Admission to the Bachelor in Industrial Design is by competitive exam (aptitude test). The aptitude test is intended to evaluate the candidate’s artistic and creative abilities. 

Some candidates entitled to take the aptitude test may feel that their artistic and creative abilities are still insufficiently developed. In this case, the ECAL recommends that they sit the Foundation Year entrance exam.


  • Maturity certificate or Professional Maturity certificate (vocational diploma) or certificate from a recognised three-year school of general education (ECG), each to be accompanied by a General Federal Certificate of Vocational Education (CFC) in the field of desired studies (according to list)
  • Maturity certificate plus at least one year attested vocational activity in the field of studies or a Foundation Year successfully completed at the ECAL (or another recognised higher-education establishment of art and design)
  • Professional Maturity certificate with a General Federal Certificate of Vocational Education (CFC) in a profession unrelated to the field of studies plus at least one year attested vocational activity in the field of studies or a Foundation Year successfully completed at the ECAL (or another recognised higher-education establishment of art and design)
  • Specialized Maturity certificate in art and design (MSAD)
  • equivalent foreign certificate*

* ECAL evaluates title's equivalences. This procedure being relatively long, a request of examination must be submitted by email to ECAL Secretariat inscription@ecal.ch until 17 February 2021 the latest.

> Request of evaluation submitted after the above mentionned date will not be processed.

Non French-speaking candidates who have not completed a school education in Switzerland must be able to attest of their proficiency in French. A B2 level of the European Language Portfolio is therefore required.


Candidates who do not hold a professional Maturity certificate or a Maturity certificate paired with a CFC in the field of studies, must imperatively prove of a year of professional experience in the field of intended studies along with their Maturity certificate. 

This one year professional experience can be replaced by succeeding ECAL’s Foundation year or a recognized foundation year preparing to Art and Design HES.  


Online registration until 10 March 2021. The registration will only be considered subject to payment of the non-refundable registration fee of CHF 150.-.

As part of their online registration, the candidates send to ECAL an electronic application (PDF) containing personnal and administrative data.

The administrative file mandatorily contains :

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a copy of passport or identity card
  • a copy of required qualifications (an authentic translation is required for languages other than French, German, Italian, English and Spanish).

The personal file contains :

  • a presentation and motivation letter
  • a portfolio of personal works (or professional samples for the candidates who already have achieved a training in the same field), including a maximum of 15 files/documents and at least one presentation of a 3D project. Movies presentation or other motion pictures are limited to a duration of 3 minutes and are only possible through a Vimeo channel.

After consideration of the electronic applications, a jury will select the candidates for a practical and theoretical test taking place from 22 to 26 March 2021, then for an interview at ECAL scheduled between 29 March and 1 April 2021, during which the candidates can defend their portfolio and the completed assignment. The instructions of the test and the invitation to the interview will be notified by email.


Results are communicated by post during the second half of April.


ECAL’s Administration office (Tél. +41 (0)21.316.99.39 - inscription@ecal.ch) gives any additional information.



ECAL / Raphaël Dutoit