Franklin University Switzerland

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Franklin University Switzerland
Motto Boundless Exploratory Education
Type Private
Established 1969
President Dr. P. Gregory Warden
Academic staff
Undergraduates 413[1]
Location Lugano, Canton of Ticino, Switzerland
Colors Red and White
Mascot Falcon

Franklin University Switzerland is a private liberal arts college in Lugano, Switzerland. Founded in 1969, Franklin offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees accredited by relevant authorities both in Switzerland and in the United States. Prospective American students can apply to Franklin University Switzerland through the Common Application.

Franklin takes its name from statesman and Founding Father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin.


Chartered in 1969, Franklin University Switzerland was born out of the former Fleming College and founded as a non-profit, independent, post-secondary institution under the name of Franklin College Switzerland. The institution is named for Benjamin Franklin, the United States' first ambassador to France, and it has stressed, since its incarnation, the importance of international studies as the basis for a strong, global education. Franklin College Switzerland obtained United States accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 1975, confirmed most recently in 2010.[2] Having obtained Swiss program-level accreditation in 2005, Franklin was granted full university institution accreditation by the Swiss University Conference in 2013,[3] making it the only university in the world to be accredited in the United States and Switzerland. Swiss accreditation as a university institution gave Franklin the right to call itself a university in Switzerland, and in April 2014, the institution officially changed its name and celebrated its inauguration as Franklin University Switzerland.[4]


Franklin University Switzerland, the main campus

The main campus (formally Kaletsch Campus), acquired in 1985, is composed of a private villa with attached library, auditorium, and classroom wing, surrounded by a wooded park. In 2005 the university acquired an additional campus nearby, adding administrative, educational, athletic, social and residential capacity. The current campus spans 2 hectares (5 acres). The Franklin campus is residential, and is located on a hillside overlooking the town of Lugano, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, Switzerland.

Franklin University Switzerland, Residenza Panera

Franklin University Switzerland has nine residence buildings, seven in Sorengo and two in Lugano

  • Airone is located in an old hotel directly between main campus and North Campus with singles and doubles. All rooms have their own bathrooms and some of which have kitchenettes. The ground floor houses the office of Student Life, and one of the student lounges, the "Falcon's Nest".
  • Alba, located in Lugano 5–10 minutes from North Campus on the way downtown.
  • Ciliegi, located directly across via Ponte Tresa from Airone. This is the smallest residence on campus, in apartment-style doubles.
  • Leonardo da Vinci (LDV), located on the grounds of North Campus, this is the only all-freshman student dormitory.
  • Giardino, nestled below the Sorengo monastery, this residence is mainly multiples (4-6 bedrooms and a shared kitchen) with some triples for freshmen.
  • Girasole, located in Lugano, has mostly single and double rooms as well as one triple. The Alpine Living & Learning Community is also located in one wing of the building. Every room contains a kitchenette.
  • Panera, located on the main campus grounds next to the Grotto (one of two dining halls) with apartment-style triples. Each apartment consists of four rooms: a bedroom, bathroom (with bathtub), separate kitchen, and a large common room with three desks and a couch. The Panera Lawn is a common meeting place and hang out for many students, no matter what residence they live in.
  • The final two buildings are the as-of-late unnamed New Buildings (A and B) located across via Ponte Tresa from Panera. New Building A has four bedroom apartment-style housing, while New Building B has two, three, four, five, and six bedroom apartments, some of which are two stories. All rooms in both New Buildings have arguably the biggest kitchens on campus with at least one bathroom (with a shower) per two students. New Building B-side offers a noise-free, substance-free rooming option with an emphasis on healthy living for students.

Programs of study[edit]

Franklin University Switzerland offers curricula leading to a program Certificate in English Language Teaching, the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees:[5]

  • Art History and Visual Culture
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • French Studies
  • History
  • History and Literature
  • International Banking and Finance
  • International Economics
  • International Economics with an emphasis in Political Economy
  • International Management
  • International Management with an emphasis in Finance
  • International Management with an emphasis in Marketing
  • International Relations
  • International Relations with an emphasis in Political Economy
  • Italian Studies
  • Literature
  • Psychology
  • Visual and Communication Arts with an emphasis in Fashion Studies
  • Visual and Communication Arts with an emphasis in Studios Art

The university also allows for a combined-major program, in which a student chooses two of the above to earn one degree, as opposed to a double-major.


