University of Lausanne

Founded in 1537 as a theological school, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) gained its university status in 1890. Now a key institution in the Swiss world of higher education and research, UNIL is home to around 17,000 students and 4,600 research, teaching et technical staff. The state university is composed of seven faculties:

  • Theology and Sciences of Religions
  • Arts
  • Social and Political Sciences
  • Business and Economics

And three that are unique in Switzerland:

  • Geosciences and Environment
  • Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration
  • Biology and Medicine

Formerly based in the city center of Lausanne, the main campus is now located a few minutes away, on the shores of Lake Geneva with a beautiful view on the Alps in the green surroundings of Dorigny. To preserve this environment, the UNIL campus is managed according to principles of sustainable development. This exceptional setting is conducive not only to study and research, but also to the sporting and cultural activities offered to students and the general public by UNIL. The campus for Medical students is situated in the city, close to the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

The area of Lausanne is very dynamic and offers UNIL the unique possibility to collaborate closely with other academic institutions, sports federations, medical institutions and private industries located nearby. UNIL researchers also work with colleagues in the five continents, and numerous such ties have been formalized through bilateral agreements allowing for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and friendships.

UNIL is committed to supporting the emergence of new knowledge and new solutions in a changing world that requires shared, complex visions. Interdisciplinary centres bring together researchers from several faculties to study an area of common interest, driving the search for solutions in response to the multiple challenges faced by our society.

In the framework of the Horizon 2020 research programme, 25 UNIL scientists were awarded ERC grants (15 Starting, 6 Consolidator, 4 Advanced). UNIL is also home to two National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) of the Swiss National Science Foundation. The NCCR “LIVES” is studying life courses and vulnerabilities, and the NCCR “Microbiome” is investigating the interactions of microorganisms in humans, animals, plants and the environment.

Several personalities studied at UNIL, among whom Claude Nicollier, a former astronaut, Bertrand Piccard, who created Solar Impulse, and Jacques Dubochet. Nobel Prize in chemistry, Professor Jacques Dubochet is UNIL’s first Nobel Laureate. He received the prestigious prize in 2017 with Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their research in cryo-electron microscopy.