ETH ranked 12th, while EPFL came 19th in the QS World University Rankings for 2013, dominated — as in other evaluations — by American and British institutions.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is ranked first, followed by Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, the University College of London and Imperial College London.
Six of the top ten universities are American, while four are British.
The Anglo-American hegemony is only broken by the Swiss institutes and Canada's University of Toronto, which is tied with EPFL for the 19th place ranking.
ETH Zurich moved up from 13th place in the QS rankings last year and from 18th place in 2011.
EPFL jumped from 29th position last year and 35th in 2011.
The two Swiss universities headed the list of institutions in continental Europe, followed by Paris’s Ecole normale supérieure, which came 28th.
The rankings of other Swiss universities included University of Geneva (71st), University of Zurich (78th), University of Basel (110th), University of Lausanne (111th), University of Bern (154th) and the University of St. Gallen (411th).
The QS list is an annual “league table” of the top 600 universities in the world, produced by London-based consultants Quacquarelli Symonds.
For more on the QS rankings, check here.