This study programme teaches general physics and physics' methodology and provides a broad vision of the discipline. By studying complex natural phenomena, their interactions and the laws which govern them, students of this subject are able to develop critical discernment, creativity and sound reasoning.
The study plan encompasses basic subject knowledge and more advanced learning in several fields, such as mathematical methods, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, modern optics and thermodynamics. Students also have the possibility of joining top-level research groups from their third year onward.
The physics course at the University of Fribourg offers great freedom in the choice of foundation courses and minor study programmes.
Profile of the study programme
Physics: study, understand, apply
Physics deals with the macroscopic and microscopic constituents of the world around us, as well as their interactions, in order to reduce complex natural phenomena to simple laws which can be expressed quantitatively. The principal objective of physics is basic research and many of its discoveries have resulted in technological applications, such as television, computers, telecommunications and new materials, to cite just a few examples, not forgetting the high-tech apparatus used in modern medicine, the Web, GPS and lasers.
The course offers an excellent grounding in physics (general physics and methodology) and helps students develop critical discernment, new ways of thinking, objectivity, creativity and sound reasoning:
- Basic subject knowledge: physics, mathematics and practical work, with a choice of supporting programmes;
- Advanced learning: quantum mechanics, mechanics and electrodynamics, atomic physics, thermodynamics, condensed matter, relativity and cosmology, laboratories and placements, mathematical methods, numerical methods.
6 good reasons to study at the University of Fribourg
The University of Fribourg's Department of Physics offers students an excellent environment in which to study physics at the bachelor's level, notably thanks to:
- Its international environment;
- It human dimensions;
- Its excellent student mentoring;
- Its bilingualism; teaching is in French and German. Students may always express themselves in their own language;
- Freedom in the choice of minor study programmes (mathematics, informatics, chemistry, biology, etc.) to complement the major study programme;
- Active participation of third year students and higher in top-level research groups: atomic physics, electrons in solids, soft matter and photonics, interdisciplinary theoretical physics, collective quantum phenomena or nanosciences.
Learning outcomes and career openings
- Acquired skills: by the time you obtain your bachelor's degree, you will have consolidated your basic scientific know-how and acquired general subject knowledge and a broader vision of physics. You will have developed your ability to synthesise information and a critical way of thinking, which will enable you to proceed to more advanced studies or to specialise in your chosen field;
- Bilingualism: thanks to the bilingualism which is part and parcel of the course, you will enrich your specialist vocabulary in both languages and learn to dialogue in an academic context with specialists both in French and German.
Physicists' skills are highly sought-after in the field of high-tech.
A bachelor's degree in Physics constitutes a sound basic qualification and opens the way to a variety of career orientations. For example, you can put your knowledge to good use in the field of patents or consulting, or undertake further studies leading to a master's degree. With a master in Physics, you will have access to various professional activities in research, teaching, industry, economics or administration.
Structure of studies
150 ECTS credits + 30 ECTS credits in a minor study programme freely chosen, 6 semesters
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-swiss-certificates
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if, among other things, the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
- Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-countrylist
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
All guidelines are available at (only in French and German): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/adm-guidelines
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates» adopted by the Chamber of universities of swissuniversities on 11.11.2021 (https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21fr; https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21de). The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.
Also offered as a minor study programme (60/30 ECTS credits).
Minor study programmes to be chosen
The bachelor programme in Art History offers students the opportunity of learning about Art History over a broad time span, ranging from Art History and Classical Archaeology to History of Contemporary Art. Students can explore the periods which interest them most in greater depth.
This study programme is taught partly in French and partly in German. Students must take modules in both languages, which will vary from course to course, but they can prepare their presentation, coursework and exams in the language of their choice (in either French or German).
The programme is composed of core modules and more specialised modules. The core modules, compulsory for all students, provide basic knowledge on all periods of Art History. The more specific modules enable students to broaden their education in three of the four periods of Art History and they can choose an «Archaeology» option with a specific set of classes and internships, which gives them the opportunity of later pursuing a master's in Archaeology.
