Master & PhD Programmes

Through a disciplinary or interdisciplinary lens, our master and PhD study programmes will provide you with a sound understanding of the local and global processes that define the politics and practices of international affairs and development.



Each of our Master of Arts programmes can be completed in two-years on a full-time basis. These programmes have the optional benefit of offering students an exchange during their third semester at one of our partner institutions. To earn a degree, 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits must be completed, including 30 ECTS credits for a dissertation.

Our master programmes follow the reforms of the Bologna Process and the requirements for accreditation in Switzerland. The courses are taught in English, and to a lesser extent in French, by academics and practitioners, through a variety of critical and cultural perspectives as well as innovative pedagogical approaches.

Students can choose from one of two master tracks (interdisciplinary or disciplinary), both of which combine conceptual, theoretical, methodological and practical foundations. 



Interdisciplinary Masters


The two interdisciplinary master programmes are practice-oriented and give you the opportunity to partake in soft-skills workshops, capstone projects and internships (IOs, NGOs, public administration, etc.). They draw on the faculty from the Institute’s core disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, law and political science, together with invited faculty who have extensive policy experience.

  • Master in International Affairs
    The Master in International Affairs (MIA) covers global politics and history, anthropology and sociology, international law and international economics, enabling you to acquire the fundamental concepts, tools and skills to analyse the contemporary world. 
  • Master in Development Studies
    The Master in Development Studies (MDEV) is based on innovative training that favours critical approaches to global governance and the multifaceted question of sustainability. It also combines courses in economics, public policy (from local to global) and key thematic issues, like security or migration. 

We are the institute

The students at the Graduate Institute, Geneva make up a great patchwork of cultures and ethnicities. Learn more about this unparalleled academic experience through a selection of student and alumni testimonials.

Disciplinary Masters

These five disciplinary master programmes are designed to give you the tools and training to become an expert in a specialised field by providing you with a range of conceptual and methodological skills but also the opportunity to familiarise yourself with other disciplines.

Fast Track

Disciplinary master programme applicants can apply directly to the Fast Track programme, an accelerated programme that combines the MA and PhD degrees in the same discipline. More information on the Fast Track programme.

Main requirements for master programmes


PHD programmes


PhD programmes at the Institute require a four-year commitment, with the first three semesters in residence. During the first two semesters, you will take theoretical and methodological doctoral seminars before presenting a preliminary thesis at the end of the third semester, with the defence of your thesis taking place at the end of the eighth semester. Our PhD programmes meet the established requirements for accreditation in Switzerland. The courses are taught in English, however the thesis could be written either in English or French.

During your doctoral research, you will be expected to develop your critical thinking and to produce a significant contribution to scholarship in your discipline. 

We offer six disciplinary PhDs:

Main requirements for PhD programmes 


Financing your studies

Costs and types of financial aid

Career prospects

What can you do with a degree from the Institute?

Apply to an MA or PhD programme

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