Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is one of the 12 certified public universities in Switzerland and member of swissuniversities. It is organised in five faculties and is active in several study and research areas, among which: architecture, communication sciences, computational science, data science, economics, health studies, humanities, informatics, law, medicine and biomedicine.

Top reasons to study here

  • USI is a young and lively university, a hub of opportunity open to the world where students are offered a quality interdisciplinary education.
  • The Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is an independent institution regulated by the Swiss public law and it is separated from public administration.
  • USI is in constant evolution, always taking on new challenges while remaining true to its three guiding principles: quality, openness and responsibility.

Bachelor's programmes

Arts, Design & Architecture (1)
Computer Science & IT (1)
Social Sciences (1)



USI is the result of the combination of two projects initiated in the 1990s:

  • 1992-1994: the idea of architect Mario Botta to create an Academy of architecture in Ticino, with the support of Councilor of State Giuseppe Buffi, minister of Education from 1986 to 2000, and the mayor of the City of Mendrisio, Carlo Croci;
  • 1993-1995: the vision of a “freie Universität” (free University) in Lugano


USI offers quality and interdisciplinary study curricula where theory and practice go hand in hand and where students play an important role: small-sized classes are the ideal venue for exercising in groups and for each individual student to express him/herself and thus develop their personalities and their uniqueness.

Direct interaction with faculty enables students to discover unexpected realities within a cosmopolitan and friendly environment, open to international careers.


Research at USI is marked by ambitious projects seeking new developments and new solutions through interdisciplinary perspectives in several areas, namely:

  • architecture
  • computational science
  • communication
  • data science
  • economics
  • health studies
  • humanities
  • informatics
  • law
  • medicine and biomedicine

USI’s flexible structure allows for decisions to be made swiftly, thus enabling the fluid exchange of ideas. Researchers at the University are provided with an unfettered and open access to the world to develop projects independently.


The University’s Career Service aims to foster exchange and contacts with the business world, and to acquaint students with the working environment, thus ensuring a smoother and successful transition from the academic world to the workplace.


Student services

USI Alumni was set up to assure continuity of contacts between Università della Svizzera italiana and its alumni.

The Service aims to:

  • Establish and consolidate a network through which USI alumni can always keep in touch with each other as well as with academic staff and current students
  • initiate and promote contacts between alumni, companies, and institutions
  • support the professional development and networking of the alumni community
  • make a contribution to the growth of Università della Svizzera italiana.

Housing services

USI’s two student residences (USI Home on the Lugano campus, Casa dell’Accademia on the Mendrisio campus) are reserved first of all for exchange students, international students on certain scholarships and German-Swiss or French-Swiss students enrolled in the first year of the Bachelor in Architecture.

Library services

Founded in 1996, the University Library Lugano is the body responsible for organizing documents (books, periodicals, electronic media etc..) within the Lugano faculties of the Università della Svizzera italiana. The Library responds to aims of study, research and Information.

ICT services

eLab aims at improving the quality of teaching at USI through the integration of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). To achieve this goal, eLab provides USI faculties, departments, institutes, teachers, and collaborators with the required infrastructures and services.

Student Life

Campus life

Around 2800 students and about 800 professors and researchers, hailing from over 100 countries, convene every day on the three campuses in Lugano, Mendrisio and Bellinzona. 

The relatively small size of the campuses encourages the free flow and open exchange of ideas within the academic community. 

Sports facilities

A Service for Sport and Leisure has been set up to promote joint sporting activities between the Università della Svizzera italiana and the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and to coordinate local members’ participation in national and international university sports events.

The Service organises regular sports activities, free or at convenient prices. As member of the Swiss Confederation of University Sports, it collaborates with the sports services of other universities and promotes national and international student sporting events.

Student clubs

Several student associations have been created within the University. The main objectives are to improve relations between students and the institution and to enrich the range of educational and recreational offer during school. The associations are concerned mainly with the collection of didactic material, organisation of parties and meetings, cultural and sporting events, and networking among University students and the business world.

The acknowledged student associations active at USI are listed below:

  • ACE Swiss
  • AIESEC Lugano
  • ESN Lugano
  • Il Letterificio
  • Law and Politics in USI
  • Lugano Finance Club 

Student Reviews

My experience at The Accademia di Architettura
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars
This university gave me chances and opportunity I never wish I had in my life.
Very interactive lectures.
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars
very interactive lectures