The bachelor programme in biochemistry is devoted to the study of fundamental chemical and physical processes in living organisms. It comprises molecular studies with a specific focus on enzymes and their role as catalysts in chemical reactions. A main interest is the study of cellular functions including the mechanisms involved in cell proliferation and development. Students also learn techniques for analysing DNA and genetic information as an integral part of the study programme. The biochemistry course thus gives students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with practical laboratory methods that are applied in several disciplines. It requires knowledge of the research tools used in chemistry and biology (microscopy, spectrometry, DNA sequencing, etc.). A command of bioinformatics tools is also essential to be able to store, manage and interpret the overwhelming volume of data provided by current analytical techniques.More info
The study of biology imparts knowledge of the fundamental processes on which life – from the simplest bacteria to the human being – is based. This includes development and behaviour of organisms, as well as their interaction with the environment. During the first academic year, students acquire the necessary basic knowledge (general biology, organism biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics). During the second and third years, students explore more specialised topics giving them a general knowlegde of the main themes in modern biology. In addition to lectures, the study programme contains exercises, practical training and seminars, as well as writing a bachelor's thesis in a research unit.More info
Business Informatics is an interdisciplinary field located between business administration/management and computer science. In addition it provides specific methods, for example for aligning business strategies with technical information processing. Graduates in business informatics dispose of profound knowledge of technical methods such as programming, software engineering, databases, the design of software architectures and systems and machine learning as well as sound skills in business administration, mathematics and statistics. Furthermore, they are proficient in conceptual modeling, the analysis and simulation of business processes and their implementation in software systems. A main task of business informatics professionals is the digitalisation of organisations, i.e. the alignment of business requirements and technical solutions for generating added value for customers, enterprises, employees, and the public administration.More info
In this study programme, students deal with the questions of why and how atoms combine to form molecules; they gain basic knowledge of the nature and diversity of chemical bonds and elements and how these are related to the external properties of the materials. But chemistry is not only knowledge; it is also a craft: the future chemists therefore spend much time in laboratories and learn to determine the structure of a material (analysis), synthesise a new material (preparative chemistry), measure the properties of materials with the help of instruments (physical chemistry) or understand and predict these properties with the help of theoretical methods (computational chemistry).
Chemistry is not an isolated science: It uses mathematical tools and has synergies with biology and physics that are becoming increasingly close. For this reason, during the first academic year, courses are also held in these subjects.
This minor study programme, which is offered in French only, contains a broad variety of lectures: theory of communication and media, communication and media strategies, media and new media, public relations, communication and Internet law, surveys and analyses of qualitative data.
Compulsory classes are supplemented with optional classes in applied communication: on-line multimedia production, Web writing, television, written and oral communication, etc.
Group work, classes and seminars with a limited number of students are also a feature of this module providing better supervision and more effective teaching.
Do you want to understand how media and communication work in the digital world? To develop new ideas and help shape the future of the media? Then our bachelor programme «Communication and Media Research» is just right for you. We offer you an in-depth examination of media, communication and the public sphere in the digital society. Our programme covers the entire range of communication studies. What effects does media use have? How do companies develop their communication strategies? What influence do the social media exert on political communication? What are the consequences of the online era for journalism? And what are the challenges for media policy? We provide you with the skills crucial for analysing and dealing with current problems in a rapidly changing media world. In addition to first-class academic education, the Fribourg programme also offers you numerous insights into media and communication practice.More info
Informatics studies at the University of Fribourg provide in-depth theoretical knowledge while placing a strong emphasis in relation to practice.
Our approach to informatics is oriented towards problem analysis and solution; teaching takes place in a friendly atmosphere. Students carry out several one-semester projects in which they learn to apply their acquired knowledge successfully in a variety of contexts. Examples of current projects are programming of robots and controlling processes.
