favore di:
Università della Svizzera italiana
Accademia di architettura
Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano
IBAN: CH13 0900 0000 3446 6254 3
ref.: Iscrizione Master + Student Name



The application dossier should contain the following documents:

  • A copy of the qualifications: Bachelor in Architecture (or other qualification or degree), high school diploma
  • Sworn translation into Italian or English of the qualifications if they are not in Italian, German, French, Romanch, English, Spanish or Portuguese
  • Copy of the official original transcripts (lists of examinations taken) of the attended university
  • Excel file (download) containing all subjects attended during the entire bachelor programme
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation written by the candidate
  • Copy of passport or ID papers
  • Copy of residence permit for foreign candidates already resident in Switzerland
  • A portfolio (max 50MB) presenting several projects made by the candidate in the course of his/her studies and practice
  • 2 recommendation letters by either academics or employers (architectural firms only). Not requested for students with Swiss diplomas (EPFL/ETHZ/HES/FH/SUP)


Registration fee

For the assessment of applications a payment by credit card of a registration fee of CHF 200.- is requested:

  • applicants needing an entry study visa for Switzerland: application and payment within 15 February
  • applicants with UE/AELS nationality: application and payment within 15 April
  • applicants with a Bachelor in Architecture of a Swiss polytechnic institute or a Swiss SUP/HES/FH are exempted from the registration fee


Application form and payment


Copies of the qualifications enclosed

If the applicant has not yet fulfilled all requirements for the Bachelor (or other qualification or degree), the copy of the said degree or qualification must be presented subsequently, and not later than the start of the enrolment period. In this case it is necessary to specify the date when it is expected that the qualification will be obtained and present an attestation of this fact issued by the applicant’s home university. The qualification must be obtained by August 31st. The candidate who has not obtained the Bachelor's degree by August 31st will have to apply for admission for the following year, as admissions to the second semester are not accepted.


Portfolio (Book)

Collection of projects and technical blueprints (plans, elevations, sections) produced by the applicant during the years at university and the periods of work experience preceding the application for admission. The separation of the projects produced during the university period and during the internship must be clearly recognized. The applicant is requested to create two separate chapters. Please note that the portfolio should only be uploaded in digital form (50 MB max). From November 2019, the portfolio in paper form must no longer be sent to the university.


Letter of motivation

A statement one page long in which the applicant presents him/herself and explains the reasons for his/her interest in the Mater of Science course at the Academy of Architecture.



The Admission Committee of the Master program of the Academy may include a Skype interview (audio/video) as a component of the application process. The interview will be in English and will last 5-10 minutes. No special preparation is needed. The questions asked will be of general knowledge in the architecture field.

Interview invitations will be sent only to some selected candidates. Unfortunately the faculty is not able to offer interviews to all applicants.


Internships and relevant work experiences

The Master of Science in Architecture of the Mendrisio Academy is awarded to the students who have carried out a 9-months consecutive certified professional work experience.
Applicants without a working experience before the Master program will be asked to do a period of internship in an architectural firm for a duration of 2 semesters after the conclusion of the 1st year of the Master program.
The professional experience of the candidate will be evaluated by the responsible of the department.