How to apply

Applications for our September 2024 intake are now closed

Applications for September 2025 will open in October 2024

Only PhD applicants appointed as Research Assistants to an externally funded project, and instructed by their PI to apply, can apply here:




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Application Process

  1. Complete the online application form

    Applications for September 2025 open on 15 October 2024. You can toggle between the English and French versions of the application form, by clicking the language at the top left corner of each page.
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Provide contact details for two or three academic referees on the application form
  4. Upload all your supporting documents before the deadline

    Prepare your document files in pdf format
    Please do not send any documents by e-mail or post
  5. Validate your application by clicking on "Submit"

After validating your application form, we invite you to join our Facebook group, created specially for our applicants. Our team will use this group to provide support and answer your questions, in addition to e-mail, phone, video chat, online information sessions and campus visits. Moreover, this group allows you to exchange with other applicants during the application process.

Your complete application will be assessed by a committee of professors who will evaluate, in particular, your academic performance, letters of recommendation and motivation letter. The committee’s decision is final.

Please note that you are eligible to apply during the last year of your current study programme, conditional upon your obtaining your final degree by the start of our next autumn semester.



Admission decisions are based on the quality of the overall application file.

Our selection committees give priority consideration to academic achievement and motivation. Academic achievement is documented using transcripts and recommendations. Motivational factors should be clarified in the letter of motivation.

The evaluation committees will take into consideration the difficulties encountered by many students around the world due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Academic achievement in spring 2020/fall 2021 semesters, and its impact on overall performance, will be evaluated in that context.

As our students come from more than 100 different education systems around the world, we do not set minimum grade point average requirements. All eligible, complete applications will be evaluated. However, our selection process is competitive: we admit about about 40% of applicants, overall.

Please note the application deadlines carefully: incomplete applications will not be evaluated. Submit your documents well ahead of the deadline, to allow resolution of any technical problems before the portal closes.

Please address all your application-related questions to the Admission Office at


If you encounter a technical difficulty with your online application, please e-mail IT support at
Many problems can be resolved simply by refreshing your web browser page and removing cookies from your browsing history

2025-26 Application deadlines

* Referees will have an additional week to submit their reference letters

** Confirmation (accepting an admission offer) requires payment of a CHF 1,000 pre-registration fee, deducted from the first tuition invoice.

Regular deadline


All master and PhD programmes

  • Application deadline*: 15 January 2025
  • Decision notification: 15 March 2025
  • Confirmation deadline**: 15 April 2025



Late admission deadline

Only for master programmes
PhD applications will not be considered in the late round
Financial aid requests will not be considered in the late round

  • Application deadline*: 1 March 2025
  • Decision notification:  3 April 2025
  • Confirmation deadline**: 15 April 2025

Interdisciplinary master in international and development studies: 
Specialisation tracks will be assigned as closely as possible to admitted students' preferences, per academic rank and spaces remaining after the regular admission round


Applying for Geneva Graduate Institute Housing 2024-25

The housing reservation portal will open for newly admitted students on 20 March 2024

Admitted students can apply for housing after they confirm their admission

They will have priority access until 18 April 2024

The housing reservation portal will close on 31 May 2024

Housing information


Please note:

  • It is not possible for master programme applicants to apply for financial aid in the late application deadline
  • Late applications will be considered per available space in each master programme
  • Late applications carry an additional application fee
  • Admitted students will start their studies at the Institute in September
  • Admission decisions will be notified by letter, in electronic format only

US financial aid

The Geneva Graduate Institute is switching its Direct Loan certification with the US Department of Education to a Deferment-only status. This means that the Institute will not be able to generate any new Direct Loans through Title IV for eligible incoming students. Students will have the possibility to defer their repayment of previous Title IV loans while attending the Institute. Please note that the Institute can certify private loans (Sallie Mae). For more information, please visit our financial aid page.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for PhD Students

The Geneva Graduate Institute supports only students applying for the Confederation Excellence Scholarship who have already been admitted to the PhD programme. We therefore encourage you to apply for admission to the PhD programme before 15 January. You will be able to apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship during the first year of your doctoral studies. Further information will be provided by the Scholarship Office after confirmation of admission.

