ETH Zurich is the institution of the Swiss Confederation, devoted to research and higher learning. Together with the EPF Lausanne and four research institutions, ETH Zurich forms ETH domain, which involves nearly 17,000 students and 500 professors and maintains academic contacts with the Swiss University Conference, the Swiss National Science Foundation in addition to political contacts with the Committee for Science, Education and Culture.
The advising and coordinating institutions include the Swiss Science and Technology Council, Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, Rector's Conference of the Swiss Universities and Swiss University Conference.
Consisting initially of six departments, ETH Zurich has expanded to include fifteen departments and a number of teaching and research facilities like the Center for Languages, Centro Stefano Franscini, Functional Gemonics Center, Swiss National Supercomputing Center, Collegium Helveticum, and the First Lab and Graphic Collection.
Out of 358 professors at the university, 58% are non-Swiss, which is evidence of the international orientation of ETH Zurich and its position as a leading institute of technology in Zurich. The total number of students enrolled in ETH Zurich has increased proportionately from 11,927 in 2001 to 12,700 in 2004.
Currently the university offers 22 Bachelor's and 28 Master's degrees. All the programs of the university, from Bachelor's to Doctoral levels cover the areas of construction, geomatics, natural sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics and system-oriented sciences. Degree programs differ essentially in structure and content. However all of them have one common feature, providing comprehensive education that is a combination of theory and practical application.
Bachelor's programs cover the areas of geomatics and construction, natural sciences, engineering sciences and system-oriented sciences. German is the primary language in all Bachelors' programs. In accordance with the European Bologna reform, ETH Diploma degrees have been restructured and replaced by the Master of Science degrees. The first such programs are expected to start in winter 2005-2006. ETH Zurich offers two types of Master's programs: General Master's and Specialized Master's programs. The first type is a continuation of a corresponding Bachelor's program, while the second focuses on areas of particular expertise at the university.
Doctorate programs at ETH Zurich are designed to introduce the students to current research methods. They can be either single-discipline or multi-disciplinary. Postgraduate programs are offered in the form of Master of Advanced Studies. There are also postgraduate courses for students holding a degree from a Swiss or international institution of higher learning.
The university awards Master of Advanced Studies ETH in Architecture, Finance, Intellectual Property, Security Policy and Crisis Management, Water Resources Management and Engineering. All degree programs of the university meet the highest academic standards. ETH Zurich also offers studies for international students as a result of exchange-student agreements with the world's leading technical and research institutions.