5–year Joint BA/MA Programme

The Graduate Institute has partnered with several liberal arts colleges in the US giving a limited number of students the opportunity to complete a BA from their respective college and an MA from the Graduate Institute in five years, instead of the usual six years.

Only students nominated by the following Graduate Institute partner institutions are eligible to apply:

How it works

  • Students coming from liberal arts colleges in partnership with the Graduate Institute will spend the fall semester of their senior year in Geneva, at the Institute.

  • They will return to their home university for their final semester and for graduation.

  • They will then return to Geneva for a fifth year.



Students can choose from one of the Institute's six MA programmes, based on prior study focus:

that offers a common core and seven specialisations: 

  1. Conflict, Peace and Security

  2. Environment and Sustainability

  3. Gender, Race and Diversity

  4. Global Health

  5. Human Rights and Humanitarianism

  6. Mobilities, Migrations and Boundaries

  7. Sustainable Trade and Finance

Most classes are taught in English. Students with limited or no French will study the language as part of their programme in Geneva. 



Application and Admission

NB: Only students duly nominated by our partner institutions are eligible to apply.

  • Once students are nominated for the BA-MA programme, they must submit their application through a special link provided by the home institution. 

  • Students will be responsible for meeting all application requirements and submitting all materials to the Graduate Institute in Geneva. 

  • The regular deadline for this application is 15 January

  • Admission to the programme is not final until the Graduate Institute approves the applicant’s file according to its evaluation and selection procedure.

Tuition Fees and financial aid

  • Year 1 of MA programme: Students will pay tuition fees to their home institutions.

  • Year 2 of MA programme: Students will pay all tuition and fees to the Graduate Institute. During this year, students are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid at the Institute. To be considered candidates must submit their financial aid request at the same time as their initial application to the programme. Subsequent requests will not be considered.




Carrie Lee Lancaster

Carrie Lee Lancaster (2018-21) | Smith College

Read her story




Davan O'Donnell and Javeria Kella (2018-2019) | Mount Holyoke College

Read their stories


Paola Granados and Maya Mauroof (2021-23) | Mount Holyoke 

Toward a global future
Mount Holyoke’s joint degree program in Geneva gives students on-the-ground experience in international work and a graduate degree.

Read the article 


BA 2019, MA 2020, Smith College

"I was first attracted to the partnership program with The Graduate Institute with practicality in mind; its international location, fast-track timeline, and cost savings were outstanding compared to American graduate schools. Once in Geneva, I fully understood the value of the program and The Institute itself. From the access students have to cosmopolitan professors performing cutting-edge research to the exposure to international peers with stimulating and interdisciplinary ideas, I can’t imagine a better program or setting in which to study. Without a doubt, the Joint BA/MA Program was the best choice for me."


Wellesley ‘18, Master in International History

"Partaking in the Joint BA-MA programme was one of the best decisions that I made while at Wellesley: it provided me with a great education and a unique opportunity to experience International Geneva. I was grateful to be surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds and to live right by Lac Léman, which is as spiritual as Lake Waban at Wellesley. I believe that this programme has enabled me to reflect on my own philosophies and to grow positively."


BA 2019, MA 2020, Smith College

"The BA/MA program tested my adaptability and built my personal resilience. It was a challenge, but a challenge that was definitely worth it. It gave me the opportunity to confront and overcome any intellectual self-doubts I had. It also gave me an affordable MA degree in half the time with twice the adventure. If I could redo Smith, I would always choose this path."


Wellesley ‘18, Master in International Affairs

"The Graduate Institute experience is strongly rooted in both professional as well as personal development, and the school gears its abundant global network of partnerships, platforms, opportunities, and connections towards the individual growth of its students. The 4+1 program offered an incredibly seamless transition from my Wellesley Bachelors degree to my Masters along with complete financial support – I could not possibly have stumbled upon a better opportunity!"


Wellesley ‘19, Master in Development Studies

"The Institute offers truly unparalleled education and expertise in international studies and an incredible balance of academic and professional learning. Since starting my studies at the Institute, I’ve been challenged to contribute meaningfully to the field I am working in and  excited about my education like never before! The support offered through the partnership has exceeded all expectations, and the student community is no less welcoming. Geneva is almost spilling over with organizations doing meaningful and fascinating work, and the Institute is essentially the same."


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