Study and Military

Counselling Services

Dear students and staff of the HSG

The personal consultation hours will take place on Tuesday in office 25-104. Please note the cancellations (see below). We are also happy to offer you the opportunity to contact us by telephone during the regular consultation hours (Tue 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm) in order to receive telephone counselling. We ask for your understanding that we cannot answer the telephone during an ongoing counselling session. In this case, please wait and try again later by telephone or send us an e-mail to

Please note that possible cancellations will be published on the homepage and the SHSG app channel

General Info

As a student, you benefit from various options for coordinating your studies and your compulsory service. In order to make the best use of these, it is important to inform yourself and take action at an early stage.

The coordination of compulsory service and studies is achieved both through concessions on the part of the military or civilian service authorities and through compromises on the part of the university. The military liaison office will advise you in all these matters and can also represent your interests. In principle, however, you must take care of the coordination yourself.

The most important principles are

  • Inform yourself well in advance
  • Be aware of the date of the next service and consider how it correlates with your studies
  • The dates of the following services can be found in the first call-up letter or on the army website (published from 1 July)

Basic principles of service

Conflicts between studies and military service must be resolved as follows in accordance with the legal priority:

  • Look for a solution from the civilian side - e.g. agreements with lecturers regarding the postponement of a deadline;
  • If a civilian solution is not possible, you can apply for personal leave for individual absences on duty;
  • If no civilian solution and no personal leave is possible for military reasons, submit a request for postponement.

Military deadlines take precedence over studies, which may have to be interrupted or postponed.

University fundamentals
In the event of shorter absences, no special arrangements are necessary at the university; however, university deadlines (enrolment, exam registration, etc.) remain binding! Lecturers and exercise groups are nevertheless expected to be informed about upcoming absences.

If services that cannot be postponed clash with decentralised examinations, you are entitled to an alternative solution. Your official absences may also not be counted negatively. You can agree the mode with the lecturer.

For longer periods of absence, it is possible to enrol for a semester of leave with greatly reduced fees or to postpone the start of your studies. This does not apply to the Assessment level, which can only be started in the autumn semester and cannot be interrupted. At the following levels, taking a leave of absence for a single semester is usually unproblematic, but requires you to organise your own curriculum.

It is possible to interrupt your studies for a whole year in all cases and the free time can be put to good use with internships and/or language courses. The degree programme can then be continued directly from the point of interruption.

Recommendations for coordinating studies and military service

Our recommendations for optimal planning between studying and the military

Many conscripts are faced with the question of how best to coordinate their studies and military service. We therefore publish our recommendations for the majority of cases here:

There are two starts for recruit school each year: in winter from mid-January to mid-May and in summer from the end of June to the end of October.

The Swiss Armed Forces offer two service models for the fulfilment of military service:

  1. The classic military service model: after completing basic training / GAD (an 18-week RS for the majority of troops followed by the annual refresher courses (WKs) and a 23-week RS for specialised functions such as the KSK (parachute reconnaissance is a cadre training, therefore takes longer) also followed by the annual WKs).
  2. The "Durchdiener" model / DD: Service in one piece (RS + WKs). This option is only available to a maximum of 15% of a recruit cohort! The length of service can vary depending on the continuation: 275 days of service for Sdt, 507 for Uof, 668 for Höh Uof and 668 for Of.
  • We base this on a recruit school lasting 21 weeks (before the WEA); 
    The 18-week RS (after the WEA) is identical, but shortens the last section (VBA1) by three weeks.
  • The recommendations are based on the training model for the majority of troops and the equivalence of all two recruit training starts.
    Training for some specialised functions may only be possible in a certain basic training model - training as a grenadier, paratrooper and pilot follows a completely different model.
  • A special regulation applies to military training to become a medical officer in the function of a doctor, dentist / oral surgeon and pharmacist for medical students.

Recommendation for soldiers

The RS is completed (as recommended by the Swiss Armed Forces and MilVrb HSG) before the degree programme or after passing the assessment year in the fourth semester (spring semester).

Postponing the RS until after the Bachelor's degree is generally ruled out by the military. So how should a new student decide?

The simplest solution is clearly to do the RS either completely before your studies or in the second Bachelor's semester (4th semester). During the RS you remain enrolled (semester of leave) and can resume your studies in the autumn semester without any overlaps.

Has your RS already been arranged differently? Then send us a request for a postponement to the military authorities!

Please note:

Fractionation is generally intended for cadre training as a non-commissioned officer (1x) and for officers (max. 2x) and should not be confused with early release.

Early discharge is only possible on application for cadres who have completed their service and not for soldiers.

Under special circumstances (only special circumstances, e.g: Swiss abroad, family, financial, health reasons) your fractionation or early release is exceptionally possible for soldiers, although not recommended. Studies alone are not a reason for fractionation, because studies can be planned and compulsory service takes precedence.


If, in exceptional cases, a fractionation or early release would occur, military service pay will be due and there may be coordination problems with your studies. You must therefore take the following measures:

  1. Contact us in good time so that you can receive individual counselling and so that the start of your studies (compulsory: regular start week / shortened start week) can be coordinated. Otherwise it will not be possible to start your degree programme!
  2. Apply for fractionation or early release from your recruit school at the same time
  3. There is no entitlement to fractionation or early release and therefore no guarantee!

If you are scheduled for the summer RS, MilVrb HSG recommends that you complete the RS in full and only enrol at the university one year later.

Recommendations for non-commissioned officers

Recommendations for non-commissioned officers
Training to become a sergeant, fourier or sergeant major takes a little longer than one semester. If you do not complete your training before starting your studies, we therefore recommend that you start in the spring and complete a full intermediate year, e.g. with an internship or language course.
If you have entered the summer programme before the start of your studies, we strongly recommend that you postpone the start of your studies by one year. All you need to do is send a short notification to the university's central secretariat.

Training to become a constable, fourier or sergeant major takes a little longer than one semester. If you are not completing the entire training programme before your studies, we therefore recommend that you start in the spring and complete a full intermediate year, e.g. with an internship or language course. If you have entered the summer programme before the start of your studies, we strongly recommend that you postpone the start of your studies by one year. All you need to do is send a short notification to the university's central secretariat.  

Fractionation only makes sense with the spring start, whereby the VBA1 is made up for in the summer of the following year (and clashing examinations are postponed). In this way - taking into account the measures to be taken - the course can be completed with only one semester of leave.

Recommendations for officers
Training to become an officer takes more than a year and is therefore difficult to coordinate with your studies. It is therefore particularly advantageous to complete the programme in the spring or summer before starting your studies - if you postpone your studies by one year.

During the course of study, a fractionation is recommended for prospective officers. The VBA1 in spring (if you start training in spring) or in autumn can be made up in the following summer or even postponed until after the Bachelor's degree; this would limit the study delay to two semesters of leave. Be sure to check whether you can plan an additional semester for internships or the Bachelor's thesis, which would make it advantageous to complete your studies in one go.

Many prospective officers have decided against fractioning and have completed a reduced workload in the spring semester "cut" by VBA1. The members of the Association of Officers at the University of St.Gallen will be happy to share their experiences with you.

Information for lecturers and internal departments

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