The major study programme in informatics is complemented by minors which can be freely chosen. It is also possible to choose programmes from other university fields of study.
This bachelor's degree can give access to the Swiss Joint Master in Computer Science offered by the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg.
A Bachelor's degree in Contemporary History this opportunity is open to you only at the University of Fribourg. The programme focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries in Swiss and European Contemporary History offering introductory survey courses accompanied by seminars elaborating on specific topics thereof. In addition you are introduced to the historiography of Contemporary History. You will acquire skills in analyzing and contextualizing historical sources, in reading and digesting secondary literature, in presenting an historical argument as well as in writing your own texts. Our large number of teaching staff offers you a broad range of topics and ensures that the students are closely mentored, thereby facilitating the compatibility of class room and work place. The degree can be taken in German, in French and as a bilingual degree in German and French.More info
For those who are interested in the structure and development of the earth, earth sciences is exactly the right subject to study. Students experience a virtual journey through time and space as they trace the development of the earth, the atmosphere and the oceans.
The bachelor programme places its main focus on the following questions: How did life develop, and under what environmental conditions (sedimentology, palaeontology and palaeoecology)? How do mountains and oceans form and disappear (tectonics)? What happens at the earth's interior (petrology, volcanology, geophysics)? Apart from these fundamental issues, there is also ample opportunity for practical applications, e.g. assessing building ground, processing raw materials or detecting natural hazards.
Earth sciences at the University of Fribourg places particular value on students acquiring personal experience of what they have learned. Accordingly, the study programme includes field trips and excursions (at home and abroad) and an introduction to the scientific use of technical instruments.
The bachelor programme provides an in depths training in economics, and additionally covers the fundamentals of business administration and quantitative methods. The focus is on solving economic and societal issues in companies, households, government institutions and markets. The approach is based on the analysis of human decision-making processes as well as the optimal use and the effect of economic resources, e.g. labour and capital. Some questions addressed in this programme relate to broad economic relationships: What determines prosperity and the distribution of wealth in a country? What influences the exchange rates and trade flows between nations? How do firms acquire market power and should when should the state regulate them? But there are also more specific questions that are addressed: What effect does education have on income, health and crime? Because of what characteristics are some companies more successful than others? Which kind of interventions work in developmental aid? To answer such questions, the programme provides theoretical concepts as well as data-based (i.e. empirical) methods and puts students in a position to understand economic problems, to analyse them autonomously and to derive advice for action for companies or politicians. The inclusion of real life cases makes it possible to practically implement the knowledge that has been acquired, and the excellent student-to-eacher ratio allows for interactive teaching styles.
The bachelor programme in economics combines modern teaching and research with the humanistic tradition of the University of Fribourg.
Anthropogenic climate change, natural degradation, and loss of biodiversity but also sustainable energy production, resource depletion, and waste disposal demand immediate action and governance. The management of these environmental challenges has already caused and will increasingly engender ethical concerns, dilemmas, and conflicts. The bachelor minor study programmes in Environmental Sciences complements the competences acquired in the main studies with special knowledge in the environmental sciences and humanities as well as in environmental ethics. It equips students with the competences for resolving governance challenges in the fields of the environment, sustainability and climate change. The unique knowledge accomplished in these bachelor minor programmes is an integrative and comprehensive sensibilisation on how to analyse environmental conflicts and to propose ethically sound solutions to environmental challenges.More info
The study of geography provides students with a deeper understanding of processes in nature and society and their increasingly complex interrelationships. Geography is a discipline of great social relevance. For this reason, students are required to address current issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, urbanisation or scarcity of resources.
Students acquire knowledge in the two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. In addition to this they have to write their own research paper.
The geography course at the University of Fribourg pays particular attention to the relevance and concrete applications of the knowledge students have acquired. The study programme provides them with scientifically-grounded, practice-oriented qualifications which open the door to appropriate career opportunities.
