Our master programme

Our Study Programmes

The Graduate Institute’s International Relations/Political Science Department offers graduate students two degrees: a two-year MA in International Relations/Political Science and a four-year PhD in International Relations/Political Science. Our master’s programme prepares students for careers in academia and beyond where understanding and working with IRPS research is central. Our PhD programme prepares students for careers in academia and beyond where the ability to conduct IRPS research independently is required. Students who enter at the master's level can complete both a master’s and PhD degree within five years, through the fast-track master’s/doctoral programme.
Currently, 97 students are enrolled in the International Relations/Political Science department.


Master in International Relations/Political Science

Programme Description

The master’s programme prepares students for doctoral studies, research activities, and public or private careers dealing with different aspects in the field of international relations and political science that require strong analytical and critical skills. The programme equips students with the analytical tools and a substantive background required to work actively with research in a wide range of areas. It comprises core courses providing a firm grounding in the discipline and electives that allow students specialize. The Master Programme opens on a fast track to the PhD programme.

The master's programme is made up of a standard sequence of core courses and electives. Teaching takes place in small classes, where students are encouraged to foster a sense of inquiry, critique and argument. Students have extensive access to political science faculty, both regular professors in the department and visiting professors.  This, as well as the analytical strengths of the curriculum, the proximity to various international governmental and nongovernmental organisations in Geneva, and the broad geographical and cultural range of students in the programme, make for a firm grounding in the field.

Admissions are decided on the basis of the quality of the overall application file with priority given to academic achievement, recommendations and the motivation letter. There are no minimum requirements for grade point average, but the selection process is highly competitive. Each year, approximately 30-35 students are admitted to the master programme. The Graduate Institute offers some financial support through a competitive process. You can find more information here.

The Fast Track Master's/Doctoral Programme

The fast-track master’s/doctoral programme allows students to complete a PhD within five years (10 semesters). If admitted, students study for one year in the Master program and then enter the PhD directly instead of completing the second year of the Master. Fast-track candidates must obtain the credits required for a Master degree except those pertaining to the dissertation (90 ECTS) before the end of their third semester at the institute. The PhD requirements, including the compulsory courses of the first year, come in addition to this. In clear, the fast-track program is a demanding and study intensive way of entering the PhD. Students wishing to apply for it submit an application at the beginning of their second term in the Master program. See here for further information. 

Master in International Relations/Political Science

Guidelines for the Master's Thesis (IR/SP)

Master in International Relations/Political Science

Guidelines for the Master's Thesis (general)

International Relations/Political Science

Courses Catalogue