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Trinational Studies in Biotechnology

Strasbourg – Freiburg – Basel, three cities, three universities. Together they offer the unique opportunity of studying across the borders. The interdisciplinary diploma course in biotechnology combines know-how in biology and engineering and, thanks also to the acquired language skills, paves the way for many career opportunities.  

Whether in energy supply or the fields of agriculture, food technology, medicine, pharmacy or production of chemicals – a Diploma in Biotechnology opens many career doors. Graduates are in great demand on the job market, thanks to the combination of knowledge in basic and applied research, economics and patent law and their trilingual education. 

The trinational biotechnology program is jointly offered by the Upper Rhine Universities of Basel, Freiburg in Breisgau and Strasbourg. Each of the three partners contribute part of the training corresponding to their research focus. This provides a wide-ranging course of studies based on current research. The Biozentrum is responsible for teaching microbiology and synthetic biology.

The program takes three years. Most of the time you will be studying at the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS), which belongs to the University of Strasbourg. Almost all lectures are held there. In addition, there are two- to six-week blocks courses and practicals in Basel or Freiburg. You can also carry out your studies and diploma thesis at any one of the three universities. Interested Swiss students should contact the program coordinator Prof. Attila Becskei at the Biozentrum. French and German students please contact the ESBS or the University of Freiburg respectively. 

The program starts in the fall semester with intensive, subject specific language courses in French, German and English. The curriculum includes selected fields in biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, genomics and biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology, plant physiology, immunology, process engineering, virology, cell and gene therapy, as well as mathematics, bioinformatics and chemistry. This is rounded off with training in economics and patent law. In the third year, you can specialize in a field of your choice.

Key facts

Students who have completed at least four semesters of basic studies in science, medicine or a technical discipline (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, pharmaceutical sciences or engineering) are eligible to apply for one of the 40 places. (6 are dedicated to Swiss students)

Swiss students should submit their application by April 1, to Prof. Attila Becskei (see contact below). Please include the following:

  • a hand written letter of motivation
  • CV with details of studies completed and language knowledge 
  • student records (Matura diploma and transcript of records for each semester)
  • passport photo.

The applicants will be informed whether they have been accepted into the course at the beginning of June, after having been interviewed by two lecturers.

Course start
The course of studies in Strasbourg begins at the third year level of the Bachelor of Science degree (i.e after four completed semesters of bachelor’s studies) each year in September. 

The lectures are held in German, French and English. The exams can be taken in at least two of these languages. A good knowledge of these three languages is advantageous. Intensive language courses are also part of the curriculum in Strasbourg, prior to the commencement of studies and during the academic year. 

Credit Points
Credit points (CP) are awarded for successfully completed course work, in accordance with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). The number of CP per learning unit corresponds to the working time the student needs to put in to achieve its objectives. One credit point corresponds to a work load of approx. 30 hours.The three year diploma course requires evidence of a total of 162 CPs earned in order to award the «Diplome d’Ingénieur en Biotechnology».

The «Diplome d’Ingénieur en Biotechnology» is generally recognized in Europe. Subsequent doctoral studies are possible at all Swiss and European universities. 

Further Information

Program Coordinator:
Prof. Attila Becskei
Biozentrum, University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50 / 70
CH - 4056 Basel
Phone: +41 61 207 22 22
attila.becskei (at) 
Research Group Attila Becskei

Student Representatives:  
contact (at)