This bachelor programme covers the study of Greek antiquity from Homer to the Byzantine period. It focuses on the acquisition and consolidation of Greek language skills, as well as the interpretation of literary texts in the broader context of Greek culture.
Special emphasis is placed on the reception of Greek classical antiquity during the imperial period, and on Greek culture and literature of Late Antiquity. In partnership with the Institute of General and Comparative Literature (Institut de littérature générale et comparée/Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft), students also study the influence of literary forms and classical mythology on modern literature.
This field of study enables students to acquire a command of the Greek language, as well as in-depth knowledge of Greek literature and culture. The programme concentrates essentially on the teaching of the Greek language and literature, with lectures, exercises and proseminars aimed at enabling students to hone their language skills, their knowledge of philological techniques and literary analysis skills.
How did people in the past shape and perceive their lives? What scope did they have for making decisions? How did the economic, political, social and cultural environment in which they lived change? What impact has what they did or did not do had on the structures of the present day? These and similar questions are at the core of the History programme. In Fribourg, this course is based on close cooperation between the four subjects of ancient, mediaeval, modern and contemporary history. In a series of joint, coordinated, introductory teaching sessions, students are taught from the outset to take a multi-perspective, comparative and culturally informed look at history. A broad choice of specialisations is also available, ranging from economic history, social history, political history, the history of ideas and mentalities and legal history, right through to gender history and cultural history. The programme is taught in German and French. Of course, it is possible to study solely in German or French in Fribourg, but we also promote bilingualism, offering bilingual teaching sessions and collaboration with international partners. Numerous, highly popular and well-supported national, European and global exchange programmes round out the study programme.More info
Interreligious Studies approaches theology from the viewpoint of the religions. In Europe, the history of non-Christian religions is closely bound up with Christianity. Taking this as the starting point, the central questions are, for example, those arising from interreligious dialogue or dealing with current concepts of Islamic theology or religious law. Special attention is focused on Christianity, interreligious and intercultural dialogues, and self-reflection in other religions, particularly Islam.
The main programme is currently being offered in German or as part of the bilingual course (German and French), in which case the resulting degree will carry the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German».
If you have an interest in Italian language and literature, acquiring methods for analysing poetry, narrative and theatre texts will help you appreciate all the more masterpieces of the Italian language by Dante and Petrarch through to Leopardi and Montale, as well as contemporary language and literature. This bachelor programme provides also an introduction to Italian philology and to the history of the Italian language, while specific lectures on literary history focus on the key moments of the all tradition, from Middle Ages to 20th century. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to critically analyse all Italian literary texts.
This course mainly features seminars, which encourage active participation and learning. All lectures, seminars, exercises and exams are delivered in Italian.
At the University of Fribourg, this course follows the principles of the school of analysis founded by eminent researchers, such as Gianfranco Contini, Giuseppe Billanovich, Giovanni Pozzi and Aldo Menichetti.
This bachelor programme covers the study of Roman antiquity from the beginnings of the Republic to the humanist period. It focuses on the acquisition and consolidation of Latin language skills, as well as the interpretation of literary texts set in the broader context of Roman culture. Special emphasis is placed on Latin culture and literature of Late Antiquity, the Latin Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students also study the influence of literary forms and classical mythology on modern literature.
On completing their course, students will have acquired a command of Latin and in-depth knowledge of Roman literature and culture. This programme concentrates essentially on the teaching of the Latin language and literature, with lectures, exercises and proseminars aimed at enabling students to hone their language skills, their knowledge of philological techniques and literary analysis skills.
A bachelor's degree in Law provides students with round knowledge of all key areas of law. The full-time course is spread over three years and is progressive in that the individual areas of law are discussed in at least two years.
Teaching comprises lectures as well as numerous tutorials in which students receive guidance on the analysis, solution and criticism of concrete legal issues, interactively and in small groups.
