Financing your studies

The Graduate Institute strives to attract talented scholars from around the world, regardless of origin and financial ability. We invest over CHF 2 million each year to support our students throughout their studies, thanks to our donors and solidarity fund.

Financial Aid


The Institute strives to support its students throughout the duration of their studies, to the extent of its ability. It does so through financial aid (below) and paid jobs (teaching assistantships, research assistantships and administrative positions). In 2019, nearly half of our students received direct or indirect financial support from the Institute.
 
In particular, the Institute makes extensive efforts to assist its doctoral students. We aim to make financial aid available to all first year doctoral students with documented financial need. In subsequent years, doctoral students may apply for a teaching or research assistantship. The option of applying for a scholarship also remains open during the four-year programme, particularly in the final year to help with the completion of the thesis (more information).

In a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, all of our students contribute toward the cost of their education, including those receiving financial aid. The pre-registration fee of CHF 1,000, paid by new students to confirm their enrolment, contributes to the Graduate Institute's solidarity fund.
 

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID

A student might be awarded one type of aid or a combination of different types of support.

  • Scholarships: partial (CHF 10,000 per year) or full (CHF 20,000 per year)
  • For the most highly rankedPhD students, a 4-year package combining 2 years of full scholarship and 2 years of teaching assistantship. 
  • Tuition reduction
  • Paid employment at the Graduate Institute: teaching assistantships, research assistantships, administrative support positions 

In compliance with Swiss immigration regulations, non-EU students are not permitted to work in the first six months of their stay in Switzerland, whether inside or outside the Graduate Institute. The only exception is a role that is directly related to the study programme (for example, a research assistantship directly relevant to a doctoral thesis project). 
 

SPECIFIC SCHOLARSHIPS

It is not possible to apply directly for a specific scholarship, such as those benefiting students from our partner institutions or sponsored by individual benefactors. In its evaluation, the Financial Aid Committee identifies applicants who meet specific criteria for such scholarship schemes and allocates the scholarships accordingly.

More information on specific scholarships

Applying for Financial Aid
 

FOR MASTER DEGREE APPLICANTS

Master candidates can apply for financial aid by filling in the application fields concerning their financial situation. Academic departments and the interdisciplinary programme do not have access to this information when they decide on the admissibility of candidates. When making its decision regarding the allocation of scholarships for admitted master candidates, the Financial Aid Committee will decide whether to award a full or a partial scholarship and/or tuition reduction, depending on the applicants' financial resources and the excellence of their application. 

Once candidates have been granted admission and funding, provided that their financial situation does not change, the award will be renewed for the second year. They will thus be able to finance their entire course of study. 

Master candidates who want to apply for  financial aid must document all the elements that impact their financial situation, including all sources of income, liquidities, capital and contributions from family members and other organisations.


FOR PHD APPLICANTS

All PhD candidates are eligible for financial support, regardless of their financial situation. When completing their application form, doctoral candidates should not fill in the fields relating to their finances, which only apply to master programme candidates. Academic departments rank the files of all the PhD applicants they admit based on academic excellence and originality of the research project. They then submit their rankings to the PhD Admission and Financial Aid Committee. 

There are two types of financial support and Teaching Assistantships:

  • A 4-year package (2 years full scholarship and 2 years Teaching Assistantship). Financial aid in the form of a 4-year PhD package for incoming PhD researchers is awarded based on the ranking established by academic departments. These packages are awarded to the six most highly ranked candidates in each department.
     
  • Within the limits of the available budget, the PhD Admission and Financial Aid Committee may also allocate a scholarship (full or partial), a tuition reduction, and/ or Teaching Assistantship of one year, renewable, to currently enrolled PhD researchers. These may be either PhD researchers admitted with no funding; or, exceptionally, PhD researchers who seek a 5th year funding. Such awards are based on a pre-ranking of students by their academic departments, which assesses academic excellence and the potential of research projects to deliver cutting-edge results.

A full scholarship is 20,000 CHF, payable in 10 monthly instalments starting in September. It allows the PhD candidates to focus on their research, to undertake fieldwork or to participate in a mobility programme. 

A Teaching Assistantship is a contract that offers the candidates a total monthly remuneration of 3,300 CHF, with a combination of a salary of 1,900 CHF (15 hours of work per week) and an excellence scholarship of 1,400 CHF. The Teaching Assistants are assigned to several courses within their department (usually half of their courses) and the interdisciplinary master programme (the other half). As teaching assistants, they participate in the implementation of the course(s), assist the professor(s), lead a session or a series of tutorials and are an integral part of the teaching team. During their contract, they are required to attend a Professional Development Programme which will enable them acquire key professional skills: pedagogical innovation, e-learning, introduction to gender and inclusion issues in teaching, advice on how to build a research project and secure its funding, etc. 

More about support for PhD student

Financial Aid and Loans to Canadian and Us Citizens and Nationals

    

Information on affiliated loan programmes (us, canada)
Frequently asked questions on Title IV Student loans

Renewal Policy
 

Financial aid is generally renewed for subsequent years of study, provided that recipients are in good academic standing and are able to continue to document their financial need.
Continuing doctoral students WHO are DO NOT awarded HAVE A 4-YEAR PACKAGE  are encouraged to seek alternative funds, such as assistantships, research grants, etc.

Earning Money from Work
 

Our degree programmes are full-time and are not compatible with full-time employment. Students may work part-time, keeping in mind the potential impact on their academic performance. 

Swiss regulations permit foreign students to work at most 15 hours per week during the term time, and full-time (40 hours per week) during vacations. Non-EU students are not permitted to work during the first six months of their stay.

Our Careers Service  sends enrolled students regular updates about internal and external vacancies, as well as internship opportunities.

PhD Support