Courses, Immersion and Mentoring

Study Plan



The courses are taught by faculty members (professors and lecturers) and integrate at least two disciplinary approaches from the five represented at the Graduate Institute (anthropology and sociologyeconomicshistorylaw, international relations/political science).

Dedicated tutors offer assistance and guidance to students, both to help them get the most out of their courses and to facilitate the transition to their new study environment.

Curriculum (30 ECTS)

The curriculum (30 ECTS) is composed of:


I. Four courses at the MA-level

2 class hours/week per course run over 14 weeks, 6 ECTS/course

Choose four courses from a large range of themes (international law, political science, international economics, history of international relations, anthropology and sociology of development). Check out the course catalogue (some courses are subject to prerequisites)

Examples of master courses chosen by our students:

Autumn Semester

HI057 - Peripheral Visions: The Birth and Evolution of Japanese Imperialism (1850-1937)
DI107 - Transnational Legal Processes
MINT054 - Migration and Development
RI-SP075 - Political Economy of Contemporary China
DE133 - Poverty and Inequality

Spring Semester

DE136 - Migration Governance in Times of Crisis: the UN and EU Compared
MINT102 - Histories of Truth, Facts and Uncertainty
MINT038 - International Environmental Institutions


II. French Language Course *

2 hours/week run over 14 weeks, 6 ECTS (from beginner to intermediate levels)

*Alternatively, students with an advanced level of French can take an additional course in another discipline.


III. Visits to International Organisations as well as discussions with their representatives

(workshop series)

This workshop series features speakers from the United Nations, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, UN High Commission for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross, US Mission in Geneva, Doctors without Borders, etc., to discuss current issues and present organisational challenges, including professional trajectories.

Supervision, Coordination and resources

An experienced team of academic and administrative staff supervise the programme and provide students will full support. In addition, advanced PhD students are also available to assist students on a daily basis.

Students benefit from multiple resources at the Institute, including various conferences and events taking place on campus. 

Immersion and Mentoring

Experience the world of international affairs in Geneva through our unique immersion programme, which combines visits of several international organisations and discussions with high-level practitioners in small groups.


MENTOR: Elisabeth Schubiger 

PhD, Anthropology and Sociology
Spring 2020 Semester Mentor


After earning her professional diploma in Dressmaking, Fashion & Design, Elisabeth decided to work for a small NGO in a Vocational Training Centre for women in Haiti. During her two years there, she not only developed a new curricula, but she also managed a small production unit. Inspired by her work in Haiti and motivated by a curiosity for the world of development, she began her studies in Social Anthropology at University of Bern. There she assisted in various courses and research projects. During her studies, Elisabeth’s field of interest was large-scale land acquisition in Western Kenya. Later, as research assistant at the HEP Fribourg, she researched international education. In 2016 she earned her Master's in Social Anthropology and Art History. Thereafter, she worked on organizational development and knowledge management at a partner organisation of the Swiss NGO, Comundo, in Kenya. Since the summer of 2019, Elisabeth has worked at the Graduate Institute, conducting research for the SALMEAproject as a PhD candidate. She also works on self-accomplishment and local moralities in Turkana, Kenya.   


Sample immersion and mentoring programme 



  • Activity: Discussion about working with UNHCR, focusing on the Rohingya crisis

  • Speaker: Deputy Director Division of Programme Support and Management

World Health Organisation

  • Activity: Discussion about the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

  • Speaker: Senior Advisor Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

World Trade Organisation

  • Activity: Discussion about the work at WTO, followed by Q&A session

  • Speaker: Dispute Settlement Lawyer

World Economic Forum

  • Activity: Discussion about the work at WEF, followed by Q&A session

  • Speaker: Delegates from WEF

Bank for International Settlement

  • Activity: Presentation of the activities of the Bank for International Settlements

  • Speaker: Administrators from the Bank

ICRC Museum

  • Activity: Visit permanent and temporary exhibitions