Our programmes

Master in Anthropology and Sociology


Our two-year master’s programme offers rigorous training in anthropology and sociology through a combination of coursework in small class settings, opportunities for independent field research and close mentoring. During the programme, students acquire a breadth and depth of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge, as well as research skills across a variety of methodological approaches.

We aim to foster in our students the analytical, methodological and conceptual capacities needed to develop nuanced understandings of, and responses to, the transnational and globalised dimensions of many of today’s most urgent social, cultural, political and economic problems. Students that complete our programme are well-prepared for careers in the international, public, private and nonprofit sectors. A number of our master students also go on to pursue PhDs in ANSO or other internationally competitive doctoral programmes.

The master curriculum enables students to combine broad disciplinary training with the development of specialised research interests. Compulsory courses in social theory and research methods, as well as recommended courses in research design and ethnographic writing, give students a solid foundation in anthropology and sociology. Students also have the freedom to pursue their particular interests by choosing from an array of elective disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses within and outside the department.

Making the most of the Graduate Institute’s location, master students may also take up internships in one of Geneva’s many international or nongovernmental organisations. The Graduate Institute also offers opportunities to study abroad for a semester through its numerous exchange programmes.


PhD in Anthropology and Sociology


Within international and development studies, anthropology and sociology are indispensable for the comparative study of global concerns in both margins and centres of power and across their boundaries. The PhD in Anthropology and Sociology aims to provide students with theoretical perspectives and methodological tools to explore the social and cultural systems that influence, and are influenced by, policy interventions, especially – but not exclusively – in the field of development and international affairs.

Our four-year doctoral programme is tailored to students with a strong commitment to anthropology and sociology and a demonstrated capacity for independent research. Through the foundational doctoral seminar, a weekly departmental seminar series and further opportunities to participate in cross-departmental colloquia, we offer a vibrant and welcoming intellectual community for PhD students. During their doctoral studies, candidates will obtain 24 course credits and defend a preliminary thesis dissertation before completing fieldwork and writing their doctoral thesis.

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology offers a fast track entry to our doctoral programme on an exceptional basis. A student may be considered for a fast track position if he or she has substantial prior training in Anthropology and/or Sociology (for instance, a BA in either discipline) and has demonstrated excellence in our master’s programme. In general, we encourage students to follow our full MA programme of coursework and training before applying to the doctoral programme. We are convinced that this allows them to profit most from our unique approach to the major global issues of our time and to carry out their own empirical research based on the solid theoretical and methodological training that we offer as a Department.

The Graduate Institute offers competitively awarded funding for PhD students through scholarships and teaching assistant positions. In addition, a number of our students have been successful in obtaining funding for their studies through external grants, such as the Swiss government’s Doc.CH grants. Emphasising theoretical innovation along with empirically grounded research, the PhD programme prepares students for an academic career or for research-oriented positions in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. Recent PhD graduates from our programme are pursuing postdoctoral research at the University College London and the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen.

Master in ANSO

  • 4 compulsory courses (24 credits)
  • 11 elective courses (66 credits)
  • 7 to 9 courses in discipline of specialisation (42 to 54 credits)
  • 2 to 4 in one or several other disciplines (12 to 24 credits)
  • Thesis (30 credits)

    Total of 120 credits


  • 2 compulsory courses (12 credits)
  • 2 elective courses (12 credits)
  • Preliminary thesis dissertation (30 credits)
  • Option to choose a minor in another discipline (18 credits)
  • Dissertation

    Total of 54 credits or 72 (with minor)

Career Services

Exchange Programmes