The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL; English: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is a research institute/university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology complex has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level.

EPFL is widely regarded as a world leading university. The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL 12th in the world across all fields in their 2017/2018 ranking, whilst Times Higher Education World University Rankingsranks EPFL as the worlds 11th best school for Engineering and Technology.

EPFL is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). Associated with several specialised research institutes, the two universities form the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain), which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.



  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Sciences
  • Communication Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Life Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Management of Technology

Language Centre

The Language Centre is a service provided by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale to help international students and staff to learn and improve their international language skills covering French, German, Italian and English (levels A1 to C2; see the CEFR language levels). The language-learning program it offers is reserved for EPFL students and personnel, for their spouse (paying French courses only) and for collaborators of the Confederation.

Tandems are also organized and set up within the framework of the Tandem Program of the Arts Faculty/EFLE. It includes two people of different mother tongues who meet regularly to teach each other their respective languages.

Student body

The number of students attending studying at EPFL has been rising heavily since EPFL was formed in 1969 under its current name. In 1969 EPFL had roughly 1400 students, that number had grown to 2367 by 1982, 4302 by 1997 and now 9921 students in 2014. Within the student body, 112 different nationalities are represented. In the period from 1982 to 2014 the female proportion of the student body has increased from 12% to 27%. The proportion of female students is lowest at the School of Computer Science and Communication, 15%, and highest at the School of Life Sciences, 49%.

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