Franklin's curriculum promotes international awareness and critical thinking, and emphasizes an interdisciplinary and liberal arts perspective. The majority of courses are taught in English, with the exception of language courses, including an upper-level language courses on film, culture and literature. Students must also achieve proficiency in either Italian, French, Spanish, or German, through fulfilling a 3-year language course sequence. In addition to the language requirement at Franklin, a core curriculum consisting of Intercultural Competencies (humanities and arts), International Engagement (political science, history and economics) and Social Responsibility (sciences and cultural studies) is at the forefront to the curriculum. A full year's worth of study in these three categories is a requirement. Courses in mathematics and writing are required as well.

The most popular majors at Franklin are International Management, International Relations, Environmental Studies, Communications and Media Studies and International Economics, respectively.[6]

The average class size at Franklin is 16, with no class exceeding 30 students.

Academic Travel Program[edit]

The Academic Travel Program is an integrated part of the Franklin University Switzerland curriculum. Academic Travel is a credit bearing degree requirement, and two weeks of travel each semester represent an extension of the students’ class work.[7] Travel is led by faculty members and relates to the academic expertise of the individual professor and to his or her knowledge of a given country or area.

All students, including semester and year-abroad students, are required to participate in the Academic Travel Program. Academic Travel is not only a graduation requirement but an integral component of each semester of study. The graduation requirement for Academic Travel is fulfilled by participating in six travel programs. Students usually fulfill the requirement by participating each semester of their first three years at Franklin. Students who enter with Sophomore standing must participate each semester in which they are enrolled except their senior year.

The travels are themed around academic studies relating both to the location visited and the professor guiding the travel. Economics, art history, literature, business and marketing, international relations, and history are among common themes investigated through travels.

Past Academic Travel destinations have included: the Baltic states, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Iceland, India, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Italy, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.

Student life[edit]

Student life at Franklin consists of an emphasis on independent travel within Switzerland and Greater Europe, and of student associations, residential life, and interaction with Swiss-Italian culture in Lugano.


Franklin University Switzerland offers students a wide variety of sports and fitness programs, as well as activities to promote a healthy lifestyle. Some on-campus sports facilities include the Tone Athletic Center, two volleyball courts, a basketball court and a soccer field. Organized athletic activities include Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Basketball, and Lugano Street Dance. Students are also encouraged to start athletic programs. Past student-led activities have included Field Hockey, Yoga, Cross-fit, and Self-Defense.

Since 2000-2001, with an exception of a bye year in 2001-2002, Franklin's men's soccer team has competed in the National Swiss Division (5th League). The team competes with other clubs in the league from the Canton of Ticino. Franklin University Switzerland is currently the reserve team for the local club FC Paradiso, making it Franklin FC Paradiso II. In Spring 2012 the team won its fourth Fair Play award. The team trains twice a week and competes on the weekends in both the fall and spring semesters - home games are played on Friday nights. The players have a mid-season break from December to February. During this period the school hosts an indoor soccer tournament open to all Franklin students, faculty and staff.

Notable professors[edit]

Sara Steinert Borella Bernd Bucher Sanja Dudukovic Johanna Fassl Gabriel Gee Brack W. Hale Fintan Hoey Alexandra Peat Satomi Sugiyama Andrea Terzi Gregory Warden Caroline Wiedmer


  1. ^ a b "About Franklin". Franklin University Switzerland Official Web Site. Franklin University Switzerland. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  2. ^ Info724 Ltd. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  3. ^ author. "Schweizerische Universitätskonferenz - Akkreditierte Studiengänge und Institutionen". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Franklin Celebrates University Day". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Franklin College Switzerland". Big Future. The College Board. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  6. ^ "Franklin University Switzerland". Best Colleges. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Franklin - A US College in Switzerland". Degree Abroad. GoAbroad. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°59′51.36″N 8°56′20.4″E / 45.9976000°N 8.939000°E / 45.9976000; 8.939000