ACADEMIC Requirements


for master programmes

  • You should hold, or at least receive before arrival, a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a discipline relevant to your study programme, from an accredited university.*
  • Professional experience and extracurricular activities are not compulsory but can be an asset to your application.
  • Failure to document the award of the prior bachelor degree by 15 September 2024 may cause us to rescind our offer of admission


  • You should hold, or at least receive upon arrival, a master degree or its equivalent in a discipline relevant to your study programme, from an accredited university.*
  • A thesis proposal should be submitted that describes your research project
  • Failure to document the award of the prior master degree by 15 September 2024 may cause us to rescind our offer of admission

* Institutional accreditation by  or the designated accreditation agency in the county of operation, subject to current policies


DOWNLOAD THE Admission Criteria



Language Requirements


The Institute has an English-French bilingual policy. Most of the classes are taught in English. Students can participate and submit written assignments in either English or French.



All students must have an excellent command of English, allowing them to comfortably satisfy the academic language requirements of a rigorous graduate programme: manage a large volume of challenging scholarly texts, produce frequent, extensive writings in compliance with graduate-level academic standards and in a variety of styles, and make constructive, candid and respectful contributions to discussions in and out of the classroom.

Applications can proceed to evaluation without an English proficiency certificate, but with a submitted confirmation of an upcoming testing appointment. Any resulting admission offers will remain conditional upon verification of a qualifying, official English proficiency certificate by 30 May 2024.

Failure to document the required English proficiency level by 30 May 2024 may cause us to rescind our offer of admission.

Recognised tests and scores

Tests must be within their validity period. If the test certificate does not indicate an expiry date, then the test must be no more than two years old at the time of submission. Tests that expired more than 12 months before the application deadline need to be taken again. Results must be submitted via a secure channel, available for online verification, or by post in a sealed envelope directly from the testing organisation. We expect all students to document a proficiency level that corresponds to the CEFR C1 or higher. 


iBT TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language): either

A single iBT TOEFL test with a total score of at least 100 and the following minimum subscores:

  • Reading section: minimum score 19
  • Listening section: minimum score 20
  • Speaking section: minimum score 20
  • Writing section: minimum score 24

Or a "My Best Score" with a total score of 100 and the following minimum subscores:

  • Reading section: minimum score 24
  • Listening section: minimum score 24
  • Speaking section: minimum score 23
  • Writing section: minimum score 27

Please have your TOEFL scores forwarded to us by indicating our institutional ETS code: 8909


IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System): either

A single IELTS test with an overall band 7.0 and the following minimum subscores:

  • Reading section: minimum score 6.5
  • Listening section: minimum score 6.5
  • Speaking section: minimum score 6.5
  • Writing section: minimum score 6.5

Or different valid IELTS tests with at least one overall band of 7.0 and the following minimum subscores from different tests:

  • Reading section: minimum score 7.0
  • Listening section: minimum score 7.0
  • Speaking section: minimum score 7.0
  • Writing section: minimum score 7.0


Cambridge English: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency

Total score of at least 185 and each subscore at least 180



  • Native English speakers, having used English as their primary language both at home and throughout their educational history
  • Students who can document at least one year of full-time university level studies, using English exclusively as the medium of instruction, with a good academic achievement level.
    A degree in English Literature or English as a Foreign Language, taught at a non-anglophone university with the local language as the primary medium of instruction, does not qualify



Knowledge of French is not an admission condition, a graduation condition, or required to enrol in our programmes. The Institute values diversity, and encourages applications from students who have no or only basic prior knowledge of French. 

  • Students with minimal (lower than B1) or no prior knowledge of French must take an intensive French course, lasting three weeks before the start of the first semester. They must register for this course at the time of confirming their enrolment. This intensive course will be followed by a weekly course during the first year.
  • All other students who are neither native French speakers, nor holders of a B1 or higher French proficiency certificate, must register for a French placement test when confirming their enrolment. This test takes place during the first week of the academic year. Its results determine whether they need to take a weekly French course during their first year of study.

These intensive and weekly courses are organised by the Institute, free of charge. They are compulsory and credit-bearing. 

The above conditions do not apply to students whose mother tongue is French; or who have a secondary or post-secondary diploma taught entirely in French; or who have spent a minimum of one academic year studying at university level, full-time, entirely in French; or who can produce a French language certificate equivalent to a DELF B1 level.

More info on French courses

General Conditions
How to apply

Application checklist

General Conditions
How to apply

Documents de candidature

General Conditions
How to apply

General conditions

General Conditions
How to apply

Thesis Proposal Guidelines