Who we are

Our vocation is to analyse and stimulate critical thinking in the fields of international relations and development issues.

Critical thinking, Committed to Society


The Institute was created in 1927 at the time of the League of Nations. It was then the first academic institution in the world entirely devoted to the study of international affairs. Its vocation is to analyse and stimulate critical thinking in the fields of international relations and development issues through its teaching (master and PhD programmes), research, executive education and public events.

The Institute fosters interdisciplinary dialogue, drawing on the main social science disciplines (anthropology, development economics, international economics, international history, international relations, political science and sociology), as well as international law.

Intellectual excellence is at the heart of the Institute’s mission, driven by the conviction that only rigorous enquiry and critical thinking can provide concrete solutions to the world’s challenges. The Institute’s commitment to critical enquiry goes hand-in-hand with its dedication to international cooperation and human solidarity.

Knowledge That Serves Students and International Actors


  • For students seeking an international career, the Institute equips them with the intellectual and practical means to play leading roles in the world arena, whether in teaching or academic research, national or international public service, not-for-profits or the private sector. This is possible thanks to the Institute’s high-quality faculty, multidisciplinary analysis of global themes and strategic location in Geneva, a hub for global governance.
  • For governmental and non-governmental organisations, the Institute’s research findings help shape and deliver international policy.
  • For professionals working in the international arena, the Institute’s Executive Education programmes allow them to develop successful careers.
  • For an educated public in Geneva and beyond, the Institute’s public events stimulate debate and critical analysis of the world’s major challenges.

A Unique concentration of Expertise


Thanks to its professors and students, notably PhD students; thanks to the three centres created with the University of Geneva
(the Geneva Academy, CIDS, CERAH); to the institutions present within the Maison de la paix and its multiple ties with actors in International Geneva (diplomatic missions, international organisations and non-governmental, etc.), the Institute gathers and offers a density of exceptional expertise on the challenges of globalisation.

A Global Institution


The Institute’s thematic fields, along with its worldwide academic partnership network, alumni community and Executive Education programmes, make it a truly global institution.

a Cosmopolitan Institution


The Graduate Institute community is on a human scale, yet fully reflective of humanity’s diversity. Its cosmopolitanism enriches students and contributes to the Institute’s expert analyses of the challenges of globalisation. 

As a global and cosmopolitan institution, the Institute emphasises respect for diversity in all its activities, encouraging each individual to take greater responsibility for humanity and for the planet.

These values have inspired a number of  prominent personalities to contribute their advice and support towards building the Institute’s international reputation.

Entrepreneurial by nature


As a private-law foundation with strong, forward-looking governance, the Institute views efficient management and the quest for the greatest possible autonomy as fundamental to building intellectual excellence. Thanks to the wide-ranging support of foundations and patrons, the Institute has built up an impressive real estate portfolio, generating additional resources to support growth and demonstrating how each Swiss franc of public subsidies can be leveraged.

In 2018, each Swiss franc of public subsidies helped leverage a larger sum of third-party funds. 

Accreditation, Diploma Recognition, Ranking


The Graduate Institute is a Swiss, government-accredited institution of higher education, receiving subsidies from the Swiss Confederation and the Canton of Geneva. Its master and doctoral degree diplomas are recognised nationally and internationally.

The Institute has an outstanding worldwide reputation in international circles. It is not included in international university rankings and league tables because it is a postgraduate institution specialised in social sciences and international law.

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The Graduate Institute Review

Globe #33

Factsheet 2023-2024

The Institute in a Nutshell


(sources: Graduate Institute, 2018)