State upper secondary ("level II") education: post-compulsory secondary schools

Post-compulsory secondary education is for students aged between 15 and 19 years and offers general education ("Collège de Genève" and "Ecole de Culture Générale") or vocational education.

Parents who are not tax payers in the Canton of Geneva are required to pay schooling fees of 500 CHF per child per semester.

If your child does not speak French?

For students aged between 15-19 who have little or no knowledge of French, the Service de l’Accueil de la scolarité du secondaire II (ACCESS II) runs small classes where French is taught as a priority.
For registration and advice, please contact ACCESS II, tel : 022 388 12 60.

General education

This comprises of 4 years of study.  The successful preparation for the "Maturité" exam gives the student the diploma which enables them to enter university or the Federal polytechnic schools.
Students are referred to one of 11 institutions depending on their place of residence and choice of options. 

Students from other countries or certain private schools must pass an entrance exam.  A second national language, German or Italian for beginners, forms an integral part of the educational program.

The "Collège de Genève" does not admit students for a period of less than one academic year.

For further information, please consult the brochure "La maturité gymnasiale au Collège de Genève".

Whom to contact to enrol a child who speaks French and has not completed state school in Geneva (orientation cycle)?

Please consult the page "Inscription à l'enseignement secondaire II" or send an e-mail (

Full-time education includes general education and subjects related to a professional field. In Geneva, the options are:

  • Arts
  • Communication and information
  • Health
  • Social-educational

The ECG provides three years of studies in preparation for the "Certificat d’Ecole de Culture Générale" diploma and a further year of studies in preparation for the "Maturité spécialisée" diploma, giving access to the relevant faculties of Switzerland's universities of applied sciences (Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées).

For further information, please consult the brochure "Concrétisez vos projets avec l'Ecole de culture générale".

Who should be contacted for registering at the l’ECG for a student who has not completed state school in Geneva (the orientation cycle)?

Please consult the page "Inscription à l'enseignement secondaire II" or contact the Direction générale de l'enseignement secondaire II (DGES II).

Initial vocational education

Initial vocational training includes general education, vocational education and a large portion of professional practice.  It offers 4 progressive stages:

  • "Attestation fédérale professionnelle" (AFP level): initial first 2 years of vocational training which enable the student to join the labour force with a diploma.
  • "Certificat fédéral de capacité" (CFC level): 3-4 year period by a company work placement which is supplemented with 1-2 days per week learning in the classroom (dual system) or full-time training in a trade school.
  • "Maturité professionnelle" (MP) for students who have obtained their CFC. It allows students to access higher education in universities of applied sciences - "Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées" (HES).
  • Technician Diploma in graduate school ("diplôme de technicien en École supérieure").

There are 7 vocational centres "pôles" in Geneva:

  • Applied arts
  • Commerce
  • Construction
  • Nature and the environment
  • Health and social work
  • Service and hotel/restaurant trade
  • Technical

Each division comprises of all stakeholders in vocational training in Geneva: professional associations, "Office pour l'orientation, la formation professionnelle et continue" (OFPC) who orient, organise and place trainees, and Training Centres where trainees are assessed (CFP).

For registration formalities regarding the "pôle commerce", please consult the following page.

For registration formalities for the other 6 "pôles", please contact the following page.

For information on vocational training, please consult the following page.