Applying for the MBA
1. How many years of work experience will I need to be admitted?

Applicants are advised to have a minimum of 3 years of full-time post-Bachelor’s degree work experience by the start date of the MBA program they are applying for, in accordance with accreditation guidelines (i.e. AMBA). Applicants with a minimum of 2 years of full-time post-Bachelor’s degree work experience by may be considered for admission on an exceptional basis in accordance with University of St.Gallen (HSG) policy (i.e. Satzung). 

Part-time work experience, including work experience completed as an official part of an educational degree program, may be considered at the discretion of the Talent Acquisition Team. Military service and volunteer or non-profit service can be recognized as work experience depending on the position and nature of the work, considered on a case-by-case basis. Projects, research, and practical training completed as part of a PhD or other doctoral program (MD, JD, EdD, DBA, etc.) may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

2. What’s the minimum qualifying GPA?

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement. When assessing your application, we look at academic performance in the context of the entire application. We also acknowledge that assessment practices vary between different institutions and education systems.

3. What is the language of instruction?

English is the sole language of instruction for both the Part-time and Full-time programs. You need to prove that you are fluent to be admitted to the program. Note that we do have the capacity to provide German and French language communication in some of our Career Advisory interactions.

4. Can I apply without a GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment score?

There are two possibilities to submit an application without one of these standardized test scores:  1) You are eligible for a test waiver. 2) You submit your application without a test score to have it conditionally assessed. If your application is successful, you will be given a conditional offer. Note that a conditional offer does not guarantee a seat in the class. To receive a full offer, you will need to take and submit a satisfactory GMAT, GRE or EA test score by a specified deadline.

5. Do I require a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply?

Yes, applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree (3 years) or a Diploma (4 years) with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) equivalent from a recognized University or a University of Applied Science. Upon enrolment, the applicant must provide official transcripts and, if not in English or German, a certified translation. The degree will be officially verified.

In rare cases, if you do not have specifically a bachelor's degree, we can assess qualifications as being equivalent to a Bachelor's degree, usually in medical-related study paths.

6. What qualifies for a GMAT, GRE or EA test waiver?

Applicants holding a Ph.D., medical degree, CPA, and CFA level II or higher, are automatically exempt from the GMAT/GRE requirement. There's no need to pre-contact our Recruitment and Admissions team for this waiver. All other post-graduate credentials will be evaluated individually.

To determine your eligibility for a test waiver, please contact our Talent Acquisition team at mba@unisg.ch.

7. Can I arrange a campus visit?

Yes, you can arrange a campus visit. To do so, please contact our Talent Acquisition team to schedule a suitable date and time for your visit. Please note that campus visits are held on Tuesdays. 

There are a few points to clarify about our location:

  1. We are in a satellite building near the city centre in St. Gallen, not the main campus.
  2. In April-May 2024, we will be relocating to Washington House St. Gallen. This new location will serve as the new home for the 2024 intake of our MBA program, particularly the Full-time MBA.
  3. For those interested in our Part-time MBA, note that many classes for this program are held in Zurich at a location in Europaallee.

Given these factors, please bear in mind that a visit to our current address at Blumenbergplatz 9, 9000, St. Gallen might not fully represent the experience our future MBA students will have. Nonetheless, we would be delighted to show you around and answer any questions you may have.

Program-related questions
8. Can I tailor my MBA?

The University of St.Gallen MBA program is a general MBA program with a set of core modules and elective courses. The full-time program's first six months are designed for you, while the latter half is customizable. Similarly, in the part-time program, the initial 18 months are pre-defined, with the final six months designed by you. 

This customization in the last six months of both tracks allows you to select electives and a final project that best matches your career aspirations or individual objectives.

9. How will I be graded?

Final course grades for the MBA program will be determined by a mix of class participation, case analysis and your final project. To graduate, participants must maintain a mean grade of 2.1 in core courses and electives. While grades are important, we also want to create an environment where our participants feel able to take risks. Learning occurs when you push yourself into unfamiliar territory and try new things. To accomplish this, many of our assessments are team-based.

10. Do your part-time students work 100% or do they cut back to 60-80%?

It is different for every participant. Some are sponsored by their organization in time, funding or both. In these instances, the Part-time MBA is often part of a formal learning and development plan within the organization, so participants remain 100% employed. That said, many who have less formal arrangements with their employer also remain 100% employed. There are options to apply holiday time, accrued overtime and take unpaid leave. Other participants are more comfortable reducing their employment in percentage. This can be determined by personal life commitments, travel distance to Switzerland and other reasons. We encourage you to find a personalized solution that works for your personal, professional and MBA-related commitments.

11. Do I need to apply for a visa?

Most citizens of countries outside the European Union/ European Economic Area need a visa to enter Switzerland for study purposes. It is very important to check your immigration requirements early enough. After you submit your application, it can take up to 3 months for the visa to be issued. Please do NOT enter Switzerland with a Swiss tourist visa or a Schengen visa for another country. These cannot be changed for a student residence permit after you arrive in Switzerland.

12. Can my spouse obtain a visa to stay with me during my studies?

The student visas that the University of St.Gallen MBA facilitates with the support of the cantonal migration office do not include visas for spouses or children (below 18). Spouses of MBA students need to go through the normal Swiss visa application process. Please get in touch with the Swiss Embassy in your country of residence for any questions concerning visas for spouses or other family members. 

13. Can I work in Switzerland after I graduate?

For EU/EFTA nationals:

Thanks to the Bilateral Agreement on the free movement of persons (FMP), citizens of Switzerland and EU member states have the privilege to freely select their employment and residence within the territories of the involved states.

For third-country (non-EU/EFTA) nationals:

A permit is mandatory for non-EU/EFTA nationals to work in Switzerland. However, the onus of applying for this permit falls on the employer. Before a work permit is granted, certain conditions must be met:

  • The employment must align with Switzerland's broader economic interests.

  • The permit is primarily for managers, specialists, and other highly skilled professionals.

  • Preference is given in the order of Swiss nationals, EU27/EFTA nationals, established foreign nationals, temporarily admitted individuals, and those with temporary protection.

  • Employers are obligated to adhere to local, professional, and industry-specific wage and working standards.

There are distinct quotas based on the foreign worker's nationality and the nature of the job. For specifics on the quota system in the canton of Zurich, please refer to: Zurich Canton Quotas.

14. How do I find accommodation?

If you are an enrolled, incoming Full-time student, you will have the opportunity to work with our dedicated MBA Housing Assistant from June – September for assistance in organising your accommodation in St. Gallen. The Housing Assistant is not responsible for finding you housing but can help communicate with landlords or translate rental contracts that are in German. He or she will also help match vacant properties of outgoing MBAs with incoming MBAs based on budgets, size, proximity to campus and other criteria.

Should you wish to start your own research, below you will find some of the opportunities you may want to look into:

15. What information will landlords request from me?

Swiss rental applications are comprehensive documents. Expect to provide your:

  • Age 
  • Marital status and number of children 
  • Profession and employer
  • A letter of reference or indication of employment from your employer
  • Salary or a document indicating you do not have outstanding debt 
  • Residency or visa status
  • Copies of passports and visas
  • Number and type of pets 
  • Duration of tenancy 
16. How do I open a bank account in Switzerland

When opening a bank account in Switzerland as a foreign student, you must show your passport and usually your permit card. Most banks offer free accounts with special benefits for students 30, or younger or giro accounts for a small yearly fee for people above 30. We encourage you to open a bank account with a large bank, as they often offer special offers for students and a wide range of products that suit international candidates.