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Master in Chemical Biology

The Master in Chemical Biology programme will teach students how to probe biological problems at the molecular level using innovative chemistry, biochemistry and biophysical approaches. Students have the opportunity to gain diverse theoretical knowledge in the field of chemical biology and to perform research in labs pushing the state of the art.




Students will be embedded within a network of laboratories where they will receive individualized and highly interdisciplinary training (in biology, chemistry, physics) from world-renowned researchers.  The Master in Chemical Biology is ideally suited to young scientists that envision themselves following a career in research.

  • 2 sites: University of Geneva and EPFL (Switzerland)
  • Credits: 90 ECTS credits
  • Low student-to-teacher ratio: the number of students is kept small (an average of 9 by year)
  • Strong emphasis on a hands-on, multidisciplinary training
  • Research proceeds with a thesis report and oral examination
  • All courses are all taught in English
  • The programme leads to a Master degree awarded by the University of Geneva in collaboration with the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • The Master in Chemical Biology is a full-time one and a half-year structured programme
  • Starting in September

More info about the Master on the UNIGE website

The Master in Chemical Biology - programme


Admission criteria

  • Bachelor degree holders in the sciences, especially chemistry, biology, biochemistry, biophysics or equivalent, wishing to orient their career toward chemical biology, whether in an academic or industrial setting.
  • Only motivated and above-average students in relevant disciplines are selected.
  • Students should receive permission by the SNE Education Committee.



The MSc in Chemical Biology is an outstanding degree at the cutting edge of research and teaching in Europe. World-leading professors, outstanding facilities and support and a holistic approach have made studying highly enjoyable. I came in from a purely chemistry background and as daunting as biology can be sometimes, these studies have guided me into the realm of chemical biology at a superb level, and are perfect for anyone with an interest in tool development! Definitely worth checking out.

Gordon B., Master graduate

More Master students’ testimonies


Admission procedure

To apply for admission to the Master in Chemical Biology you will need to follow the instructions given on the UNIGE’s website.

You may fall into either of these three categories:

  • Case 1. You hold a bachelor degree from a foreign university. Registration deadline: February 28, 2024.
  • Case 2. You hold a bachelor’s degree from a Swiss university at the start of the next academic year AND are not subject to a visa, on the basis of your nationality regardless of your current place of residence, or hold a residence permit in Switzerland valid beyond 30 April. Registration deadline:  April 30, 2024.
  • Case 3. You are currently a student at the Faculty of Science, UNIGE. In that case, there is no registration deadline. You can apply even if you have not yet received your bachelor’s degree but expect to complete it within 6 months. however, you do need to complete the SNE admission form (see below).

Essentially, registration  entails compiling the following 3 forms :

  • Enrolment application form (concerns students in case 1 &2). Applicants need to meet the basic conditions of enrolment of UNIGE.
    Please note, that there is no need to complete the following sections as all selected candidates are interviewed by the Education Committee :

    • curricula from previous studies
    • course descriptions from previous studies
    • weekly schedule and number of semesters
  • Admission form (concerns students in case 1 &2): In case you meet the conditions of enrollment, a complete application file will have to be sent to the Admissions Office by the appropriate deadline.In case you need to re-immatriculate to UNIGE (case 3) , a request will have to be sent to the Admissions Office by April 30, 2024. You will just need to fill a form provided  by the Secrétariat des Etudiants and submit the online SNE Chemical Biology Master Programme application form. For more information, please click here.
  • SNE Chemical Biology admission form  to be submitted in all instances (concerns students in case 1, 2 &3). This application is directly evaluated by the Educational Committee.


Deadline for applications

  • From January 15 to February 28, 2024, if you don’t hold a bachelor from a Swiss University.
  • From January 15 to April 30, 2024, if you hold a Bachelor degree from a Swiss University.
  • No deadline if you are a current UNIGE student,  even if you have not yet received your bachelor’s degree but expect to complete it within 6 months

Next academic start: September 16, 2024



CHF 500 /semester.
For additional information, please visit the UNIGE’s website. Students may potentially benefit from substantially reduced fees if their financial profile  matches the UNIGE criteria for fee waiver.


Funding: fellowships

  • Excellence Fellowship Programme
    The Master in Chemical Biology programme is part of the Excellence Fellowship Programme of the Faculty of Sciences. The programme is open to outstanding and highly motivated students from any university. Successful applicants will be amongst the top 10% of their peers in their bachelor’s program. Selection of the applicants is based on excellence and evaluation is given on the basis of the documentation sent by the applicants. Next deadline to apply for an excellence fellowship is February 28, 2024 (for the academic year starting in September 2024).


  • 18-month fellowships
    Additionally, two 18-month fellowships to cover the studies and travel expenses are available for the academic year starting in September 2023, funded by a partnering Foundation. Students from Lebanon, Switzerland, Italy and  India are prioritised when considering this fellowship. Selection is made on the basis of academic performance and motivation for studies in chemical biology.
    More info.


  • Merit fellowships
    All students enrolled in the programme and which do not receive any kind of financial support from their family or another funding body are eligible for a merit fellowship funded by the Association SNE Chemical Biology, the association which continues the NCCR Chemical Biology educational activities.



Any questions? Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions.