An international law degree from the Graduate Institute opens the door for students to embark upon a career not only in the field of international law, but also in political affairs, diplomacy and a variety of other fields, both in the public and private sector. Students will have the opportunity to garner valuable legal writing and research skills that are highly sought after in the job market.

The International Law Department at the Graduate Institute ensures students walk away as seasoned international lawyers with the ability to engage in qualitative analysis and with an enhanced understanding of current legal affairs.

Through their studies at the Graduate Institute, students will benefit from the close interactions with professors due to small class sizes, capitalise on the prospect of local internships and research opportunities, and gain access to conferences and public events featuring renowned speakers.

For students at the Graduate Institute, the international city of Geneva becomes their campus, a culturally enriching opportunity that offers the added value of learning a new language. There are plenty of opportunities for students to network in a city that is a hub for international law.

At the Graduate Institute, learning is not restricted to the classroom. Master, LL.M. and PhD students will benefit from a rich exchange of knowledge, while obtaining degrees that offer the flexibility to pursue a range of careers. Typical examples of professional outcomes include positions in government, international organisations, permanent missions, non-governmental organisations, law firms and academia, in addition to other promising career opportunities. 

Master Student Placement After Graduation


Data collected since 2008 reveals that after graduation, master students in International Law have been employed in all four sectors:

  • The public sector attracted 37% of students, most of who are employed in international organisations.
  • Employment in the private sector is also a popular choice, employing 35% of students, with many working in legal services.
  • The third sector attracted 15% of master students, which was largely led by employment in non-governmental organisations
  • 13% of graduates pursued choices in academia, either continuing their studies or conducting research for an academic institution

PhD Student Placement After Graduation


Data collected since 2008 reveals that after graduation, PhD students in International Law have been employed in all four sectors:

  • 38% of PhD graduates decided to pursue a career in academia.
  • The public sector attracted 27% of students, with most students working in international organisations
  • The private sector also proved to be an attractive option, with 25% of students pursuing careers in SMEs or in legal services.
  • 10% of students went to the third sector, to work for non-governmental organisations and think tanks.




Olayinka Oladeji (Nigeria), Master in International Law

“The Institute offers a holistic experience, providing unconventional solutions to students’ aspirations and helping them find their unique paths.  

At the Institute, I was privileged to attend classes taught by world class professors who adopted innovative pedagogical methods to explain tough academic issues and give practical relevance to seemingly distant academic theories. I also took advantage of  the Institute's  flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum.

Looking back at my first class in 2017, the faculty’s guidance and the academic advisor’s support have steered me through different stages of indecision to finally deciding on a specialisation fitting for me.  The Institute delivers on everything it promises and more. During my programme, I had an internship with an international organisation, presented research proposals at international conferences and embarked on pro bono research work for a diplomatic mission. It has been an all-inclusive experience, fulfilling my aspirations for starting a master’s degree in the first place.

It is often said that the Institute’s administrative staff are its most prized asset. The administrative staff have helped me navigate tough seasons, providing counsel and comfort in the process. Every time I stare at the train tracks from the Library window, thinking of what lies ahead, I always come back to my first day at the Institute and how much I will miss this place.”



Phattharaphong Saengkrai (Thailand), PhD candidate in International Law

"My experience at the Graduate Institute thus far has been wonderful. I really appreciate how the programme approaches theory and practice as distinct métiers, and students can receive rigorous training in both. With this approach, the programme is useful not only for those aspiring to practice international law, but also those planning to pursue a research career or a PhD. Also, the location of the Institute is ideal, offering easy access to excellent public events and internships all year round. I feel fortunate to be able to pursue my PhD studies here."


Ana Luísa Bernardino

Ana Luísa Bernardino (Portugal) PhD candidate in International Law

"I enthusiastically recommend the PhD programme in International Law at the Graduate Institute. This programme offers a unique and intellectually stimulating environment to pursue research. I have been lucky enough to work with professors whose work I deeply admire and who challenge the traditional ways we are often trained to think about international law and our own role in the discipline. There are also a number of inspiring events taking place throughout the academic year, such as the International Law Colloquium, where we get to hear leading scholars from both the Institute’s faculty and other academic institutions present their work in progress, in addition to conferences and events, not only related to international law but also to other disciplines taught at the Graduate Institute. Last but not least, the Institute has a truly impressive library collection and a number of services, which are a priceless resource for any PhD student."

Class Representatives

The class representatives for the Master and PhD programmes at the Graduate Institute, engage with students to ensure their views on academics are continually represented. If you have questions about student life at the Institute, please feel free to contact one of our class representatives.

Anna Camilla Raab
Master in International Law (First Year)

Leonardo Flach Aurvalle
Master in International Law (Second Year)



Lillian Orion Stuart Robb
PhD Candidate in International Law