I have applied to EPFL just before the deadline because I realised how great an opportunity it may turn out to be. I applied for the Mathematics course (though they will tell me on results day if they accept me or not) but I am worried about my A level choices. I picked Maths, Further Maths, Literature and French. I think I will exceed their AAA standard BUT they say they want Physics or Chemistry neither of which I have done, not even for As. I have the language and the Maths but can I assume that they will count my further maths as physics? Also did STEP (maybe got a 2 in Paper I) and AEA (hopefully just passed, bombed the exam) and DALF to show them that I am willing to learn high level French for them.
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EPFL Application watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2016 08:58
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2016 10:59
- 22-09-2016 14:18
- 04-10-2016 16:26
Maths at EPFL. Normal Bachèlor entrance: They have a generic 80% pass-mark required for entrance, same as ETH Zurich. Most other Swiss universities, eg Geneva require 75% of your maximum possible score. This might increase in the future, a few years ago entrance to EPFL & ETH was just 70%.
In 'A'-level terms, 80% is probably AAA in math and two sciences, with an excellent French level. Maybe also math, a science (I think they prefer Physics) & French 'A'Levels all at grade 'A', there's also an extremely expensive & difficult direct entrance exam direct to EPFL- maybe 500-800 Francs (see CMS below)
the plan of study for year one at epfl Maths is here sb.epfl.ch/propedeutiqueSMA
(that's basic science department at EPFL - first year - section of Maths)
it shows that in the first semester of first year, there will be Maths tuition: Algebra, Analysis, Geometry - then Physics (which could possibly be taken in French, German or English - depending on timetable scheduling and your requests) and Physics II (for Mathematicians) in French
then in second semester of first year, there's "Global Issues", Chemistry (in French and/or possibly English), ICT in French (but helpfully most of the slides are in English!), introduction to Biology (in French) and a few Programming blocks in French (but again most of the slides are in English!)
If you can fit in the English courses - you are practically able to sign yourselves up for them, the timetable is student driven, you just have to pass the exams each year. You can actually attend any lecture that you wish, or none of them. Quite a few people leave EPFL after the first year, though they do have a really neat retry year which some students enjoy & need. There is fairly limited partying on site. It's a serious place for study.
Fees are fairly low, but accommodation costs are unbelievable. it's not an "easy" choice over Cambridge or Oxford, probably costs the same, overall.
The Swiss office for 'controle des habitants' currently suggests a budget of more than two-thousand swiss francs per month, and you have to prove that you have received some of these payments to be allowed to stay. There's a lot of Swiss paperwork. There are NO LOANS available, when I last asked.
Maths at EPFL. Special Maths Course Entry: CMS, this is a one year 'improve your Math & French' course - you need to pass their test, and they have a special Math test instead of the generic entrance exam. apply at bachelor.epfl.ch/admission-cms BUT, they currently will only accept SWISS students and extra-EU students. Last year was anyone, next year - who knows!
good luck, it's an amazing place - if you don't speak French well enough (yet) then they do teach Masters mostly in English, as you progress higher in the EPFL, the level of international English in use does increase.