NEW: Bachelor reform FAQ

What's new in the reform

What are the main novelties linked to the Bachelor reform?

  • Flexible choice of language, French or English, for all 1st and 2nd year courses, with the possibility to change at any time from one language to the other without informing anyone of this change. The same courses will be offered during the same week in both French and English.
  • Mandatory English course in the first year (year-round, bi-weekly) for all students, including English speakers.
  • Introductory teaching on sustainability: transversal and integrative teaching on sustainability with face-to-face activities during the 1st and 8th week of the semester (first two years of the curriculum).
  • Onboarding days: during the first two days of the first semester (week 1), you will participate in 4 workshops, which will facilitate your integration into university studies, and familiarize you with the requirements of our curriculum as well as with the values of HEC Lausanne.

Does the Bachelor reform for the 2023-2024 academic year concern students who have already started their studies, i.e. those who are repeating their first year or those who are in the second and third years of the Bachelor program?

No, students who are already enrolled in the Bachelor's program must complete it in the same program they started. The initial study plan remains the same and there will be accommodations for repeaters of the first year (see section "Repeaters" below). The reform currently only affects those who start their first year of the Bachelor program in September 2023.

Admission to the program and registration for courses - the question of languages

I don't speak French, can I do a Bachelor at HEC?

To be admitted to one of the Unil programs, you need a level of French B1 and this is valid for our Bachelor program, even if you only want to follow courses in English. For more details on admissions, visit the Service des inscriptions et des immatriculations website.

I am bilingual in English and French, which language course should I take during the first year?

You must enroll in the 3-credit English for communicating in Business and Economics course at the Centre de langues. Courses are tailored to all levels of English proficiency. Information will be provided to you by the Service d’orientation et de carrières (SOC).

Do I have to register for a course that is taught in English or French?

No, you register for a course and are free to take that course in either French or English or to change at any time. At any given time, you will have the same course in French and in English in your weekly schedule and you can choose to attend either the French or the English version.

First week of classes: Onboarding Days and Introduction to Sustainability

ATTENTION: There are two activities you must participate in during the first week of the semester: Onboarding Days and the Introduction to Sustainability (3 credits). 

Onboarding Days (September 19 and 20, 2023)

When will Onboarding Days be held?

Tuesday, September 19 and Wednesday, September 20, 2023, according to group schedules.

Is there a difference between Onboarding Days and Welcome Days?

Yes, Welcome Days take place BEFORE the semester, and for HEC on Friday September 15, as per invitation from the SOC. Onboarding Days take place IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEMESTER, in fact during the first two days, Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th (Monday being a vacation - federal fast). For Onboarding Days, you'll receive a personalized e-mail telling you which group you belong to and the program for your group (workshop times and locations).

What are the Onboarding Days for?

Onboarding Days are designed to ease your integration into university studies and familiarize you with the requirements of our curriculum, our values and our campus

How will Onboarding Days work?

You will be assigned to a group, and each group will take part in 4 workshops over the 2 days 

How do I know which group I belong to for Onboarding Days?

Alongside the invitation to the Onboarding Day organized by the SOC on the Friday before the start of the semester (September 15, 2023), you will receive a personalized e-mail telling you (a) which group you belong to for these two days, (b) your schedule for the entire first week of the semester (Tuesday, September 19 to Friday, September 22, 2023), and (c) where your activities will take place during this week.

What language will Onboarding Days be held in?

The course will be a mixture of English and French, and everyone will be able to speak in whichever language they wish (either French or English). However, it is expected that the student understands the other language. 

Introduction to Sustainability: Cross-cutting and integrative teaching on sustainability (September 21 and 22, 2023)

When will the Introduction to Sustainability course take place in the first year?

This teaching will take place on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September 2023; there will be one schedule per group.

What are the objectives of the course Introduction to Sustainability course?

The HEC Faculty adheres to a 3D commitment [Diversity – Sustainability (durabilité) – Digitalization]. The objective of this course is to introduce you to issues related to sustainability. The organization of this course is transversal and integrative, which means that it is given face-to-face during weeks 1 and 8 of the semesters of the first and the second year. You will work in different ways, in workshops and in small groups. This course develops, among other things, the skills of collaboration and self-management.

How will the course Introduction to Sustainability unfold during the first year?

During the first year, the course Introduction to Sustainability (3 credits) will take place during weeks 1 and 8 of the fall semester and weeks 1 and 8 of the spring semester. Once you have been assigned to a group, you will receive a specific schedule indicating when and where you and your group members will be required to attend one of the Introduction to Sustainability teaching sessions.

In what language will the Introduction to Sustainability course be conducted?

The course will be a mix of English and French and everyone will be able to speak in the language they wish (either French or English). However, it is expected that the student understands the other language.

Repeaters (redoublants) of the first year

I will be repeating my first year Bachelor's degree in the 2023-2024 academic year and some of the courses have changed in title or number of credits. What will happen to me?

Please note that there are no classes during weeks 1 and 8 of the fall and spring semesters for students in Module 1 (first year).

For the courses where the number of credits has been reduced from 4.5 credits to 3 credits with the reform, you will simply retake the 3-credit course, but you will obtain 4.5 credits. The courses concerned are:

  • Political Economy I
  • Computer models
  • Statistics II
  • Elements of programming

For the courses where the number of credits has been increased from 4.5 to 6 credits, you will follow a certain number of sessions of the course and a shorter exam will be offered. You will obtain 4.5 credits. The teachings involved are:

  • Statistics I
  • Financial Accounting I
  • Political Economy II

For the course Droit de l’entreprise, where the number of credits has increased from 3 to 6, you will have to repeat the first (partie générale) or second part (partie spéciale) of the course, or both, and retake the first or second part of the exam, or both.

In all cases, professors will give you more details about the exam during the teaching semester.

I am repeating Financial Accounting II, will I be able to retake it in the Spring 2024 semester?

Yes, this course will be offered one last time in the Spring 2024 semester for repeaters who started before the Fall 2023 semester

Distribution of students by groups

Three types of group allocations apply to new students in first year Bachelor at HEC Lausanne:

  • A or B groups for the schedules of the French version of courses, for the whole semester. 
  • Color groups for the “Onboarding Days” and the course "Introduction to Sustainability". 
  • Language Center groups for the course "English for Communicating in Business and Economics". 

Groups A or B (classes in French) and the same classes in English 

  • The schedule of group A (last name from A to Ki) or group B (last name from Km to Z) begins on the second week of the first semester for the Bachelor first-year students.  
  • You must respect your group's schedule for the French version of courses.
  • The English version of the course is open to all 1st year students at all times. In other words, if you're in Group A and wish to attend the course given in French, you must follow Schedule A. On the other hand, you can attend English classes as you wish.

 Color Groups 

  • You have been assigned to a color group for the organization of weeks 1 and 8 only.
  • Your color group informs you of your schedule for week 1 (September 19 AND 20, 2023, for the Onboarding Days; and September 21 OR 22, 2023, for "Introduction to Sustainability") and week 8 (the schedule will be communicated by your professor).
  • Week 1 includes the “Onboarding Days” and the first "Introduction to Sustainability" class. Week 8 is reserved for the course Introduction to Sustainability.

Groups of the Centre de Langue (Language Center)

  • The groups of the Centre de Langue are formed according to language proficiency level in order to follow the course "English for Communicating in Business and Economics".
  • An online test will be used to place you in a group according to your level of English.
  • The schedule for the English language course will be communicated on Friday, September 22, 2023, by the Centre de Langue to your address.


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