Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Education

Welcome to FAQs section.

  • What are the distinguishing features of the degree curriculum of the Faculty of Informatics?
    The study curriculum for the Bachelor’s degree has been devised by a group of experts representing USI (Jazayeri, Ghezzi, and Prevostini), SUPSI (Ravano), and the Zurich and Milan Institutes of Technology (Nievergelt and Negrini).
    Its main features are the following:
    • Degree plan based on the Bologna Declaration, composed of a three-year programme leading to the Bachelor’s degree, followed by a two-year specialization programme leading to the Master’s
    • Languages of tuition: Italian and English at undergraduate level, mainly English at graduate and postgraduate levels
    • The teaching curriculum is comparable to the existing ones in terms of theoretical and practical informatics and IT technologies. It differs, however, from the classical curricula of technical universities and schools of engineering, as it provides knowledge and skills that are essential for carrying out complex informatics projects, e.g., team work, team and project management and special knowledge in several fields of application
    • New teaching methods: characterised by project-based learning and team work, and by a judicious use of distance-learning techniques, allowing ample space for personalised programmes
    • Interdisciplinary approach with strong interaction with existing USI Faculties
    • An attractive programme for students coming from other parts of Switzerland and abroad.
  • What are the objectives of the three-year (Bachelor’s) degree programme?
    In the three-year foundation course, students acquire the following skills:
    • Solid theoretical and methodological bases in mathematics (analysis, algebra, discrete structures, etc.) and informatics (programming, architecture, logic, algorithms, etc.)
    • A good grounding in fields of application such as economics, communication technologies, physics, chemistry, and biology
    • A good grounding in the principles of team work and in the management of information technology projects
    • An introduction to professional specialisation and research.
  • What is specific to the new Faculty as distinct from the curricula of Institutes of Technology like the ETHs or the University of Applied Sciences (SUPSI)?
    USI’s three-year study curriculum is meant to provide students with a thorough understanding of fields of application such as physics, chemistry, biology, economics, etc. In addition, through new teaching methods (e.g., project-based learning, e-learning) it will develop the basic notions and practice of team work and project management.
    The Institutes of Technology, on the other hand, train computer engineers equipped with a thorough and comprehensive theoretical basis mainly toward technological innovation.
    USI’s typical graduate may be described as an expert in informatics with a propensity for the fields of application, with appropriate interdisciplinary background and management skills to work out solutions to complex informatics problems and to engage in research in areas of special informatics applications.
    • The difference between the two types of training (USI and Technology Institutes) will emerge most definitely during the two-year specialisation study (Master). In this sense, one may anticipate the two profiles to be complementary, so as to encourage student mobility and cultural exchange between USI and the Institutes of Technology. Holding a USI three-year degree will be a ‘passport’ toward pursuing a further course of study at Milan’s Politecnico or at the Institute of Technology, Zurich or Lausanne, and the other way round. On the other hand, a Bachelor's degree from an Institute of Technology will be an excellent basis for pursuing an application-oriented specialisation at USI. In either direction the change will require some adjustment (in management skills and application area for USI and engineering for the Technology Institutes)
    • USI’s planned study curriculum provides for seven specialisation fields: financial informatics, informatics and business, decision support, informatics in health care, embedded systems design, complex systems design for intensive data processing (Net-centric computing), biological modelling. How many specialisations the University decides to run will depend on students' demand or preferences.
  • What selection criteria will be applied in the appointment of teachers and professors?
    Teachers and professors will be selected on the basis of their teaching and research abilities in the subjects of the study curriculum. As is the case for other Faculties, the selection criteria are ruled in the Statute of the University; special emphasis will be placed on the candidate’s scientific expertise and proficiency in advanced research. The positions will be publicly advertised. The candidates will be evaluated by external experts under the supervision of a Scientific Advisory Committee, and presented to the University Council for decision. USI aims to achieve a truly international academic staff and encourages the participation of women candidates.