The requirement to be met for admission to the HSG as an undergraduate is a recognised university entrance qualification that is proof of a good general all-round educational background. To start a Master’s programme, applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree in a similar major or a Master’s degree from a university in a similar subject. Applicants for doctoral studies must have a recognised university Master’s degree or diploma.
Students from more than 80 nations are enrolled at the University of St.Gallen. The quota of foreign nationals has been limited to a maximum of 25 per cent ever since 1963 and can therefore be controlled easily in terms of both capacity and costs. The quota of foreigners is calculated according to a formula which was defined by the University’s Board of Governors. This does not involve a simple per capita calculation. In particular, guest students are not counted, and doctoral students who are working on their thesis – and therefore make fewer demands on the infrastructure – only count a third.
The 25 per cent quota for foreign applicants on the second undergraduate courses is implemented, among other things, by a written admission test, which is run once a year.
The following prospective students are exempt from the admission test:
- applicants with a Swiss or Liechtenstein passport who hold a Matura or an equivalent university entrance qualification,
- applicants with a Swiss resident permit C (residence for five or ten years) who hold a Matura or an equivalent university entrance qualification,
- applicants with a Swiss or Liechtenstein Matura or an equivalent education,
- applicants with a Swiss university degree,
- guest students,
- applicants for a university place in a Master’s programme with specialised admission criteria (SIM, MiQEF, MBF, MIA).
- applicants for a niversity place in a Ph.D. programme
The admission test takes place once a year on two days in July. Applicants who have registered online and have the required educational background are entered for the admission test.
Applicants for the Assessment Year have to sit the admission test in the language in which they will complete the Assessment Year – German or English. Applicants for a second undergraduate course will have to indicate their preferred language for the admission test when they register.
The admission test consists of two parts: a written part and an oral part. The written part, which is drawn up by the Institute for Test Development and Talent Research in Bonn, takes place on the first day. The examination takes about 4.5 hours, including a break.
In it, the HSG examines five modules:
- text analysis,
- quantitative problem-solving,
- pattern recognition,
- linguistic systems, and
- diagram interpretation.
On the basis of the results achieved in the written examination, the Dean of Studies decides who will be admitted to the HSG, who will not be admitted and who will be invited to an interview before an examination committee on the following day. The candidates are informed about who has been directly admitted, who has not been directly admitted and who will have to appear for an interview on the evening of the first examination day, through the internet and through a notice displayed in the Main Building of the University of St.Gallen. The results are anonymised by means of a registration number.
The oral part – the interview – has to be completed by applicants who, by dint of the result achieved in the written examination, ended up in the borderline area between admission and non-admission. In a 30-minute interview, applicants are given an opportunity to explain their personal interests and their motivation for studying at the University of St.Gallen and to provide reasons for this. An interest is also shown in applicants’ personalities – which is where a sense of responsibility, a critical faculty and social commitment count.
How many applicants can be admitted to the HSG admission test is decided by the Senate Committee. The reference date for the decision is 1 July, which is always ahead of the examination date.
Besides the admission test, foreign applicants have the possibility of securing admission to the HSG through an international study ability test (GMAT, GRE or LSAT). This opportunity is open to
- applicants who were resident outside Europe when they acquired their university entrance qualification,
- applicants for a second undergraduate course.