The ETH Zurich and the EPFL, the two Federal Institutes of Technology, are required by law to teach and conduct research in the engineering sciences, the natural sciences, architecture, mathematics and related fields. In these disciplines, they offer courses for Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees. A wide range of advanced training options also provide an opportunity for graduates to attend courses in other disciplines or to pursue postgraduate studies.


Whether in sport or in science, ranking lists are a suitable means to gain an impression of the sporting performance of individuals and teams, or of academic institutions. Even if the results of inter national rankings often deviate from each other considerably, the overall picture does enable trends to be identified: while the USA’s famous leading universities dominate internationally, the two Federal Institutes of Technology hold leading positions in Europe and have been able to maintain (and, to a certain extent, improve) their good placings in recent years. Both Federal Institutes of Technology are particularly successful in rankings which attach considerable weight to scientific publishing activity or international networking, but they are not so well placed if the supervision ratio is given more weight. The 2016 Leiden Ranking, which is based on bibliometric analyses, ranked the EPFL in second place among the European universities and in 12th place among the world’s 250 biggest universities on the strength of the worldwide impact of its research (crown indicator) and the ETH Zurich on the fourth and the 23rd place, respectively.