print preview

Diploma Course of Studies

Website Männer und Karte 16-5


Prospective career officers holding higher education qualifications, in addition to other qualifications and work experience, undergo three semesters of basic training , which is divided into two parts: the course for the Diploma of Advanced Studies in Military Science (DAS MILWISS) at the ETH and the officer training course at the Military Academy (MILAC) at ETH Zurich. Prospective career officers who successfully complete both parts of their training will receive the ETH DAS MILWISS.

The DAS MILWISS portion of the training programme consists of two semesters of theory at the ETH Zurich, with classes being held 2.5 days each week. The officer training portion of the basic training programme consists of a total of 12 months of hands-on training, which takes place on the remaining 2.5 days each week during the two semesters, in the period between semesters and in the semester after completion of the DAS MILWISS portion of the basic training programme.

This programme is also open to foreign career officers.

Training objectives

Initial qualification for service as a professional officer to

  • to professionally perform command duties in Switzerland and abroad
  • to provide quality teaching as instructors and educators
  • to act as military science trained experts
  • to take a stand on non-military issues as broadly trained executives


Conditions of admission

• University degree or state-recognised degree from a university of applied sciences
• First lieutenant with completed training as company commander
• Good military credentials
• Impeccable reputation
• Physical aptitude test passed
• Fluency in a second Swiss national language ( German or French) - (Foreigners: German at C1 level)
• Approval by theAssessment Center for prospective career officers (ACABO) 
• Driving licence category B
• Employment contract of the Armed Forces

Training content

General sciences

  • Security policy
  • Legal basis of security policy
  • Constitutional foundations of security policy
  • International relations and international organisations

as well as other courses including cyber- and technological aspects


Military sciences

  • Leadership et Communication
  • Military History
  • Defense Economics
  • Military Psychology and Military Pedagogy
  • Military Sociology
  • Strategic Studies


Other foci

  • Languages [2nd national language (German or French), English]
  • Sports
  • Field trip

Military special training


  • Professional profile and understanding
  • Leadership principles
  • Diversity management
  • Conflict management
  • Coaching / guidance
  • Staff management
  • Leadership training
  • Communication training
  • Leading under special conditions (e.g. in the mountains)
  • Risk management
  • Work technique
  • Project management
  • Decicions-making excercises

Specialised didactics

  • Military didactics
  • Combat techniques
  • Training in specialised units / leading military exercises
  • Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRN)
  • Environmental protection in the armed forces
  • Medical service in the armed forces
  • Sports in the armed forces
  • Military technology
  • Legal aspects in military operations / Law of Armed Conflict
  • Military penal law
  • Basic courses 1-3 at the Armed Forces Training Centre



  • Swiss Armed Forces / DDPS
  • Training and Education Command
  • Joint Operations Command
  • Mission objectives / understanding of combat
  • Defence in military units / general staff work / command simulations
  • Supporting civilian authorities
  • Peace support / interoperability level 1

Programme structure and duration

  • 3-semester (20 months) study programme including the ETH Diploma of Advances Studies in Military Sciences (DAS MILWISS)
  • Excercises, courses, examinations and holidays during interim semesters
  • Military special training begins in the 7th semester (lectures and courses at MILAC / in specialised applications units and in various competence centres of the Swiss Armed Forces)


  • Periodic testing according to ETH Zurich's study regulations
  • Minimum 41 credit points based on European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
  • Periodic testing during military special training

Qualifications awarded

  • Federally recognised Swiss Armed Forces Career Officer Diploma
  • ETH Diploma of Advanced Studies in Military Sciences (DAS MILWISS)
  • Military qualification


Commander Diploma Course of Studies and of Bachelor

Military Academy at ETH Zurich Kaserne Reppischtal
CH-8903 Birmensdorf
+41 58 484 82 43