In Fribourg virtually all the teaching sessions are offered in German and in French. The choice is yours: you can follow all the lectures and tutorials in German or in French, but you also have the possibility of upgrading your diploma with the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German». Further important benefits are the small size of the Faculty and the personal mentoring you receive during your studies.
This bachelor programme provides the essential basis for understanding business management tools for companies and nonprofit organisations such as hospitals, associations and international organisations but also for public administration. Students are equipped with methodological, professional and social skills. Future graduates are trained in making decisions in a changing and complex economic environment, and acquire specific methods for analysing and understanding socioeconomic phenomena. A wide range of courses provides a solid knowledge and allows students to develop their skills in the different areas of management. In synergy with other subjects in the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, courses are also provided in economics and information management.More info
This study programme is the first step in the training of professional mathematicians. The methods, ways of thinking and content that, according to international standards, all mathematicians should be proficient in are imparted in an intense and demanding programme. During the third academic year, students can attend advanced lectures that correspond to their interests and preferences. Thanks to close cooperation with the Universities of Bern and Neuchâtel, these courses are also open to students in Fribourg.
The major study programme in Mathematics is supplemented by minors that students can choose freely from other university fields of study.
This bachelor programme will have you studying the forms, functions and significances of musical expression in a variety of cultures, focusing primarily on European music from the Middle Ages to the present day. In coming to Fribourg to study Musicology and History of Opera, you will profit from the tradition of the oldest musicology teaching programme in Switzerland and one of the very first set up in Europe. We also serve as a highly active research centre in this field of study, both on a national and European scale.
This programme promotes studying music as a language, including its connection to codes used in other forms of expression and its role in complex systems such as opera, religious rites, cinema, and audio-visual broadcasting in contemporary societies.
While the courses and seminars are taught partly in French and partly in German, students are allowed to write their coursework and pass their exams in the language of their choice (French, German or Italian).
The main characteristics of the bachelor programme in philosophy at the University of Fribourg is in addition to the diversity of its philosophical orientation the possibility of bilingual studies (which is an option, not an obligation) and the structure of the bachelor programme around two axes: History of Philosophy and Systematic Philosophy.
History of Philosophy includes ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophy and introduces students to the main authors, texts and currents of Western philosophy. Systematic Philosophy comprises complementary disciplines, such as philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences; epistemology and metaphysics; ethics and political philosophy; aesthetics and philosophy of art, and introduces students to the themes and questions inherent to present philosophical debate.
Another particular feature of studying philosophy at the University of Fribourg is the possibility to develop a specific profile thanks to a high number of optional courses based around a common core.
Students who are interested in the human experience and behaviour are on the right track with a course of study in psychology. Here, we study how feelings, experiences, education and motivational factors affect us and what role the cultural and social environment plays. At bachelor level, particular emphasis is placed on always letting the students confront their theories of everyday life with the insights of scientific psychology.
During the three-year study programme, they become acquainted with the fundamental professional knowledge, the working methods used in research, the various areas of application of psychology andthe basic competencies of psychological diagnostics and counselling. Two months of internship and a written thesis crown the bachelor studies.
In addition, the bilingualism of the course of studies is a unique feature of the studies in psychology at the University of Fribourg: Here, the programmes are offered in German, French or in a combination of both languages.
If you are interested in the specifics of religions in their historical, social and cultural contexts, this bachelor programme will introduce you to religions outside of Europe and to the main historical religions. You will study the central role they play in past and present societies, how they affect individuals, interactions between social groups and relationships between men and women. This programme focuses on issues specific to sociology in fields such as religion, politics, law and education, as well as societal phenomena, such as Islam in Switzerland.
In addition to learning scientific research and presentation techniques, you will become familiar with historical and empirical research methods in social sciences, such as survey methods (interviews, observation) and methods of analysis. In addition, you will be given opportunities to visit religious communities and attend certain religious festivals.
