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Education and Innovation in Embedded Systems Design

USI Università della Svizzera italiana, USI Faculty of Informatics, Advanced Learning and Research Institute USI Università della Svizzera italiana USI Faculty of Informatics USI Advanced Learning and Research Institute




Can I find a job or placement after completion of the Master Program?

ALaRI collaborates or is in contact with companies, research centers and universities, mainly in Switzerland and Europe. Such companies and institutions are usually offering entry positions, internships or PhD programs. Moreover, the ALaRI staff is collecting offers from other sources: job advertisements, personal contacts, ALaRI alumni network. ALaRI students can also find numerous jobs at the websites like,, etc. all collected positions on the ALaRI Intranet platform ("Career Center" section). The ALaRI staff can advise students how to explore the huge job market in our field. If requested, ALaRI provides recommendation letters compliant with courses and master project results. ALaRI cannot guarantee anything at the beginning of the students' term, and career openings depend mainly on the students' personal skills. Anyway, the Master programs are designed to match the current job market expectations and usually majority of students can find very interesting and concrete offers even before graduating. From our statistics almost all previous ALaRI students found a position (job, internship or PhD) in less than four months after the graduation but vast majority of them had a position secured before graduation.

How can I communicate my interest in entering the Job/Placement program after taking my degree?

Please mark in the application form that you are interested in an internship after having completed your Master Studies.


Accommodation and living expenses

Will the university help me in finding accommodation in Lugano?

The USI Accommodation Service will help you finding an accommodation.

Do I have to know the Italian language to live in Lugano?

You can get around with English, French and German. People in Lugano are very friendly and also try to communicate in English. In the Italian part of Switzerland, there are also many German-speaking persons, so you can also speak German. At the University of Lugano and at ALaRI, it is very common to communicate in English. The teaching language at ALaRI is English.


Work and Residence Permits

Do I need a work permit to apply for a part-time job?   

Yes. This work permit depends on the kind of residence permit you have. In Switzerland, persons with a permit B or C are allowed to work. Exchange students are usually given a permit B, but that is not the rule. You will also need permission of the University of Lugano to be able to work.

Do I need a work permit to apply for an internship?

You do not need a work permit to declare your interest in an internship. You will, however, need a work permit when your internship starts. This work permit can be organized during your stay at ALaRI. You can apply for an internship after graduating in the ALaRI master program

How can I obtain a residence permit to stay in Switzerland?

Call the Swiss embassy closest to your home for an application form and the list of documents you have to attach to it. For any documents that you may need from the University of Lugano or ALaRI, please contact Ms. Janine Caggiano at the Dean's Office.


Application to ALaRI

What are the application requirements for the ALaRI Master Program?

Requirements are listed here.

What documents are required to apply for ALaRI programs?

The list of required documents is available here.

How many recommendation letters do I need to provide?

Recommendation letters are welcome, but not compulsory. You may provide up to 3 recommendation letters coming from persons that worked with you in the past (e.g., professors, tutors, employers). Contact information and affiliation of the senders must be provided. Recommendation letters can be sent by e-mail from institutional addresses only.

Do I need to send all the information specified?

It is absolutely necessary that you send all the information specified for your application. Please inform us if you are not able to send all the information at once so that we know that you are still interested in ALaRI.

Do I really have to send an official transcript?

Yes. Please note that it is possible to send a photocopy of the transcript. In case you are selected for the ALaRI Master Program you will be required to send the corresponding original transcript in order for your admission to be officially accepted.

Do I need to pass an exam to enter the ALaRI Master Program?

You do not need to pass an exam to enter the ALaRI Master Program. However, you should send us all the required information about your previous studies and exams. Furthermore, there is will be an Admission Committee deciding on your entrance to the ALaRI Master Program.

What is the application procedure?

The application procedure is explained here.

When is the application deadline for the Master Degree Programs?

The application deadlines are available on a dedicated page of the ALaRI website. Please make sure that we receive all your application information on time if you want your application to be considered by the Admission Committee.

Where should I send my application to?

The instructions on how to apply are available here.



Do I need health insurance during my stay in Switzerland?

Please check here for information on health insurance.

What can I do if I have a problem obtaining insurance for Switzerland?

If you have any problem obtaining insurance for Switzerland, you can email Ms. Janine Caggiano at the Dean's Office.


Studying at ALaRI

Where is the program held?

The ALaRI Advanced Learning and Research Institute is part of the University of Lugano, located in the southern part of Switzerland. Lugano is situated on the banks of Lake Lugano and has over 60,000 inhabitants. You can find more information on the website of the Lugano touristic office.

Is there a PhD Program available at your Institute?

ALaRI is going to offers PhD positions within the the PhD program at the Faculty of Informatics, University of Lugano. For any information about open PhD positions and applying for admissions, please contact us directly or consult the Faculty of Informatics at

Is it possible to write my thesis at ALaRI?

Yes, it is possible to write your thesis at ALaRI.

Is it possible to attend only part of the courses?

The Master Program courses are also open to professionals who wish to broaden or update their knowledge in the field of embedded systems. Further information is available in the description of ALaRI study programs (see Vocational Courses).

What is the medium of instruction for ALaRI Master Programs?

The official language of tuition is English. All lectures are held in English and the final Master Thesis/Project is expected to be written and presented in English.

How many hours of courses are there per week in the full-time Master Program?

The hours vary from week to week. Hours depend on each student's study plan. Expect to be free about one day a week to work on assignments and projects. Expect about 20-30 hours of lectures/labs a week. There are no courses scheduled on Saturday and Sunday (except on special occasions: conferences, seminars).

What kind of activities will we perform outside the regular lecture time?

You will perform group and individual work on various projects during the whole year. Individual exercises will consist of working with applications such as Java, Eclipse, MsVS, HDL Designer and Behavioral Compiler by Synopsys, CoWare tools, or with other tools (possibly in the public domain). From January to July you will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-competitive design project (developed in a team or individually depending on the task) for one of our partner companies.

How many hours of courses are there per week in the part-time Master Program?

For the part-time program, there is an individual study plan for each student. These study plans are agreed on between ALaRI and the student.

When do I get my diploma?

Every year, at the end of the program in July, the ALaRI Master Students present their final master projects during a workshop. That day, the students are given a temporary diploma. The diploma will be mailed to their home addresses when all the administrative work for the program has been completed.

How much time in advance do I have to enroll for a vocational training?

Vocational trainings are always open. There are no specific deadlines, however, the number of participants is limited due to classroom and lab sizes. Therefore, registering in advance is recommended. Please contact ALaRI for more information on enrolment. Available courses can be looked up at the ALaRI website at: Academic Schedule and Faculty and Courses.



How do I apply for an ALaRI scholarship?

Please mark on the application form that you are interested in a scholarship.

What kinds of scholarships are available for students?

Please check the related page on the ALaRI website.

Is there any other organization that provides scholarships for students studying in Switzerland, particularly at ALaRI?

Other scholarship opportunities are listed at the following page:

Can everybody apply for a scholarship?

Everybody can apply for a scholarship but it is on competitive basis.

Do I have to pass an exam to receive a scholarship?

You do not have to pass any exams to receive a scholarship. However, you should send us a complete application and possible letters of recommendation (maximum three).

Who decides on scholarships?

The ALaRI Admission Committee decides which students will receive a scholarship. You will be informed by ALaRI soon after the application deadline if you have been qualified for a scholarship.

Studying without a scholarship?

Students without scholarships are welcome. However, they will have to fund the study, board and accommodation themselves. For more information please see the page related to academic fees. You may contact Ms. Janine Caggiano at the Dean's Office for further information.