BACHELOR's Program

Bachelor of Arts FHNW in Fine Arts

Next application deadline: 15 February 2021

The bachelor’s program at the Art Institute encourages you to develop your own artistic position. In the studio, in project work and in the context of exhibitions, students gradually develop their own artistic language and handwriting. The study course demands a high degree of self-initiative.

Studying art means becoming familiar with art. Artists are pioneers who seek to link up apparently disparate worlds in new ways and by new means. They redefine the language of traditional media, materials and technologies by creating artworks, developing concepts, writing essays, exploring archives and choreographing bodies in space. Artists are captivated by the never-ending task of experiencing and representing what we call reality in new ways.

The three-year bachelor’s program introduces you to issues of current-day art practice and helps you to develop your own work approach. It is not a training in art history; instead you gather experience and are confronted with a wide array of ideas, forms, media, materials and questions relating to matters such as individuality. Apart from working in the studio, group discussions with other students and lecturers form a core of the course. On a regular basis artists and art theoreticians from Switzerland and abroad are invited as visiting scholars to support you in your studies. In the three-year BA course you acquire technical skills and expand your knowledge concerning the questions and topics that drive today’s art practice.

Download Magazine Our Bachelor’s Program — Art Institute HGK FHNW

Requirements for the admission procedure

Admission to the program of the Art Institute requires the following:
— Swiss state-certified high school diploma (Matura, equivalent to A Level degree)
— Swiss state-certified professional Matura diploma
– Swiss state-certified vocational Matura diploma in the field of art and design
– Teacher's College degree
– Three-year certificate from a state-certified intermediate commercial college (Handelsmittelschule)
– In the case of other educational qualifications the FHNW Academy of Art and Design conducts a comparative test.

Without being mandatory, a one-year long professional experience or the completion of a preparatory course is recommended.

AKAD preparatory course

Candidates who do not have a Matura diploma (high school, professional or vocational) but hold a certificate of an equivalent education at the level of Secondary School II, have the opportunity to attain a state-certified professional Matura diploma (following their apprenticeship) or to visit the two-semester, part-time preparatory course for the entrance exams at the Academy of Art and Design offered by AKAD. This course in general education is a distant-learning course and is concluded with an exam at the level of a professional Matura. You can register at AKAD at any time.

The Academy may admit candidates who have not passed their AKAD exam by this date to the aptitude assessment. After successfully completing the admissions procedure, the candidates must catch up on the Academy's preparatory course at AKAD. If they provide evidence of having passed the AKAD exams latest by 30 June, they can commence their studies at the Academy in the autumn semester of the same year. Up to this date, their place of study is guaranteed. The candidates bear the costs of the course and exam fees.

AKAD College Zürich, Jungholzstrasse 43, 8050 Zürich
+41 44 307 31 31,,

Catching up on the professional Matura degree

Information concerning the full and part-time training courses for the professional technical, design-related and commercial Matura degree can be obtained from the respective vocational schools locally.

Admission «sur dossier»

Candidates who have not completed three years of education at the level of Secondary School II are legally not entitled to enroll in a bachelor’s study program. In exceptional cases the Examination Board can allow candidates to enter the admission procedure, given that they can provide evidence of several years of professional experience, further training, and outstanding artistic and design-related skills.

The following documents are required for admission by «sur dossier»:
— Application form plus appendices
— Tabular CV
— Personal statement, expectations (written application)
— Evidence of work experience in the creative field
— Portfolio
— Copy of certificate for German level B2 (for foreign language speakers)

Admission procedure

The admission procedure is structured as follows:

1. The submission of the registration form to the admission procedure completed digitally together with all required documents.

2. Once registration is completed, the admitted candidates receive a letter before 9.3.2021 and are invited for an aptitude assessment regarding their creative and artistic skills. They are required to submit a portfolio and a motivation letter (deadline: 22 March 2021). More details will be announced in the invitation to the assessment.

3. Up to forty candidates are invited to an application interview. The interview is conducted by a jury of teachers and a student representative of the Art Institute (13 – 16 April 2021).

Twenty candidates are generally accepted in the Bachelor of Arts in Bildender Kunst program, which begins in September.

Applicable for the admission process are the «Studien- und Prüfungsordnung der Bachelor- und Master-Studiengänge der Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz,» as well as «Studienreglement des Bachelor-Studiengangs Fine Arts.»

Next application deadline: 15 February 2021

→ More information and registration on the FHNW website

For any questions please contact the Art Institute’s secretariat
+41 61 228 40 77,