The Rhaeto-Romance course is devoted to the varied linguistic forms in the Romansh-speaking area of the canton of Grisons. Who uses Rhaeto-Romance in today's society, and how and when? What is the position of Romansh people in the trilingual canton of Grisons and in quadrilingual Switzerland? What are the subjects and traditions which shape Rhaeto-Romance literature? These and other questions are covered by Rhaeto-Romance students. At the University of Fribourg, the emphasis is on linguistics, but literature is an integral part of the course.
Students acquire the broad basic knowledge required to pursue a career in Rhaeto-Romance institutions, the media or teaching and/or to continue their studies to master level.
The bachelor programme requires thorough knowledge of at least one variant of Rhaeto-Romance (idiom or Rumantsch Grischun). Some classes are taught in German.
Social anthropology analyses social and cultural phenomena in today's world in order to understand and explain them in all their diversity and complexity. This discipline examines socio-cultural practices, beliefs and institutions, which are intertwined in different ways at the local, national, regional and global levels. Concerning the methodology, social anthropology is characterised by long-term ethnographical research. This kind of research typically involves acquiring the local language, observing and participating in the daily life of the group being studied.More info
This bachelor programme will equip you with the necessary skills and critical perspective to assess socially problematic situations, institutional environments in which you will take action and the particular types of actions you will be expected to roll out. As the programme is based on the analysis of social issues and the consideration of possible solutions, you will gain an understanding of the far-reaching changes that affect social policy and will master the conditions of social work. You will also gain knowledge of existing social policy measures in Switzerland and abroad, and their role in society and the economy.
The methodological and method training provided is based on three key pillars: the analysis of social issues (e.g. poverty, exclusion, drug abuse), the study of social policies (e.g. family and health policies, and social insurance) and the situational practice of the research methods studied, in relation to the analysis of social issues and/or social policies.
Are you interested in the functioning of contemporary societies and current events affecting them? Do you want to follow a scientific training which answers your questions, develops your critical appraisal of the world and equips you for your future career?
The objective of the bachelor programme in Sociology is to train students to analyse social, economic and political processes in contemporary societies across a range of themes. It examines the consequences of structural changes on individuals' daily lives by familiarising students with sociological theories and by training students to use scientific analytical tools. In a stimulating study environment, students gain professional skills to observe specific social processes and competences to elaborate projects and social intervention in public and private institutions. Professors, teaching staff and researchers are on hand to promote the quality of exchanges and the pursuit of ambitious goals.
The programme includes sessions from other fields of the social sciences.
This bachelor programme covers the diversity of styles of literature from Latin America (and America) and the Iberian Peninsula, not only in terms of their own evolution but also in terms of their mutual relationships. At the University of Fribourg, particular attention is granted to the relationship between literature and human sciences, and to the contribution of interdisciplinary studies.
This methodology places emphasis on teaching codicological description and textual history, with Fribourg being the only university in the BENEFRI network to offer this speciality. Subjects cover the study of the language, literature and culture of medieval Spain, on the one hand, and the study of the manuscript tradition of works and their position in the history of the language on the other.
This bachelor programme enables students to acquire practical know-how and scientific knowledge about the impact of motor activity on the development and maintenance of the individual's physical, mental and social life. It not only looks at subjects such as anatomy, the principles of training and sports psychology, but also the technical aspects of practice in a variety of fields, notably games, corporal expression, and water and snow sports. The teaching concept, which places the emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, is based on a «lecture-seminar/workshop» structure and fosters the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
Students also have the possibility of specialising in teaching physical education and sports at secondary school level.
In contrast to other university fields of study, theology has a guiding perspective of its own: it is fundamentally concerned with God and doctrine and thereby reflects its own position and that of the church in society. The critical work of theology is aimed at contributing to keeping the issues of value and truth alive in public discourse.
A many-faceted discipline, Theology is taught across five departments. The objective of the first three years is to gain the bachelor (180 ECTS credits) degree and to familiarise the students with theology by introducing them to its different fields